We’ve talked about a lot of hacks for packing and traveling, but those who enjoy camping can get truly creative when it comes to preparing for a trip. There are so many things that go into the planning, including where you’ll set up camp, what you’ll bring to sleep in and what meals you can bring to easily cook.
Setting Up Camp Essentials
Once you’ve chosen a campsite, which may or may not have a bathhouse nearby or power hookups, it’s time to set up your tent. Make sure you’ve brought everything you need, including your sleeping bag and chairs to sit around the fire with.
Speaking of fire, dipping cotton swabs in wax or corks in rubbing alcohol make for easy and transportable starters. And when it’s time to start cooking, keep your charcoal in an old egg carton to keep it safe and dry.
Put all essential items in something like a plastic over-the-door shoe rack hung from a tree or the side of your tent. This can be where you store things that you will always be looking for, like flashlights, sunscreen and bug spray. You can even set them in the rack before you go and roll it up like a towel and tie it with string, keeping everything together.
The most important item of all, toilet paper, can be kept in an old plastic coffee container to keep it dry. Cut a small slit down the side so you can pull out pieces without opening the entire container.
Hacks for a Camp Kitchen
Keeping your food away from critters is one of the challenges of camping, as is creating meals with what you were able to carry. You can use all sorts of things to store essential spices and seasonings, like straws that you’ve melted the ends of, TicTac boxes and pill containers. See our container packing hacks post for more ideas.
It’s also a good idea to plan what you’re going to cook in advance so you can mix all the ingredients at home and be ready to cook when you get there:
- Pre-marinate your meat in plastic bags.
- Pre-make breakfast burritos wrapped in aluminum foil.
- Mix pancakes in a squeeze bottle in your cooler so that when you wake up, all you have to do is dab them out on a pan.
- Make your own coffee bags by placing grounds in a coffee filter and tying it off with floss. Use it like you would a tea bag.
Freeze water jugs before you go and throw it in your cooler, which will keep the items inside cool while traveling and will melt into clean water when you arrive.
Another handy trick is to organize your pots and pans by using the trees around you. Take a standard belt and loop it around a nearby tree. Then take standard “S hooks” to hold up your pots and pans. This is also a good way to air dry them before using them again. And you can use this method to hang up other items, like jackets and shoes, in addition to kitchen supplies. Carabiners should work in place of hooks if you can’t find them.
We’ve already talked about toothpaste hacks, which can save room when it comes time to go on your trip. When you need to wash some clothes, bring a big zippered plastic bag, add water and soap. You can also use a bucket with a lid and a new plunger to clean clothes.