14 Old but Gold Camping Hacks

A pat on the back for you, for your big decision to brave the great outdoors, when you could have been glued to your couch.

We’re sure you’ve consulted extensive online packing lists and how-to videos, but the most valuable thing you can have is experience. If you’re a camping beginner, knowledge from experienced campers is a close second.

In this article, you will learn about expert-approved camping hacks for beginners. All of them are easy to do, and will make your life much easier while camping.

1. Light Up Your Tent with The Things You Have

If you want to illuminate your tent, just repurpose a translucent-plastic water container. Let the bottle’s base rest on your flashlight’s glass, and watch as your contraption sends light in 360 degrees. That’s the power of a lantern, minus its weight. 

2. Pack Socks, Then Pack More

All campers are familiar with the utter bliss of putting on dry socks. When you’re walking all day, your feet get sweaty and your socks get wet. You will also have to contend with creeks and puddles of water.

The humidity in the wilderness will prevent your socks from drying overnight. Once your socks get wet, it’s nearly impossible to dry them. You will need at least three pairs of socks for a two-day camping trip, but having more is never a bad thing.

If you think this will hog space in your pack, use your socks as an insulation material. You can wrap dry food and metal containers with the sock to stop them from clanking the whole hike.

Remember to always stow away an extra pair of socks in your sleeping bag. So even if a sudden downpour ruins your other socks, you can still sleep with warm feet.

3. Drying Wet Shoes

After wet socks, wet shoes are the biggest annoyance. But, where it is futile to attempt to dry wet socks while camping, there is some hope for drying wet shoes.

a) The Newspaper Method

Newspapers absorb moisture. Before you hunker down for the night, take the insoles out of your shoes and stuff them with newspaper. Though this isn’t a 100% solution, a partially dry shoe is better than a sopping wet one.

b) The Hot Rock Method

Find dry, non-porous rocks and boil them in water. Remove the rocks carefully and put them inside wet socks. Then, put the wet socks inside your wet shoes. Doing this generates steam, which will dry your shoes in time for your next adventure.

4. Buy Headlamps

The benefit of using headlamps cannot be overstated. When you’re navigating through the woods, you need both your hands to be available. Holding your flashlight at an odd angle throughout the walk isn’t pleasant for your hand either.

Invest in a good headlamp that has both red and white lights. The white light illuminates the area, while the red light lets your friends soundly sleep despite the light. It is also better for vision at night.

5. Old Prescription Bottles Are Very Valuable

Do you know those medicine bottles that you can never figure out how to open? They come in very handy when you’re going camping.

These bottles are waterproof and sealed. Because of that, you can use it as a mini first-aid container, or a spice box. The possibilities are endless. Just remember to thoroughly wash it before using.

6. Give Your Children Glow Sticks

Giving your children a GPS-tracked watch is one way to keep track of them. But, a lot of kids don’t like to wear accessories, especially while camping. However, they will definitely hold onto a glow stick.

Have your kids wear glow sticks as a bracelet or a necklace. This way, you can spot them quickly in the dark. This clever camping hack helps ensure your kids’ safety outdoors.

Two for One: Another glow stick camping hack is to drop a glow stick into a bottle of water. This makes an instant lamp.

7. Natural Bug Repellent

Use sage to keep mosquitos away. Drop a bundle of dried sage into your campfire. The smoke will repel mosquitoes and make your campsite smell pleasant.

8. Kindling Can Be Found In Everyday Objects

Stop carrying a bag of straw, or foraging for kindling at your campsite. Your dryer lint is an amazing kindling that you can source from your laundry.

Another unassuming kindling material is corn chips. Yes, you read that right. Just a couple of pieces of chips will do. You can save the rest for a snack.

The last one on this list is tampons. The string acts as a wick, and the cotton tampon is an excellent fire-starter. Since tampons have a removable plastic exterior, you don’t have to worry too much about them getting damp.

9. Foam Floor Tiles Can Increase The Comfort Inside Tents

A smart camping trick is to use foam playmat tiles to line the floor of your tent. This can help you avoid stepping on sharp rocks in the middle of the night.

Since they are lightweight, you won’t feel the weight in your pack.

10. Meal Prep To Save Yourself

Camping meals are usually easy to cook and assemble at the campsite. But, if you portion your meals and prep at home, dinner time becomes so much easier. You just need to heat your pre-portioned food and you’re done.

This may seem like overkill to some people. But, at the end of a long day of hiking, this camping hack is a godsend.

11. Freeze Your Liquids

Instead of carrying liquids in a cooler with ice, freeze them. This will make them stay cooler longer, and you won’t be carrying unnecessary weight.

You can freeze soda, water, and even your dinner. This will ensure it doesn’t get spoiled during the trip. As you hike, the liquids will melt, making the drink perfectly cool. Just be careful when freezing carbonated beverages, as they can expand and explode.

12. Makeshift Pillow Hack

If your goal is to be minimal with your packing, then you will have to be resourceful. The easiest hack of all is making a pillow.

All you need to do is empty your pack and stuff it back with only your clothes. Doing this makes a comfy pillow, and you don’t need to add any more weight to your bag, making it the perfect minimalist camping hack.

If you don’t want to empty your backpack, you can also stuff your sleeping bag shell with clothes. The only difference is that this will make a smaller pillow.

13. RV Camping Hacks

Luxury RV camping has become popular, and we’re all for it. The biggest letdown with RVs is the lack of storage. But, these RV camping hacks will maximize storage potential.

a) Command Hooks

This small piece of plastic is an RV camper’s best friend. You can stick it on any door to increase available storage.

b) Install a Suspension Rod In The Shower

This is a semi-permanent way to nearly double your closet storage. Hang your clothes on hangers from the rod while driving. If you need to use the shower, it is very easy to dismantle.

14. Prepare For Rain

Even if the forecast promises clear skies, take rain gear with you. This includes a raincoat and a waterproof backpack cover. You’ll also want to carry a lot of plastic garbage bags. 

Rain gear is worth the hassle of packing, even if the skies stay as sunny as the forecast predicted. With these simple camping hacks, and travel insurance that can provide coverage for camping your excursion into the wilderness will be easier and more enjoyable.

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