Make your whole camping trip a breeze with these nifty camping hacks. Whether you’re going for an active family holiday, a couple’s getaway, or a staycation with your mates, there are so many useful things you can do to ensure you all have an enjoyable and stress-free experience, even before you get to the campsite. Make sure you have all your essentials.
Camping checklist before you go
When thinking about a camp trip, make sure you’ve done your homework. If you’re taking the kids along, is the campsite family-friendly? If you’re not a fan of dogs, pick a site that doesn’t allow them. If the whole point of camping for you is to gather around a campfire toasting marshmallows, make sure the sites you’re looking at allow them! And, of course, having a checklist will help your party have a better time because you won’t have forgotten anything! Let’s help start your checklist:
First aid kit
Antibacterial wipes, washing up liquid, and sponges
Deodorant, wet wipes, toilet roll, face masks, toothpaste, toothbrush, and hairbrush
Non-perishable food, water carrier, camping stove, lighter, cutlery, tin opener, napkins, pans, and plates
Bin bags, big recycle bags, ziplock bags, clips, and pegs
Maps, trails and research of the area to know where charging points are, where nearby fuel stations are and resting spots
Packing the car
Your camping hacks start even when you’re packing the car. Make sure to pack the things you need immediate easy access to last, like your tent, pegs, mallets etc. This is especially handy if you need to set up camp in the rain. If you need things to stay upright, you can use bungee cords to tie down bags or to hang bags and items up for the journey.
Pitching and setting up camp
It pays to learn how to pitch and set up a tent before you go. This will be especially helpful in case the weather isn’t on your side. The last thing you need is to be frantically attempting to pitch a tent up whilst drenched faces look solemn and frustrated, waiting for you. So, consider practising in your garden or somewhere outdoors ahead of your trip.
A good recommendation for pitching is to pick a spot that is flat. This not only helps for a better and more comfortable base, but if there’s a forecast for wet weather, it helps prevent any streams coming down to your tent. Also, if you have the space and can choose where to pitch, think about noise and what you want to be close to. If you’re joining a campsite and have noticed a loud group, you may want to pitch on the opposite side. Look out for roads too, as you may not want to be pitched near noisy traffic.
Make sure to zip-close all the openings of your tent before you put your tent up, and unzip them before putting your tent away.
A good idea is to use glow sticks to light up your guy ropes. Simply loop some glow sticks around each rope to give your camp some illumination, making it easier to find during the darker hours.
Another ingenious hack is to use foam tiles for the tent floor. This not only provides a more comfortable floor, but it gives more insulation for those colder nights. And, if you have a dog, these foam tiles will help their paws and claws from wearing out the tent floor.
You can also put keyrings on zips to make it ten times easier to open or close things, which is especially useful when the weather is cold and wet, and you’re wearing gloves. Put them on tent doors, rucksacks, raincoats and any bags for easier access.
Bungee cords can also be used to tie down tents and tarp to keep them secure and stable.
Always have back-up tinder to keep your fires going. A good technique is to not use whole sticks or twigs for kindling when starting a fire. What you should do is instead, split, snap, and break sticks and twigs into smaller pieces, so that you can expose more of the inner dry wood to create more ignition points so your fire can last longer.
Cooking, food, and waste tips
Make breakfast time much easier by taking prepared mixes with you. Use a clean, empty ketchup bottle for a ready-made pancake mix that you can easily squeeze out onto the pan. You could also take a bottle of scrambled egg mix ready to pour out
Take non-perishable foods to make storage easier (don’t forget a tin opener!, or go for tins with the opening handle on already), you don’t want any weird smells or unnecessary food waste. If you’re taking a camping stove, make sure to plan out your meals to combat food waste, and to use up any fresher food items first
Bring bin bags for an easy waste system, and don’t forget about recycling, some campsites may have recycling bins too. If your campsite has provided bins, you can use bungee cords to secure the bin liners in place
To keep ants from crawling up and onto your food, another camping hack is to place small dishes of water at the bottom of each table leg
Bring a water carrier to fill up and take to your tent, saving the number of trips to the campsite tap
Use grills over a campfire to cook your meals on, using pans and tin foil, depending on the food. Or, you might have a handy camping stove, just make sure you bring extra cans of gas in case it runs out
Have a box full of collected sauce and seasoning sachets? They’re perfect for camping! They won’t take up too much space and can give your meals that extra taste
Use ziplock bags to store any fresh food and to save space, you can also use them to store cutlery or leftovers
Hang up some kitchen roll using a bungee cord to make it easier to grab a sheet
Night time and sleeping tips
Stuff your sleeping bag sack with soft clothes for a makeshift pillow
Use a mat or foam tiles for a softer floor
A cool camping trick is to take an empty milk container to put a torch in that fits just snugly at the top. Get a torch with a looped handle that you can tie to the tent’s ceiling, and let it dangle above to light up the tent
Don’t forget torches for those night loo visits
You could also take battery or solar-powered fairy lights, and secure them to the tent using plant clips
Take additional blankets and cushions for extra comfort and warmth. Even if you camp in peak summer, those nights can get chilly, especially in the UK
Use a battery power bank to charge up your gadgets overnight
Laundry and drying clothes
Use antibacterial wipes to clean down dirty boots or mud stains on clothes
If your campsite has all the amenities, rinse down your boots with hoses or taps
Take wet shoes off straight away when you get back to the tent, and take out the insoles of the shoes as soon as possible. Stuff a dry tee or newspaper inside them overnight to dry them quicker
Use a bungee cord as a makeshift washing line to dry out your wet clothes
And finally, bring some duct tape! This is brilliant for quick fixes. You can use it to patch any holes in a tent or awning, and fix your rucksack. Duct tape can also work for blister care, insect trapping, repairing glasses, securing table cloth, and fixing leaky water bottles.
You can go for black or colour with your bungee cords. Contact The Bungee Store right here for more info and to order your camping hack tool!