3.3k voters

Expert Camping Hacks for Your Next Camping Trip

Updated October 4, 2021 12.1k votes 3.3k voters 1.5m views21 items

Ahhh... the great outdoors! Warmer temperatures mean it's time to pack up the four wheel drive with your camping gear. But having the right gear isn't all you need! It's these camping hacks that will make your camping trip the best ever. Read on to find out the secrets of the top campers. 

Whether you're an ace camper (maybe you were a Girl Scout or Boy Scout) or a novice nature lover, you can still pick up some camping tips. Camping can be an amazing way to not only bond with nature, but with your family and friends too. Knowing what you're doing, or at least knowing a few tricks, will ensure your experience will be amazing. 

Making space for everything is a definite necessity. That means 2-for-1's, as in a lighter that also serves as a duct-tape holder, and a water jug that can also serve as a reading lamp. And camping doesn't have to be all about getting dirty. If "glamping" is more your style, check out our ways to stay clean while roughing it: single-use soap leaves and a portable hand-washing station. You don't even have to share a toilet with a bear! You can take (or make) your own! 

Make sure you and your friends or family are ready to hit the great outdoors and have the absolute best camping experience you’ve ever had with these camping tips. Vote up the ones that will keep you well-lit, well-fed, and well... having the time of your life.

  • 1

    One of the hardest parts of camping is sleeping on the hard floor. You could take a blow-up mattress or you could just bring along some foam floor tiles. 

  • 2

    Want to catch up on some reading? Make a DIY reading lamp out of a gallon jug filled with water. All you need to do is point a headlamp towards the water. 

  • 3

    Not sure if this still qualifies as camping (it's more like "glamping"), but you can build your own portable camping organizer with sink. Check out directions here! 

  • 4

    Camping is all about getting a little bit dirty. But it's still nice to be able to wash your hands (after fishing, before dinner, after answering "the call of nature" in nature). Use an old detergent bottle as a portable hand-washing station. 

  • 5

    Ice takes up so much space. And you know you're going to need water. So why not freeze the water and use it as ice to keep everything cool? It's a great way to save space. 

  • 6
    You can make so many amazing meals by just throwing everything into a tin foil wrapper and throwing it on the campfire. Instructions and ideas here
  • 7
    If you're doing ANYTHING in the water, throw a cork onto your keychain to avoid the need to search the bottom of the lake for your keys.
  • 8

    You don't have to worry about transporting eggs to the campsite. Chances are they'll be all scrambled by the time you get to your destination anyway. Just pre-crack 'em and put them in a container. All you have to do is pour out the eggs for scrambled eggs in the morning. 

  • 9

    The active ingredient in Orajel is benzocaine, a local anesthetic that numbs whatever it's applied to. In a pinch, it can be used to stop the itch and annoyance of a mosquito bite. 

  • 10

    This is so easy to make (and clean up) because the banana is basically your plate! Campers can pick any topping they want. 

  • 11

    Go on a scavenger hunt! Put together a list with pictures even little kids can understand. It will be an exciting activity everyone will enjoy!

  • 12
    You can use an empty coffee container as a toilet paper holder and dispenser. Super easy instructions here
  • 13
    Any good camper can toast a marshmallow (well, actually, that does take a certain skill) but have you tried Starburst candy? Apples? Asparagus? Reese's Cups? There are so many things you can roast. Check out more ideas here and here
  • 14

    You can purchase solar-powered lights stakes at any sports or garden store. These are a great way to ensure you won't trip over tent stakes in the middle of the night. 

  • 15

    Chances are you're probably definitely going to need a lighter on your trip. Chances are you might not need duct tape, but like a good girl scout or boy scout, it's best to be prepared. Wrap a few feet of duct tape around your lighter, just in case. 

  • 16
    Every experienced camper knows there are numerous ways to start a fire. Brush up on your fire-starting skills here
  • 17

    You can either pick one of these up at your local camping store or make your own with a 5 gallon bucket, toilet seat, a plastic garbage bag, and some kitty litter. You'll always be prepared when nature calls!

  • 18
    Camping pancakes are super easy to make. They just require a little prep. You can either fill plastic bags with pancake batter so they're ready to pour, or just mix everything in a plastic container. Then just heat up a pan over the fire! Check out instructions here.  
  • 19
    Designers Jeong Han Kim, Sungha Lim, and Hyumook Lim created this amazing Doughnut Tent that comes in a bunch of different shapes.  
  • 20

    Make single use soap leaves with just a bar of soap and a vegetable peeler. Now you don't have to worry about dropping a bar of soap in the dirt. 

  • 21
    You can still have pizza on your camping trip! Check out the directions for how to do this in 5 easy steps here