Life in the outdoors isn't necessarily everyone's cup of tea. Some people prefer to stay in the comfort of their homes, while many others crave the adventure of hiking, exploring, and camping in the wild. Whether you are a sincere outdoor enthusiast or merely an occasional lover of the good old nature escape, these next easy tips and tricks will likely transform your next camping adventure!
Portable Coffee Bags
Although it may not be your #1 concern while adventuring into the wild, it is almost definitely near the top of the list. Most people strictly depend on their daily coffee rituals to get them going in the morning. A morning camping in nature is no different. Avoid the stress of preparing a cup of Joe, without the normal convenience of a coffee maker, with these snazzy, little portable coffee bags.
Grab a couple of coffee filters that you have lying around the house, pour in a few scoops of your favorite coffee grounds, and tie it all together with a little bit of string or dental floss. Voila! Easy coffee on the go.
Hot Water Bottles for a Warm Sleeping Bag
No one wants to slide into a sleeping bag at the end of a long day only for it to be as icy cold as the crisp outdoor air. So what's a simple solution? Boil some water about a half-hour before you plan on going to sleep and fill all your thermal water bottles with it. Slip them into the closed sleeping bag and you're all good to go!
Not only will this keep you nice and toasty when you first get into the sleeping bag, but it will also keep you warm long into your cozy slumber.
DIY Whistle... From an Acorn
Acorns can be found almost everywhere, at almost all different times of the year (although the fallen nuts do make the strongest appearance in the fall months). Next time you walk past all the little shells or hats of the acorn, don't simply ignore them! Whether you are looking for a fun trail game to play or searching for an extra way to save yourself if you get lost, these DIY acorn whistles are so useful.
Simply hold the acorn cap in between your fingers as shown in the picture, and blow air into the empty space. The result will be a loud whistling sound. You'll be surprised how effective these little guys can be.
Happy Camper Scavenger Hunt
Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt...especially when it involves locating fun things along the trail or near the campsite. Whether you need an activity to keep the kids busy while you set up camp, or if you and your friends are looking for something interesting to do, this scavenger hunt is popular with everyone. You can even make it competitive by offering prizes to whoever finds all the items first.
For children, this fun scavenger hunt may be enough just as it is, with simple, easy-to-find items. However, if you want to make an adult version, consider adding interesting facts to learn more about the plants and wildlife.
A Cake Carrier to Make Your Trip Easy as Pie
Although it may seem like a bulky item to include in your packing list for a camping trip, you'll be surprised how useful you will find it. It can be used not only as something to cover your food to keep it safe from pesky flies, bees, and other bugs but also as somewhere convenient to hide away any lightweight objects, protecting them from blowing away in the wind.
Of course, you could also use this to simply store, cover, and carry a cake, but when the wind starts to pick up you will be extra grateful you brought it along to keep your napkins and paper plates from blowing away.
Bread Tags Instead of Clothes Pins
Laundry is a quintessential part of camping, especially for longer trips. It's unlikely that you would be willing to carry with you enough changes of clothes to equip you for an entire week (or more). So instead of carrying around a huge pile of clothes pins for when you do want to hang your laundry out to dry, collect some bread tag closures and they should do the trick perfectly!
Not only are they half the size and bulk of regular clothes pins, but it is a great way to recycle these little pieces of plastic that people usually just throw away.
Makeshift Speaker From a Cup
Unless you are the type to carry around a heavy speaker with you while camping, this simple hack is a great alternative. Although most people go to nature to well...listen to the sounds of nature, some people need to change it up a bit with some tunes. In case your phone's volume isn't loud enough, drop it into an empty plastic cup and be amazed by the amplification of sound.
Spice up your camping trip with a makeshift dance party using these "cup speakers". Don't worry, it won't make the sound so loud as to disturb the wildlife, just enough to have a little fun.
Cork Your Keys to Make Them Float
Ever wonder if there was something you could do with all the extra wine corks you have lying around the house? The perfect recycling solution has finally been found. Attach your keys to a cork just in case you drop them in the water somewhere along the way. Instead of them sinking rapidly to the bottom of the lake, the cork will keep them afloat so you can grab them quickly and store them safely.
If you are traveling through quickly flowing water, be careful with these bad boys as the combination of floating devices and fast-moving water could result in lost keys very soon.
Homemade Spoon From a Soda Bottle
Nothing is worse than finding yourself in the middle of nature, with a hot bowl of soup or some rice and beans, and no easy way to eat it. Of course, you always have the option to just dig right in with your hands, but some people prefer the cleaner option of having a utensil. If you're a part of the latter group, grab an empty soda bottle and a pair of scissors to work the magic.
Cut it precisely so that there is a long handle section with a scooped spoon-like end. Consider reinforcing the handle with duct tape in case it is not so sturdy.
Don't Forget the Couscous
Although rice is almost certainly the most popular camping food of choice, there is a much-forgotten alternative that is arguably much better - couscous. Couscous is very simple to make and requires less precision with cooking temperatures, which can be especially difficult to regulate over a campfire. And don't forget that most varieties only take a few short minutes to cook and are just as filling as their competitor.
Even if you're not ready to ditch the rice entirely, maybe consider bringing rice for half the trip and couscous for the other half. It's an easy replacement to give yourself some dietary variety.
Portable Hand Washing Station
Maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness is one of the most important and challenging aspects of camping life. Whether it's fingernails that are constantly covered in dirt or just the lack of consistent running water, hand washing can become a difficult task. Instead of always struggling to disinfect, consider setting up a portable hand washing station from an empty jug or bucket. All you need is a jug, pantyhose, soap, and water.
Slipping the soap in the pantyhose is a great solution to dealing with wet and elusive bars of soap. It ensures that it stays exactly where you need it at all times.
Never Throw Away Silica Gel Packets
Silica gel packets seem to be an unnecessary inconvenience that appears almost everywhere, in shoes, medicine bottles, and the most unsuspecting places. Instead of throwing them away, as most people are guilty of doing on a daily basis, save them for your camping trips. These little packets are masters at absorbing liquid and humidity and maintaining freshness. They don't include them in many products for no reason, after all.
Use these little silica gel packets to keep your pots and pans moisture-free and dry while camping. Rust can easily build up, ruining all your supplies, but these packets are an easy way to prevent that.
Fix a Zipper in a Pinch
At one point or another everyone has experienced a zipper malfunction at the worst possible time. Perhaps it was a fly pants zipper that just wouldn't close right before a presentation or a tent that wouldn't close right before sleep, letting in all the cold air. Bringing along a candle is a simple and easy way to prevent any zipper complaints in the future. The wax acts as a lubricant keeping zippers sliding smoothly. Just rub it on the problematic zipper and see the difference.
Whether or not you are bringing along the flashlights and lanterns, candles are always good to have around while camping. You never want to be left without a source of light.
Easy Tick Removal Kit
No matter how much tick repellent you apply to keep these persistent and pesky critters away from you, there is always the chance that one of them will make their way through and attach themselves. Since tick-born illnesses can be quite dangerous, it's very important to remove the tick as soon as possible. This kit, complete with soap, cotton balls, and tweezers will do the trick.
Soaking the tick in soap and cotton balls and placing it on the tick for about 30 seconds may help loosen the tick from its grip. The tweezers are used to seal the deal and completely remove the invader.
Pool Noodles to Save the Pop Up Tent
Despite how useful and convenient pop-up tents can be, they oftentimes have the nasty habit of closing in on themselves at the most inconvenient times. Or other times, if it's raining outside, the water pools up on the top of the tent leading to its collapse. All of this can be prevented with one simple item - a pool noodle. Lodged in the corner as shown in the photo, all your problems will be solved.
This unique hack not only prevents the tent from collapsing by giving it a little bit extra stability, but it also prevents that unloved pooling of water on the flat parts of the tent top.
Frisbee for an Emergency
There are times when paper plates will let you down. Perhaps the wind is too strong and the paper plate does not have the strength to endure its gusts or maybe your clumsiness caused your entire dinner to tumble to the ground. Either way, there is always a backup plan. In case you are clean out of plates, take a frisbee, flip it upside down, and pile your food right on top.
Although it is certainly not the ideal situation for everyday use, this frisbee plate is great in case of an emergency. It's also a great excuse to pack that frisbee you were considering leaving behind!
Trapping Sneaky Invaders
One of the most important parts of every campsite is keeping it safe, especially from potentially dangerous outsiders. Whether it is a small mouse or a big snake or even a roaming hiker, you want to keep yourself and your belongings safe. What's a great way to do that? Set up a literal barrier of string around the perimeter of your campsite and attach the string to a mousetrap.
You'll be able to sleep soundly knowing that anyone or anything that crosses into your "territory" would have to pass your hidden barrier. The second anything crosses, it will cause the trap to make a loud noise, alerting you.
Waterproof Match Boxes
Matches are perhaps singlehandedly the most important thing to pack for any camping trip. Whether you are cooking your own food, building a fire to keep warm, or just lighting candles so you can see in the dark, you don't want to be left without matches. The problem is that most matchboxes are not waterproof. Add in a little bit of rain and they're are as good as useless.
Try finding a small plastic container to store your matches and keep them safe and dry. Glue a little bit of sandpaper on the top to ensure easy lighting and you're good to go.
How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning?
Eggs are a staple for breakfast all around the world, offering interesting breakfast varieties from sunnyside up to scrambled to omelets. There's no need to break your morning tradition and skip the eggs, even if you are on a camping trip. Of course, it's nearly impossible to bring along fragile eggs that are still in their shells, but there's an easy solution. Crack however many eggs you need for your trip and store them in a bottle.
You can simply pour out the desired amount of eggs each day and cook them to your heart's desire. Consider labeling the bottle so you understand how many eggs you are consuming.
Waterproof Your Backpack
Although most true camping and hiking lovers would invest in a waterproof backpack, not everyone considers that a priority. Even if you don't have a waterproof backpack, you're going to want to waterproof the contents of your backpack. Instead of packing your items directly into your bag, put them first in a plastic bag. Then store them inside your backpack, sealing it to keep all the water out.
You will be so happy that you waterproofed your items, guaranteed. Without it, even the littlest bit of rain or a tiny trip and fall into a puddle can ruin a whole trip.
Single-Use Soap Shavings
What's the simplest way to have mess-free bars of soap for everyone to use? Soap shavings! Instead of passing around one big bar of soap that gets wet and soggy and drippy, shave off small slivers of one bar and ration them out to users on a single-use basis. It saves resources, helps with clean-up time, and ensures that you can avoid carrying around a partially used, wet bar of soap all the time.
It's also a nice way to make sure everyone is washing their hands properly. Give each person a personal sliver of soap and they'll feel obligated to use it.
Easy Hanging Car Hammock
Who in their right mind doesn't love a good hammock? Whether it's a nice and comfy hammock chair or a good old-fashioned hammock hung between two trees, everyone loves relaxing and enjoying the sounds of nature while gently rocking peacefully. And what could be better than a portable hammock chair that attaches to the back of your car? You can relax and take in the beautiful view from anywhere in your hanging car hammock chair.
The only difficulty is finding the perfect hammock and attachment that will fit on your individual car, but it'll certainly be worth the extra effort in the long run.
Portable First Aid Kit - Mini Version
There is no way your mother will let you leave on a camping trip without bringing along the essentials in case of an emergency. Basic first aid items are critical. No one wants to be left suffering from a cut that needs to be disinfected or a wound that needs to be bandaged. So what is better than a mini first aid kit? Everything you need stored in an empty prescription bottle.
Although it is small, you can easily fit a few bandages, disinfectants, and even some pain relievers. Store it in your pocket and hope you don't ever have to use it. Plus you can be sure the lid is closed securely, keeping the contents safe.
Biodegradable Trail Markers
Getting lost on what was supposed to be a relaxing hiking trip is most likely not on anyone's to-do list. Many people use off-the-beaten-path routes or simply don't have a good sense of direction, and here is where trail markers come in handy. Buying some biodegradable marking tape and marking your route as you go is a surefire way to prevent yourself from getting lost in the large abyss of the countryside.
Be sure only to buy biodegradable tape as it is very important not to leave any waste behind! Gotta protect the environment while you protect yourself.
Duct Tape for Days
Although this is more of a packing tip rather than a camping hack, don't forget to bring along the duct tape! Never underestimate the power of this remarkable, waterproof tape. Whether you need to patch a rip in your tent, protect your feet from blisters, bandage a wound or seal a broken item, duct tape has you covered....literally. The practical uses for duct tape are endless.
If there is one thing that you most definitely should bring on your hiking trip no matter what...it is duct tape. You'd be surprised how useful it can be.
Bucket and Plunger Washing Machine
Ok, now despite the fact that some of these items are large and bulky (and may be difficult to carry around with you on your hiking trip), this hack is useful to know. What can you do if you desperately need to wash some clothes while in nature? Grab a bucket that has a hole in it, a plunger, and begin. The suction capabilities in closed space create a functional washing machine effect.
It may take a bit of effort from your part as you are becoming a human washing machine, but at least your clothes will be sparkling clean.
Keep Your Muddy Items Separate
Hiking and camping almost certainly will involve, at one point or another, some mud...probably lots of mud. Your shoes will probably be the hardest hit. Even just a few minutes in a somewhat muddy area will leave your shoes heavy and covered. How can you prevent that mud from spreading to all your clean clothes and belongings? Shower caps are a great way to protect and contain muddy items.
The little bit of elastic is perfect as it creates almost a makeshift closure that will keep all the mud and wetness within the plastic, ensuring your belonging remain clean and fresh.
Frozen Water Instead of Ice
Now despite the fact that frozen water and ice are essentially the exact same thing, it may be a better idea to ditch the ice cubes and bring along frozen water. Fill up jugs or big bottles with water, freeze it and use it instead of ice. Ice can melt and essentially be deemed useless after its coldness disappears. However, if you use these jugs, the water is perfectly usable!
The ice is going to melt at some point anyway, so you mind as well have it in an accessible form for cooking or drinking instead of just wasting space in your cooler.
Sage Bundles Vs Mosquitos
Little is more dreaded from the outside world than the horrendous buzzing and humming of a mosquito, hovering and waiting to launch its attack. No one wants to wake up in the morning covered in itchy and unbearable mosquito bites. To prevent that, before bed, make a small bundle of sage and place it on top of the campfire. The smell often repels the mosquitos, keeping you safe during your slumber.
Although the effects of the sage only last about one hour, try to add more to the bundle occasionally, reinforcing the mosquito repelling capabilities for longer lasting protection.
Nifty Tic Tac Containers
Recycling is always a good thing, especially when you can reuse something as cute and useful as a Tic Tac container. These small plastic boxes are perfect for storing and carrying a whole array of useful things. With herbs, spices, and salt, you can make a gourmet camping dinner thanks to these small and easy-to-transport containers. You could even bring along some baby powder or cleaning materials in these mini boxes.
Be sure to label each of the Tic Tac containers. You don't want to be mixing up the edible herbs and spices with powders for cleaning or disinfectant!
Gooey and Delicious Roasted Starburst
Whoever said that the only sweet thing that could be roasted over a campfire was the marshmallow? How did this food claim its dominance over the campfire world? Next time you set up a campfire, don't shy away from trying other, lesser-known options for sweet and tasty snacks. Although the good old-fashioned s'more is a beloved classic, roasted candies, like Starburst, should share some of the spotlight.
Heating Starburst brings out an entirely new flavor to this sweet candy. Instead of just being chewy and delicious, imagine it as a warm, gooey treat.
Doritos as a Fire Starter
No judgment here...it could happen even to the best. Just in case you somehow run out of firestarters or lose the ability to start a fire from the kindling you gathered from the shrubbery, there is still hope. Grab your snack bag of Doritos and light it on fire (removed from the plastic of course). The flame will last just long enough for you to get a real fire going so you don't grow cold or hungry.
This is just an extra reason to pack some unhealthy snacks with you on your trip. Maybe....just maybe, you will need those Doritos to help you start a fire in an emergency.
Puzzle Piece Floor Tiles for Comfort
These snazzy foam-like floor tiles aren't just for kids, as you might be eager to assume. The puzzle-like pieces are ideal for lining the bottom of your tent to ensure a comfy and cushioned night's sleep. Although some people like the feeling of the bumpy and uneven earth beneath through their thin tent lining, others are more used to the modern comforts of a mattress and cushions.
So if you're looking for a little extra comfort on your next camping trip, grab some of these floor tiles, puzzle piece them together, and sleep like a baby on your cushion like "mattress".
Portable Pancake Mix
You have spent over a week camping and hiking. You are sick and tired of eating the same foods for breakfast every day. And then you remember the bottle of pancake mix that you prepared in advance for this trip. Stored in an empty ketchup bottle, this premade pancake mix can be a lifesaver when you're craving a luxurious breakfast in the woods. Squeeze out the mix for the perfect mini breakfast pancakes.
Don't forget that this mix probably contains eggs and therefore needs to be kept in a cooler while you are camping so that the ingredients don't spoil.
Handy Dandy Toilet Paper Holder
Although some camping sites do offer somewhat luxurious amenities such as public bathrooms or port-a-potties, it's likely that at some point you'll have to answer the call of nature in the most natural way possible. Instead of carrying around an entire roll of toilet paper with you every time you have to go, make this handy toilet paper holder, complete with a string handle to carry it with ease.
Any container that is large enough to fit a roll of toilet paper should suffice for this. Cut a thin slit in the side for the toilet paper to pull out of and attach a string for carrying ease. Your own handy dandy toilet paper holder.
Mini Straw Cosmetic Carriers
Everyone loves travel-sized items. To see our favorite, everyday products, marketed in cute and mini packing is not only satisfying but thoroughly adorable. However, not all products are available in travel size, and sometimes even travel size is too large. That's where these mini straw containers are useful. Melt one side of a cut piece of straw together, fill it with your product, and close the other side by melting it together.
One flick of the match is usually enough to melt the plastic of the straw together enough for it to hold together and keep your cosmetics products safe.
A Belt as a Dish Drying Rack
One of the biggest challenges of cooking in nature is not simply the washing of the dishes, but more so how to dry the dishes without getting them all dirty again. Next time you're struggling with this, grab your belt, wrap it around a tree and find some pegs or hooks to attach to it. Hang your dishes there to dry comfortably, keeping them far away enough from dirt to stay clean until the next use.
Although it's a far cry from the convenience of a dishwasher at home, this hack at least helps bring a little bit of normalcy to the difficulties of camping.
Coal in an Egg Carton
Coal is a messy substance. And a bag of coal is a heavy thing that most people would like to avoid carrying around. However, many people choose coal to help start their fire during a camping trip. Looking for a way to keep it both light and tidy? Fill an empty egg carton with pieces of coal where the eggs normally would be. Close it up, set it on fire, and voila!
Easy cleanup, easy transportation, and one of the easiest ways to start a fire, these egg carton coal fire starters are truly a lifesaver.
Water Bottle Night Light
Maybe you forgot your lantern or perhaps your flashlight broke along the way. Regardless, there is always a backup plan. Take your head torch and attach it to a gallon of water or a water bottle. Make sure the light faces the bottle and water themselves. The combination will cause a bright lantern effect on the container allowing you to roam about your camp freely with a reliable source of light.
Of course, you could always just attach the head torch to your head (as it was designed to be used), but sometimes you want the light to be in places other than the direction you turned your head.
Candles on a Stick
These extended and long candles may seem a bit weird at first glance...why would anyone need a candle that long? But think about how useful it will be when you want to create a nice barrier of light around your campsite. You can't just place a candle on the ground, you might start a forest fire! So these candles attached to a long stick are the best solution. They're also great to create a romantic ambiance for a special night.
As they are perfect for lighting up pathways, one of the nicest uses could be a candlelit pathway to the bathrooms....no one would have to worry about getting lost and stumbling around on their way to the toilets in the middle of the night. Win-win for everyone involved.