Many people love camping and the soul-nourishing excitement of being in the great outdoors. It doesn’t matter to them whether it’s an extended family trip, a camping trip with friends, an office bonding weekend camp, or an impulsive night out under the stars. Campers feel it is a healthy and exciting way to spend a holiday.
However, just like with everything else, there are tips and tricks that can make any camping experience even more comfortable and enjoyable:
1. Do Some Research
Read up on your campsite. If it’s in a sheltered location, check to see the available facilities like clean water, electricity, showers, etc. This will help you know precisely what to pack. An open space will require more packing detail. It will also enlighten you on the potential dangers in that area like poison plants or insects and how to avoid them.
2. Get it Tested
Don’t be alarmed, you’re perfectly fine. What you need to test is your camping gear, which should all be listed in your camping checklist. Set up your tent, understand what type it is and the mechanism behind its operation before setting out.
3. Start Your Journey Early
The earlier you set out, the more daylight you have to set up camp.
4. Clothing Arrangements
You can potentially save a lot of space when packing for your trip. Stuffing your rolled-up shirts inside socks, instead of folding them, will ensure that you have more room for your clothes.
5. Instant Lantern
With a jug of water and a head lamp, you can make an instant lantern to light up your tent. This is quite easy to do and you can learn how to do it here.
6. Make Your Own Pillow
To save space, instead of carrying extra pillows, you can make your own makeshift pillow by stuffing your clothes inside a pillowcase. An empty pillowcase also doubles as an extra bag.
7. Solar Lights
It’s quite easy to lose your way in the dark. To avoid this, you can set outdoor solar lights around your tent for easy mobility during the night. The lights charge up during the day and give off enough light to last the night.
8. Toilet Paper
Never forget toilet paper. Remove the cardboard from the centre, press it flat and put as many as can fit in a plastic/Ziploc bag. Alternatively, you can use an empty coffee can to hold toilet paper.
9. Staying Warm
No matter how hot it is at the time of your departure, make sure to pack warm clothes because the nights could get super chilly.
10. Staying Cool
Although emergency thermal blankets are designed to stay warm, their silver coating enables them to keep cool by reflecting sunlight during hot weather. Simply place them on top of your tent with the silver side facing the sunlight and you’ll have cooler nights.
11. Get Battery Packs
It’s inevitable that your phone battery will get exhausted at some point. Make sure you have a battery pack you can use to charge your phone(s).
12. Duct Tape Everything
Duct tape is useful for many things. It can be used for blisters, patchwork, or even to make a temporary leg or arm cast.
13. Clothes Tags
Bread tags are useful as clothes pin on a camping trip. Not only are they handy, they are also light and do not take up any space.
14. Microfiber Towels
Microfiber towels are softer, lighter and more absorbent than normal towels. They also dry faster than normal towels. So, avoid waste by using microfiber towels instead of paper towels.
15. Keep Those Insects Away
Ants can get anywhere, but to prevent them from joining you for breakfast, place trays of water by the legs or corners of your eating area. They will not be able to navigate around them.
Also, burning sage in your campfire or setting the sage on fire by the edge of the campfire and letting it smoke and smoulder will help repel the mosquitoes.
16. Emergency Toileting
A paint bucket and milk crate can be repurposed as an emergency toilet during your camping trip.
17. Washing Machine
For your portable washing machine, use a plunger and a bucket. Here’s how to do it.
18. Fire Starters
If you can’t find sticks to start a fire, you can use Doritos, Fritos or Corn Chips instead. The oils, chemicals, flavours and starches combined in these snacks make them extremely combustible. They also double as emergency snacks for everyone.
You can also use cotton pads dipped in wax.
19. Campfire Meals
The best crescent rolls you can ever have are the ones made over campfire. Heating a waffle cone wrapped in foil and filled with sweets, treats and fruits on fire coals for 5-10 minutes will give you delicious campfire cones.
20. Tinfoil It Up
You can never go wrong with tinfoil as practically anything can be cooked on a campfire, so long as it’s wrapped in it.
21. Hand Washer
An empty laundry detergent dispenser can be repurposed into a functional hand washing station.
22. Use Foam Floor Tiles
For a more comfortable holiday under the stars, use foam floor tiles as the flooring for your tent.
23. Get Lit Up
For your easy DIY lantern, simply get a jar with a lid and paint the inside with non-toxic glow in the dark paint. Alternatively, you can place a battery powered votive candle inside of a peanut butter jar. Also, ensure you pack different kinds of light, LED lamps, torches, etc.
24. Belt Hanger
With a belt, a tree and some hooks, you can have a makeshift hanger for your pots, pans and utensils.
25. First Aid/Survival Kit
With an Altoids tin, you can hold a large amount of the necessary stuff.
26. Soap Slices
With a simple vegetable slicer and a bar of soap, you can make many single use soap slices/leaves for your camping trip.
27. Toothpaste/Ointment Packets
Cut up some straws and put some antibiotic ointments into the pieces for your single use packets. The same can be done for toothpaste.
Small spices like salt, pepper, curry and thyme can be stored in tic-tac containers. They are air-tight, small, and don’t take up much space.
29. Keep Dry
Lining your backpacks with garbage bags will help to keep your clothes and tents warm and dry.
30. Game, Set, Match!
It is important that matches are kept dry during camping. An empty plastic baby food container is perfect for keeping strike anywhere matches dry. In addition, when you glue sandpaper to the top of the container, you can more easily light a fire.
31. Ice Jugs
Using gallon jugs of ice instead of ice blocks will keep your food cold for a longer period. Not only that, frozen gallons melt slower, are not as messy and also serve as drinking water when they finally thaw out.
32. Scavenger Hunt
Keeping the kids occupied during a camping trip is one of the easiest things to do. Simply write down a list of items on a paper bag to serve as a receptacle for their finds.
Each camping trip brings its own share of experiences and there are many things to be learned as no two trips are ever completely the same. However, those who don’t know much about camping would most likely appreciate getting as many camping tips as possible, to make their journey memorable.