Looking forward to the weather warming up so you can head off for your first camping trip of the season? Before you get packing have a read of these useful camping tips. 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 hacks: useful things to take…
1. Trouble with your tent zips? Candle wax makes 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. As many seasoned campers will attest, taking gaffer tape is one of the top camping tips you’ll hear. It can be used to fix absolutely anything. But go 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. One of our favourite camping storage hacks involves dry bags. Not only can you choose different colours for different items so you’ll never lose anything, 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. They make packing and unpacking quick and easy, and you can even fill them with clothes and use them instead of a pillow if you’re camping light. How’s that for ultimate camping organization hacks?
4. Want some warmth in your tent, but don’t fancy the risk of a naked flame next to your canvas? Try making a terracotta plant pot heater. 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 for bed.
5. Stick reflective tape on anything you think you’ll need to find at night – that toilet roll for instance… or even the zippers on your tent. When you turn on your torch the tape will shine bright.
Best camping hacks for your health and medical needs
6. Staying near water? Invest in some insect protective 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, try wearing a peaked cap underneath to lift the netting away from your nose.
7. Placing a bundle of sage on the embers of your campfire will help to keep the mosquitos away.
8. 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. With the increasing prevalence of Lyme-disease carrying ticks, all outdoor enthusiasts know that it’s more important than ever to check your own, 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. Freeze 2 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 as they do.
11. Cooking over an open fire? Make sure you choose your wood carefully. For 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. 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. 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 for minimal effort.
Easy camping hacks for happy camping with kids
14. 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. If you can’t afford the space to take a hot water bottle to warm the 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 in a fleece if you’re worried about it being too hot.
16. 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. 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 hacks
18. If you’re camping with a group buy a headtorch that has a red light setting so you don’t blind your friends.
19. Invest in solar-powered gadgets – these are now widely available. You can even find multi-devices acting as, for example, an all-in-one radio, torch and phone charger. So, if you’re off grid for a while, you’ll still be able to stay in contact with the outside world…if you want to.
20. Make fire starters from cotton balls with a dab of petroleum jelly on them. They’re light, cheap and take up next to no space in your kit bag.
21. 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.
22. Make sure you pack appropriate clothes for the weather and 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 tricks and tips you may not have thought of before, from camping storage hacks to cool camping hacks for those who like to travel light.
Enjoy your trip!