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Camping in the vast open outdoors is one of the most liberating experiences. A good camping outing will test all your senses and immerse you in a world free of the modern stresses of life. It tests your endurance, survival skills, adaptability and your mental toughness.

Camping requires adequate preparation, like getting yourself a waterproof tent or a waterproof hiking backpack, but there are events for which you can never be adequately prepared. You will need to constantly improvise and learn a few hacks that you can apply along the way to make your experience as smooth as possible.

Here are a few camping hacks that will save you both time and frustrations:

#1 Using sage to repel mosquitoes

When you go out camping, you can either buy a camping screen house and some insect repellents to ward off the mosquitoes or you can improvise and repel mosquitoes the “natural” way using a herbal solution such as sage. When placed on fire, it emits a mild smell that is not too irritating but is very effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Sage Anti Mosquitoes Camping Hack

#2 Preparing popcorn

You don’t always have to purchase a portable popcorn popper for your camping trips. There are various ways in which you can improvise and make delicious popcorn over campfire. For example, you can wrap the popcorns together with some oil in an aluminium foil, attach it to a stick and place it over the campfire.

#3 Store pre-scrambled liquid eggs in a bottle

Eggs are likely to break during transportation and create a big mess around. Additionally, breaking the egg shell by a camping fire can be a fairly messy process. You can simplify matters by scrambling the eggs at home, storing in a bottle and chilling it ready for your camping trip. It is both neat and convenient.

Camping trick eggs in bottle

Bottle image by Rachel

#4 Keeping your shoes dry

Good camping boots or trail shoes should keep your feet cosy and dry. However, that is not always guaranteed. If your shoes have gotten annoyingly wet, you can rid yourself of the moisture by removing the insoles and stuffing your shoes with newspapers, toilet paper or some dry dirty shirt overnight. That should be sufficient to get rid of most of the moisture in the shoes.

#5 The Headlamp Jug Lantern hack

Need massive lighting during your camping when you only have a tiny flashlight? Clean out a translucent laundry jug or a jug of milk, fill it with clean water and shine the tiny headlamp or flashlight inside the jug. Doing this will create a larger and brighter glow that will comfortably meet your camping lighting needs.

#6 Keeping Warm at Night

In a favourable climate, a sleeping bag should be sufficient at night. However, if you will be camping out in cooler or colder climate, you can snuggle to a big bottle containing hot water to give you some warmth. Alternatively, you can put some dry clothes at the bottom of your sleeping bag to absorb the extra moisture and cold and help in keeping your feet warm.

Also check out these cool Camping Games for Adults

#7 Emergency Bucket Toilets

A lot of camping areas generally have toilet facilities. Where there are no facilities, you can improvise a DIY toilet using a small bucket, a cheap toilet seat, heavy duty rugged garbage bags and kitty litter or sawdust. Don’t forget to carry a roll of toilet papers when you go out camping.

DIY Camping toilet

Image by SuSanA Secretariat (CC-BY 2.0)

#8 DIY Fire Starters

You can make your own fire starters using laundry lint, toilet paper tubes and sheets of newspapers. Just stuff the toilet paper tubes with lint, wrap newspaper around it and tuck in the ends. It works best with lint from clothes made of cotton. Another idea is to put the lint into a cardboard egg container and mix it with some wax. This will get your fire started very quickly.

#9 What to do when you drop your prized phone in water

There are lots of streams and rivers on many camping grounds and there is a high likelihood that your prized phone or tablet could drop in the water and cut you from the rest of the world. If that happens, put the phone inside a bag of rice for a day or two. If you are lucky, your phone could still be saved to serve you for the rest of your camping trip. To avoid a situation like this better get a waterproof phone or at least a waterproof phone case.

Phone dropped in Water Camping Hack

Image by Steven Depolo (CC-BY 2.0)

#10 Getting rid of ticks

None of us imagine being infested with ticks but it often happens when you go camping. There is a trick that helps you remove ticks painlessly and without special tools. All you need is a stick and some thread. Watch the video below:

#11 Familiarize yourself with the poisonous plants in your location

Research and determine the various poisonous plants that grow in your camping location. Common toxic plants include poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac.

Poison oak

Poison Oak, Image by Alan Schmierer (CC-BY 2.0)

#12 Packing up your first aid kits

Need a simple and neat way to pack up on your first aid kit? You can simple upcycle some of your prescription pill bottles, using them to store a variety of first aid kits such as cotton balls, your antibiotic ointments, Band-Aids and alcohol pads. An Altoids tin will also do the job.

#13 Make pancakes the easy way

Use shortening and dry milk with pre-made pancakes to make your pancakes as this does not need to be refrigerated. You can also purchase powdered eggs that do not need to be refrigerated and are perfect for your camping needs. Just mix everything up in a big bottle. You can find lots of recipes online.

#14 Create a DIY handwashing station

Easily create a DIY hand washing station by using an empty laundry detergent dispenser. Carry with you some rolls of paper towels to dry your hands after washing.

#15 Making campfire waffle cones

Waffle cones are always a delicious win for any camping outing and you can easily make your campfire treats with this simple hack: simply fill up the cones with various ingredients such as marshmallows, fruits like bananas and strawberries and chocolate chips. Wrap these in a tin foil and roast them over your campfire.

Find some inspiration for your Camping Packing List:

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Liked these camping hacks? Share them with your friends! Comment below and let us know your favorite camping tricks and hacks.