1. LINE YOUR BAG WITH A GARBAGE BAG TO KEEP CONTENTS DRY
Weather is everything when you’re camping, and a seasoned camper knows that you can never be too prepared for Mother Nature’s fickle moods. Once you’re warm and dry inside of your tent, there’s nothing to worry about — unless, of course, you can’t get warm or dry because your bag and all of its contents got soaked in the rain.
This trick offers the ultimate cost-to-benefit ratio: a single trash bag in exchange for warmth and dryness. Simply line the inside of your backpack with a trash bag before placing all of your items into it. For the cost of a trash bag — somewhere between a nickel and a dime — you have dry clothes and a dry sleeping bag for your trip, guaranteed.
2. A PORTABLE POWER STATION IS ESSENTIAL
A large capacity and lightweight power station can charge your mobile phone, camera, laptop and other devices. It can also charge your portable refrigerator and electric cooker to make your journey more comfortable. If you plan to take a long time journey, the solar panel can be carried to maintain your power supply.
3. KEEP A PAIR OF SOCKS FOR SLEEPING ONLY
It’s hard to explain the mental and emotional comfort of a clean pair of socks. Putting one on can lift your morale tremendously. If you prefer to sleep in socks, try keeping one pair at hand for sleeping only. They do not have to be thick hiking socks — even thin ankle socks will do.
Even if you can’t shower, having a clean and dry pair of socks on while you sleep will help your body differentiate between the day’s activities and the solace of nighttime. Wearing them will not only be more comfortable, but it will also keep the dust, dirt, bark, splinters, pine needles, and whatever else is attached to your socks from entering your sleeping bag.
4. DIY YOUR SPICE KIT
A variety of spices are important to keep your stomach from hurting while traveling. Find some small bottles you usually use that are empty and store the spices. It’s an immense space saver and makes camping trips a whole lot easier in both packing and unpacking. If you want more of the ingredient, simply cut a longer length of straw. Then seal the other end and voila — you have a waterproof, ultra-portable selection of spices at hand in the woods.
5. PACK LIGHTER BY USING A SLEEPING BAG CASE STUFFED WITH CLOTHES AS YOUR PILLOW
Pillows are a matter of great personal preference. You may prefer yours soft or firm, feather or fluff, tempurpedic or light foam.
We can guarantee there’s one thing you don’t like about pillows, though, and that is the amount of space they take up in packing. Companies have come out with inflatable pillows that roll into impressively small spaces, but rolling around on air is rarely very comfortable. This often leaves us stuffing a pillow into our bag that takes up as much space as our clothing.
To form the ultimate camping pillow, take the case for your sleeping bag and stuff it full of your softest clothing. Make sure that sleeves are unrolled and socks are not too tightly balled up so that there are no pressure points, and simply shape the pillow to your liking. If you desire more support, then simply add more clothing! You’ll love the fact that you’ve saved that much space in your bag.
6. BRING BREAD TAGS TO USE AS CLOTHESPINS
Bread tags are one of the most underappreciated products around. They diligently hold bread bags closed, but rarely see any other purpose before being cast away. So next time you finish a loaf of bread, we challenge you to try them as clothespins on your next camping trip.
This is one of our best family camping hacks, since bringing enough clothespins for a family’s laundry can steal a good amount of real estate inside a bag. Bread tags are not only cheap, but they also take up minimal space in your pack.
So set a little dish aside and start collecting those bread tags. They will soon be doing their work in the sunshine, drying your clothes and keeping them securely fixed to the line.
7. MAKE A MAKESHIFT GROMMET BY TYING LINE AROUND A ROCK WRAPPED IN A TARP
Tarp grommets wear out quickly and often when you need them most. An immense amount of strain is placed on a relatively tiny ring, which often leads to the tarp fabric around it tearing loose.
If your tarp’s grommets have worn out, this camping hack is well worth remembering. Find a small, roundish pebble — about the size of a golf ball — and place it in the location where you’d need a grommet.
On the underside of the tarp, make an “O” with your finger and thumb, and push on the rock so that it and the tarp pass through the O. Pinch off the tarp with your finger and thumb, and tie a line tightly around the pinched tarp.
8. USE A VEGETABLE PEELER TO SHAVE STRIPS OF SOAP FOR SINGLE USES
A bar of soap is a wonderful thing until you have to put it back in your bag. This usually ends with something in your bag getting soapy that wasn’t intended to be and assuming you are keeping it inside its own plastic bag, with a lot of soapy bubbles and wetness.
A convenient fix for the problem is using a vegetable peeler to slice off strips of soap to use each time you bathe. Store these in a single bag and simply grab one before heading off to shower. You can also grab one to wash your hands.
9. LOOP YOUR BELT AROUND A TREE AND HANG SOME HOOKS FROM IT TO DRY YOUR COOKWARE
Nighttime is for sleeping and recharging for the next day. If you’re a camper, you know that nighttime is also for drying stuff out. Shoes, clothes, bags, and yes, cookware. We already discussed using silica gel packets to wick water away from your pots and pans between uses. This nifty little camping hack will allow those pots and pans to dry overnight, making rust an even less likely scenario.
Take your belt and loop it around a tree. Then attach several pot-hanger hooks — some larger S hooks work wonderfully — to the belt. You can buy these almost anywhere that sells pots and pans or at your local hardware store. Hang your pots from the tree to dry overnight. Note that you should hang pots with the cooking surface facing away from the bark, as this will discourage any bugs from making a temporary home inside them.
10. USE SILICA GEL PACKETS TO KEEP YOUR CAMP COOKWARE RUST-FREE BETWEEN USES
You know those silica gel packets that seem to appear in every product? They are actually quite useful for sucking up moisture, especially in items that tend to rust. That’s why we recommend buying a pack of them, or collecting them from whatever packages you buy, as they may just save your cookware.
In an ideal world, we would dry our cookware completely and store it in a moisture-free environment between uses. But weather changes, basements grow damp and we sometimes dry our dishes in a rush before stuffing them in our bags — and that is where silica gel packets come in.
Using these packets keeps moisture from rusting away your cookware between uses. It’s disappointing to pull out your favorite bowl or skillet and find it spotted with rust, and this little trick will help prevent that altogether.