Even the most seasoned campers love to learn something new – and there are plenty of camping hacks to go around! So if you’re looking to plan ahead and prep for your next adventure, have a read of our handy camping tips and tricks. Covering camping safety tips, camping food hacks and top tips on what to take with you, find out everything you need to make the most of it below. Whether you’ve spent more nights under the stars than you care to count, or you’re excited for your first camping adventure, we’ve got camping tips and hacks for you.
TENT CAMPING TIPS: USEFUL THINGS TO TAKE
Making sure you have all the right equipment is the key to a smooth trip. This is why the first of our friends and family camping tips is on what you need to take with you.
1. Candle wax. Trouble with your tent zips? Candle wax makes for a great lubricant – just rub an unlit candle along the teeth of your zip and there’ll be no more fumbling when you need to go out to the toilet in the dark.
2. Gaffer tape. As many seasoned campers will attest, taking gaffer tape is one of the top camping tips you’ll ever learn. It can be used to fix absolutely anything. But do one better and make sure you’ll never be without by sticking some pieces around your flask. As a bonus, it’ll give you a better grip when your hands are cold or if you’re wearing gloves.
3. Dry bags. One of our favourite camping hacks involves dry bags. Not only can you choose different colours for different items so you’ll never lose anything but, if the worst happens and your tent leaks, all your stuff will be safe and dry. What’s more, you can take them out in your kit bag to keep everything super organised because, when it comes to camping tips, the best advice we can offer is to make packing and unpacking as quick and easy as possible. You can even fill them with clothes and use them in place of a pillow if you’re camping light. How’s that for camping tips and tricks?
4. Terracotta pot heater. Want some warmth in your tent, but don’t fancy the risk of a naked flame next to your canvas? You’re not the only one. Try making a terracotta plant pot heater instead. Place a couple of tea lights on a plate, cover with a small, upturned terracotta pot and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make in heating a small space. Use citronella tealights for added bug-repelling benefits but be safety conscious. Keep the kids away, make sure you never leave the heater alone and always extinguish before heading to bed.
5. Reflective tape. Stick reflective tape on anything you think you’ll need to find at night – toilet roll for instance… or even the zippers on your tent. When you turn on your torch the tape will shine bright, making it much easier when fumbling around in the darkness.
Bonus camping hacks: Before packing, unwind your toilet roll, remove the cardboard centre and fold it back up gently – this will leave you with much more room in your luggage.
BEST CAMPING SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR HEALTH AND MEDICAL NEEDS
6. Insect defence. Staying near water? One of our top camping safety tips is to invest in some anti-insect clothing that will keep the bugs at arm’s length. And make sure you pack your midge net, so you don’t get eaten alive. However, if like us you hate having it flapping in your face in the night, try wearing a peaked cap underneath to lift the netting away from your nose. Find out how to prevent insect bites naturally in our blog.
7. Single use soap. Instead of packing up a whole bar of soap, which can get a bit sticky and all over your bag, before you leave simply cut one up into thin slices. Throw your mini soaps into a zip-lock bag and they’ll be ready to use when you need them. That way you only use one at a time and make a lot less mess.
8. Aloe Vera. Take a tube of Aloe Vera gel with you. You’ll find hundreds of uses for it including relief from burns and sunburn, bumps and bruises, blisters, minor allergic skin reactions and even as a general moisturiser.
9. Lint rollers. With the increasing prevalence of Lyme-disease carrying ticks, all outdoor enthusiasts know that it’s more important than ever to check yours, and the kids’, bare skin and scalps after spending time in the woods or open countryside. But did you know that ticks can hide in clothing too? Make sure you catch any of the little blighters that have stowed away by using a sticky lint roller.
CATER LIKE A PRO WITH THESE CAMPING FOOD HACKS
10. Fresh, cool drinking water. Freeze two litre milk bottles full of water to keep them in your cooler – they’ll take ages to defrost and you’ll have nice cool drinking water when they do.
Bonus camping hacks: If you’ve left your water filter at home, you can use a clean handkerchief instead. Simply hold it over the container before filling with water and the fabric will filter out any unwanted material. Then, boil up the water and let it cool down before drinking.
11. Effective wood selection. Cooking over an open fire? Make sure you choose your wood carefully. For the best taste, choose hardwoods like oak and maple. Don’t go for wood with a high sap content like pine, cedar or other coniferous trees as they’ll may make your sausages taste downright disgusting.
12. Say goodbye to rusty pots and pans. Save the tiny silica gel packs you get in new shoes and bags and store them in your cookware to stop it going rusty. Always make sure to keep these away from kids for safety reasons.
13. Prep in advance. Take a frozen one-pot meal like a stew or curry for the first night – grab it from the freezer before you leave home. It’ll gradually thaw throughout the day and you can heat it over a fire once you’ve arrived and set up. We love camping food hacks that will please the troops with minimal effort!
EASY CAMPING HACKS WITH KIDS FOR HAPPIER TRAVELS
14. Consider new, cosy sleepwear. If your kids struggle to sleep in a conventional sleeping bag, consider investing in a wearable one. These are said to be cosier than normal sleeping bags and less restrictive, giving them the freedom to move in their sleep.
15. Makeshift hot water bottles. If you can’t afford the space in your luggage to take a hot water bottle to warm your sleeping bags at night, why not let your aluminium water bottle double as one? Fill with boiling water before your kids hit the sack and wrap it securely in a fleece to prevent any burns.
16. Invest in some technical outdoor clothing. If you’re blessed with bright sunshine for your trip, keep the kids covered throughout the hottest periods of the day. Consider investing in sun-protective clothing for extra protection.
17. Research the camp facilities. If you’re camping at a conventional site, check out the facilities before you arrive. Request a pitch that’s in sight of the playground or children’s area and you’ll be able to relax with a glass of wine by your tent while the kids have a whale of a time.
OTHER COOL CAMPING TIPS AND TRICKS FOR A SUCCESSFUL ADVENTURE
18. Be considerate. If you’re camping with a group, buy a headtorch that has a red light setting so you don’t blind your friends. Also make sure that you tidy up after yourself, don’t make too much noise after dark and respect the local area and wildlife.
19. Make your own lamp. If you don’t have a lantern to hand, you can make your own with just a couple of household items. Fill a plastic gallon jug with water and wrap a head torch around it. The light will then reflect off the water – and there you have it, your own homemade lantern!
20. Make your own fire starters. Getting the fire going is often one of the most tedious tasks – but with this camping hack you’ll be set. All you need to do is take a few cotton balls with a dab of petroleum jelly on each of them. They’re light, cheap and take up next to no space in your kit bag.
21. Create your own speaker. Fancy sharing some tunes in the evening? Use this easy camping hack. Create a makeshift speaker for your smartphone by cranking up the volume and simply placing it down into a pot, camping mug or even a saucepan. The sound will echo through the container and act as a mini speaker!
22. Pack wisely. Make sure you pack appropriate clothes for the weather – remember that it can get pretty chilly in the middle of the night, even in the height of summer. Take plenty of fleece layers and warm outdoor jackets. And an easy camping hack? If it’s likely to be cold when you wake, stuff your clothes down in the foot of your sleeping bag. They’ll warm up overnight and be much more pleasant to put on in the morning.
So, there you have it. 22 camping tips and tricks you may not have thought of before, from fun camping hacks with kids to camping food hacks to make life easier.
Enjoy! But remember to stock up on all the outdoor clothing and outdoor accessories you’ll need for a successful trip.