Truth be told, when it comes to camping, I was not the fondest of the activity. However, growing up with an Indiana Jones wannabe, aka my dad, camping was something I learned to master the hard way. After so many bug bites, endless nights, and other camping disasters, I figured these life hacks are a must-know if you want to survive your next camping trip.
1. Keep Your Sleeping Bag Warm with a Water Bottle
Even if you’re in the middle of the desert, get ready for those nights to get quite cold. Unless you enjoy sleeping with a puffy jacket, your thermal underwear, and gloves, you’re going to need more than a blanket and your sleeping bag to stay warm at night.
To help you stay warm, fill up your water bottle with hot water, and throw it at the bottom of your sleeping bag right before bedtime.
2. Keep Everything Dry with a Garbage Bag
No matter how careful you are, everything in your backpack is vulnerable to the effects of water. Everything on your camping table is at the mercy of the climate. And most of the things inside your tent are still in danger of getting wet.
Prevent water from getting in touch with your valuables by lining everything you possibly can with a heavy-duty garbage bag.
3. Speed Up a Fire
Even the most experienced campers need help starting up a fire sometimes. Try using hand sanitizer to start a fire quickly. If you’re one hundred percent sure you’ll need help with your fire, pack some trick birthday candles to help spark the fire faster. Of course, if everything else fails, you can always light up your Dorito’s or potato chips, which have a high oil content to help speed up your fire.
4. Keep Your Food Fresh with Frozen Water
Unless you’re camping in the snow, your food needs to stay fresh and cold. Otherwise, you’ll get some not-so-pleasant visits from your wildfire friends. To make sure your food stays fresh and cold, add a frozen gallon of water to your cooler.
5. Turn Your Water Bottle into a Light
No matter how many flashlights you have, you won’t get that clarity you wish you had in the middle of nowhere. Quickly turn your water bottles into a lamp. Strap your camping headlight to a filled water gallon or water bottle and watch with amazement at the new soothing lighting you created. Water bottle lamps are perfect for keeping children’s tents lit up.
6. Keep Ticks Away with Tea Tree Oil
The last thing you want to encounter during your camping trip is ticks. Make sure you’re taking the right measures to keep them away. Mix around 40 drops of tea tree oil with about 16 ounces of water and spray it all over.
7. Dry Your Wet Shoes with Dirty Clothes
Any camping trip worth taking will end with wet shoes. There’s no need to cry about it. Take the insoles of the shoes out and stuff them with your dirty clothes. Leave them overnight and get ready for another camping day with your dry shoes by morning.
8. Mark Your Path with Charcoal
Unless you’re planning on staying inside your tent for your entire camping trip odds are, you’ll wander around. With no GPS and perhaps no knowledge on how to use a compass, it’s easy to get lost. If you’re planning on taking a hike, bring some charcoal with you to mark your path.
Look for noticeable spots or trees that have some significant differences and mark an arrow to show where you came from. When it’s time to go back to your camping site, it will be a piece of cake.
9. Improve Your Pillow with Dirty Clothes
A true camper never brings a real pillow to a camping site. That doesn’t mean you have to suffer from just your sleeping bag pillow or that your mattress should do the trick. Upgrade your camping pillow by stuffing your sleeping bag with your dirty clothes.
10. Save Duct Tape in Water Bottles & Flashlights
Almost everything that can go wrong on a camping trip can be fixed with duct tape. Unfortunately, when you need it the most, duct tape seems always to be missing. Make sure you have some duct tape handy by taping some pieces of tape over your flashlights and water bottles.
11. Bring Your Yoga Mat for Comfort
Most likely, you’ve never heard someone mention how comfortable the terrain is on a camping trip. If they do, trust me, they’re lying. Getting a good night’s sleep is critical for survival while camping; otherwise, your mind won’t be quite as sharp as it needs to be.
Bring your yoga mat and place it under your sleeping bag for added cushion and comfort. Not to mention, your yoga mat will create a small barrier between you and all the critters walking by.
Next time you plan a camping trip with your family or friends, make sure to keep these life hacks in mind to have a smoother and more enjoyable experience.