It’s finally time for the summer vacation and this year it’s going to be some camping. Sounds great, right? Sure, but as you probably know, camping doesn’t always mean relaxation. Between the hygiene conditions in the showers, the torment of having to make a fire for cooking and mosquito bites, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. There are, however, a few simple household items that can help to reduce the stress when you’re braving the wilderness. Try out these camping hacks and make sure your next camping trip is as relaxing as a beach vacation…
1. Drinking straws
Packing a full tube of toothpaste or a full bottle of dishwashing detergent for a one-week camping trip can be a big waste of space, especially if you want to fit everything into a backpack. Instead, use plastic drinking straws to carry those gels and liquids in a more compact form. Simply fill the right amount, cut the straw and burn the ends to seal it. Now you won’t be weighed down during the hike to the camping site and you might just have room for an extra pair of clean socks!
2. Toilet paper tubes
A simple, affordable and efficient tip to light a fire: take laundry lint and put it into toilet paper tubes. These make great kindling and help to get that fire going so you don’t have to wait hours for dinner after a long day in the woods.
3. Potato chips
They make a great snack, but did you know that potato chips also make great kindling? That’s right! Make sure to have some of these crispy treats with you to help get a fire going when you need it.
4. Egg carton
If you’re planning on taking some charcoal to have a barbecue on your camping trip, you’ll need to bring some fire-starters too. An egg carton is perfect for this. Simply fill the egg carton with bits of charcoal and light it up when you’re ready to grill. Cooking over an open fire is nice, but charcoal is much more reliable when you want to do some serious barbecuing.
5. Cotton pads
Another great way to get a fire started is with cotton pads soaked in wax. They take a little effort to make, but they’ll be sure to get those flames going when you need to warm up or cook your dinner.
Campsite washrooms aren’t exactly famous for their cleanliness. But a hot shower can be just the right thing after a long day of hiking. So if you really want to use the showers at a campsite, bring an extra towel that you can use as a floor mat in the shower stall. This will prevent your feet from coming in contact with all the germs, bacteria and fungus that are lurking there.
Mosquitos are your worst enemy during summer vacation, especially when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. Considering that repellent sprays are often full of harmful chemicals, it’s best to just drive the little critters away. Throwing some dry sage on your fire will create a smoke that mosquitos hate and hopefully keep them away from your campsite.
If despite all your efforts, you do end up with some nasty mosquito bites, there’s a great trick for soothing that awful itch: deodorant! Whether spray or stick, simply apply it to the bite and enjoy the relief.
9. Plastic bottle
Tired of reading by the little circle of light provided by your flashlight? Here’s the solution! Take an empty plastic bottle, remove the label and put your smartphone on flashlight mode. Lay it down and put the bottle on top to create a makeshift lantern. Talk about mood lighting!
10. Coffee filters
After a night sleeping on a cot or an air mattress, a cup of coffee can be just what the doctor ordered. But brewing up a pot of coffee over a fire is a lot of work. Instead, use coffee filters to make single cup portions that you can brew just like a cup of tea. Simply pour one heaping tablespoon of coffee into a filter and tie it off with dental floss. When you’re in need of a cup, boil up some water, dunk the coffee filter in and wait a few minutes for your coffee to brew.
Until now, these secrets were only known by a select few. But now that you’re in on them, you can enjoy your next camping trip that much more. So what are you waiting for… the great outdoors is calling!