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10 Clever Camping Hacks, Tips and Tricks

Simple ways to make your next trip the best yet.

6 Min. Watch | Camping

Camping is like one of those games that’s easy to learn, but you can spend a lifetime mastering; every camper comes up with a few tricks and hacks to make things a little more streamlined every time they go out. Here are just a few of our favorite tips for easy packing, mastering your camp kitchen and making your campsite comfy.

Packing Hacks

1. Make minis

We're trying to save space when we go camping, so rather than bringing the whole bathroom sink along on your trip, you can make mini versions of some of the things you’ll need!

Try these:

  • Carefully cut toothbrushes in half to save space and weight.
  • Shave a bar of soap into single use pieces, so you don’t have to pack up wet soap.
  • Make dried toothpaste dots! Squeeze dots of toothpaste onto a plate, let them dry, sprinkle them with baking soda, and pack them up – 2 per day, per camper.

2. Bring a pillowcase instead of a pillow

A pillow takes up a lot of room for something that you’re only going to be using when you crawl into your sleeping bag at night. You can save space by just bringing the pillowcase, without the pillow, and stuffing it with extra clothing – like your outfit for the next day.

Camp Kitchen Hacks

3. Keep your matches dry and quick to strike

If you tend to be more of a classical camper and prefer matches over butane lighters, make sure you don’t get left in the cold with a match striking pad that won’t light. Store your matches in a Mason Jar with some sandpaper glued to the underside of the lid, and you’ll always have access to dry matches and an ideal striking pad with just a twist of the wrist.

4. Make a single-serving spice rack

You don’t need to bring your whole pantry to enjoy a well-seasoned meal. Instead, bring a pill organizer and fill each container with just the right amount of your favorite spices. With a little planning ahead, you can have exactly what you need for tasty food, all in just a tiny pinch of space.

5. Turn a bungee cord into a paper towel dispenser

Camping with adventurous kids (or even with other adults!) is a recipe for messes. By hooking the ends of a bungee cord onto a tree branch, car rack, or even a tent pole, you’ll always have paper towels close at hand to help deal with the inevitable camp food incidents, splattered mud, and anything else that comes your way.

6. Turn a mesh laundry bag into an automatic dish dryer

Crumple up a mesh laundry bag and stuff it into your pack (don’t worry: it weighs almost nothing, and takes up almost no space). When you get to your campsite, hang it from a branch, and after your meal, fill it with wet dishes. When it’s time to eat again, you’ll have dry dishes.

Comfy Campsite Hacks

7. Create a lantern with a headlamp

Tired of your tentmates shining flashlights into your eyes while you’re trying to read? Bring an empty half gallon milk jug or clear water bottle and simply strap a headlamp around it, turn it on and you’ll have a soft, white lantern that will have everyone seeing the light.

8. Make a water bottle bag warmer

There is nothing worse than climbing into a cold sleeping bag at the end of day. An old camping trick is to heat some water before bed, pour it into a water bottle, and stick that at the foot of your sleeping bag. The bottle will radiate heat, warming your feet and the rest of your bag. Just be careful not to burn yourself, and make sure the lid is tight and it doesn’t leak.

9. Make zippers zing with candle wax

To make your tent/sleeping bag/jacket zippers buttery smooth, rub a little hard candle wax or chapstick along the teeth. It’s like zipper grease, and it’ll make your zippers open and close more quietly and with even less effort. Plus, it’s just plain cool to grease your zipper.

10. Always have an accessible repair kit

The only certainty in camping is that you can’t be certain of what will happen. Things are bound to bend, snap, break, or loosen and having a good repair kit close at hand is essential. Trying to streamline your packing? Wrap some duct tape around your water bottle to ensure you can fix any issue when in a pinch.

Get ready for your next camping trip with gear designed to make it even easier for you to get outside:

Tents & SheltersSleeping Bags & Pads

BackpacksCamping Furniture

All Camping & Hiking Gear

Get ready for your next camping trip with gear designed to make it even easier for you to get outside:

Tents & Shelters

Sleeping Bags & Pads


Camping Furniture

All Camping & Hiking Gear

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