Get Yourself Off The Grid With These 22 Clever Camping Hacks

Make your next trip to the great outdoors relaxing and fun with our tried and true personal camping hacks. Get yourself off the grid!

I love camping! Make your next trip to the great outdoors relaxing and fun with my tried and true personal camping hacks. 

  1.  I know that it seems to go without saying, but a tarp under a tent is a necessity. The tarp provides a barrier between the tent and the ground, which can prevent dew moisture from entering the tent. Make sure you roll up all edges of the tarp and tuck them under the tent in the event of rain. If you leave the tarp completely flat and it rains, the puddles on the tarp can seep into the tent.
  1. Always put up the rainfly regardless of how clear the days and nights appear to be. 
  1. Freeze more than half of your non-carbonated beverages or water to use as both ice and as they melt, you will have cold water. Freezing whole gallons of water makes for wonderful ice blocks. 
  1. Carry old phone books to use as fire starters. Pull out 6 pages at a time and keep them attached at the glue and bunch them up separately into a flower. Light one or more pages and put the dry kindling on top, slowly building the fire. 
  1. Dollar store roasting pans and cooling racks can be used as a makeshift BBQ pit. Just dig a hole in the ground approximately the same size as the roasting pan, put the roasting pan in the ground and use a small bag of instant lighting charcoal (with lighter fluid already in it). You can just light the bag. Once the coals are evenly burned and have a white ash (but are still red) you can put the rack on and grill your food. 
  1. You can also use heavy-duty aluminum foil and make pouches instead of using a grill rack. Be sure to cut your ingredients in a uniform manner for even cooking. All hot meals can be cooked in foil pouches. 
  1. Instant pancake mix is my all-time favorite camping hack. You can buy it in a box or make it yourself. It’s best to reuse an old plastic canister instead of bringing the box because the box can get squashed or get wet and disintegrate. Combine the mix and water to desired consistency, butter a hot pan or a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and either cook it on the pan or make a pancake pouch. Fresh fruit can be added to the pouch as well as a jam, jelly, honey, or maple syrup. I also use instant pancake mix to dredge my freshly caught fish filets.
  1. Bring instant coffee. Measure coffee, sugar and powdered milk into a glass or plastic jar and just add tablespoons to boiling water. If one cup of coffee is 1 tbsp instant coffee, 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 tbsp dry milk, then use 5 tbsp of the mix. 
  1. Soy sauce packets and any other fast-food condiment packets are a great way to save space. They can all be put into a plastic canister and you can use them as needed. 
  1. A smudge fire is an excellent way to get rid of mosquitoes and no-see-ums. After you have cooked your meal (or if you have the space for multiple fires) put wet or moist leaves or pine needles on top of the fire, almost smothering the fire. A lot of smoke should be produced. Try to build the smudge fire upwind of your camp so the smoke permeates your entire camp and rids you of the biting insects. The fire should be smoldering, not raging, and should produce a lot of smoke. 

Make your next trip to the great outdoors relaxing and fun with our tried and true personal camping hacks. Get yourself off the grid!

 

  1. Make your own fire starters from lint from your dryer, olive oil, remnants of crayons and candles and recycled egg cartons. Stuff the dryer lint in each egg space and then microwave the crayons and candles in a glass container and pour the wax and crayons onto the lint. Add a little olive oil to be sure that the lint has been saturated. Once the wax is cooled, cut the sections apart and keep in a zip-lock freezer bag. They light easily and will burn long enough to get a good fire started. They will do in a pinch for boiling water or cooking in a pouch, but I wouldn’t recommend grilling directly over them. 
  1. Bring extra ziplock bags for any electronics or cameras.
  1. Pack your clothes in individual ziplock freezer bags. Then pack the freezer bags in garbage bags inside your pack to keep your clothes dry. 
  1. Always pack an extra pair of shoes, preferably waterproof boots of some sort.
  1. Always bring extra stakes and ropes. Ropes can be used for so many things.
  1. Bring extra tarps if you can. In the event of a rainstorm, you can tie down an extra tarp over your tent. You can also make a hammock with the extra tarp and ropes.
  1. Bring extra towels in a space saver bag or in a garbage bag so you will always at least have a dry towel if your clothes or anything else gets wet.
  1. Waterproof your seams and zippers long before you take your tent on its first run. 
  1. Baby wipes are another one of my favorite camping hacks. They can be used to clean dirty feet, sticky armpits, and anything else on your body that needs cleaning. 
  1. If you are bringing your phone or any other electronics bring a bag of rice in case they get wet. 
  1. Put a layer of dry ice under your ice in your cooler to keep your ice frozen longer. 
  1. To make a DIY camp light, put a small flashlight or headlamp against a gallon jug of water or two-liter bottle of clear liquid.

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