Ah, the official “camping season” is here.
I say official, because we like to go camping in all kinds of weather, even in the winter. Truly. It’s relaxing, and the idea of getting away from it all is just so appealing, even if there is 2 inches of snow on the ground.
Here are some of my favorite tried and true camping hacks, along with some of the best camping tips ever to help you get the most fun from your time in the “wild”.
Save your old coffee canisters throughout the year. They will come in handy when camping because they are non breakable, and easy to clean with a tight fitting lid. Coffee canisters can store all kinds of things for you while camping, such as:
- toilet paper (there’s nothing worse than finding out your roll got wet!)
- holding condiment packages from restaurants you collected
- Storing any needed salves, essential oils or salves
- keeping both cloth and paper napkins clean and dry until use
- storing waterproofed matches and dryer lint (for fire starting)
- holding toothbrushes and toothpaste
What about food? You will need to eat while camping, and unless you plan on foraging for/fishing/gathering all your food while you are camping, you have to bring some along with you.
Here are some of my favorite camping food hacks.
- Crack your eggs into a canning jar with a tight light and serve scrambled eggs for breakfast and avoid messy breakage.
- Repurposed tic-tac containers make great spice holders…just clean out and dry and fill with salt, pepper, and other spices you will need!
- Pre-cut as many veggies and fruits as you can to make meal time easier
- Pre-made mixes for pancakes make breakfast a snap
- Bring a hanging organizer to keep all your essentials such as cooking utensils, pots and pans, napkins and tablewear handy and out of the way.
- keep food cold by filling containers with your drinking water and freezing before hand.
- Lemon filled with cloves will help to keep the flies away from your food.
- A plastic dishpan makes meal clean up a breeze. Just fill with soapy water and wash as you go.
- Think outside the hot dog-plan simple meals that include lots of fresh veggies and raw fruits to make meal time easier. Sandwiches, salads, wraps are all great choices that require no cooking.
Of course, you probably won’t want to run around naked while camping, right? RIGHT? So, you’ll need to bring some clothing with you.
- Pack 1/2 of the clothing you think you need-you can always wear a pair of shorts or jeans 2 days in a row while camping.
- To maximize space, especially when tent camping, roll your clothing when packing instead of folding.
- Think outside the suitcase or backpack and bring your clothing in a soft clothing hamper, and use that to bring dirty clothing home.
- Bring extra rope to fashion a clothesline at your camping spot for towels, bathing suits and other items.
- Bring a 5 gallon bucket and clean plunger to do any necessary laundry while camping and lay them out to dry.
What about sleeping arrangements while camping?
You will most likely want to sleep at some point. When we go camping, I like to spend nearly the first entire day “downloading” and just unwinding. That means lots of naps. Sleeping comfortably while camping can be a struggle, with with these camping hacks, you’ll get those much desired “zzzzzs”.
- 2 or 3 light blankets will keep you warmer than one thick sleeping bag. You can also peel a layer off if you get too warm.
- If you only want to use a sleeping bag, to keep warm and dryer when sleeping, try laying foam floor pieces under your bag.
- To keep flies and mosquitoes away, keep your tent zipped up as much as possible.
- Natural bug spray or bite stick will also help keep the bugs away (get some great recipes here)
- Cots or hammocks can be comfortable to sleep in, but the cold can blow underneath you. They are best in summer camping. (We LOVE these heavy duty cots from my affiliate partner, too!)
And, for those other items you bring while camping…
- Use a clothespin to keep your toothbrush from coming in contact with the ground.
- A bin of stacking boxes is a great way to keep your personal items organized, such as underwear, shampoo, brushes and extra towels.
- Add a hatchet or saw to your gear in case you need to cut firewood into smaller pieces.
- Make sure you have your first aid kit with you in case of emergencies
- From Teri at HomesteadHoney “Keep a Rubbermaid container packed with camping essentials, including designated plates, bowls, cups, and utensils, so packing is a breeze.”
- From Colleen at Grow Forage Cook Ferment “we would always raid empty (unoccupied) campsites for firewood, especially at popular campgrounds or after busy weekends.”
- Check out this great check list at Idelwild Alaksa for more great tips on packing
- Happy Mothering has essential oils you should consider bringing along