I loved camping when I was a kid. Sleeping in a tent, cooking over an open fire, living outdoors for a few days … it was the best! But now that I’m a parent, and older and smarter with a good mattress at home, camping is not something I find appealing in any way. It’s dirty. And it’s cold and/or hot without any sort of way to regulate the temperature. It seems so hard as an adult, LOL. However, after seeing some of these camping hacks, it definitely seems … doable. Not exactly enjoyable, but like I would survive a few days in the woods for the sake of my kids having a good time. That’s parenting in a nutshell, right? Finding ways to survive something that makes our kids happy? Definitely putting camping in the “maybe” column.
1. Camping hacks are meant to simplify your trip in little ways. Food and cooking is always a challenge, but this spice trick is brilliant.
Rather than packing bottles or bags of all the spices you’ll need, portion them off in a pill box! Easy to close, easy to keep clean, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. You can also use empty Tic-Tac boxes.
2. Get a big sleeping bag.
If you’re camping with your kids, invest in a 2- or 3-person sleeping bag for them to share. It cuts down on stuff you have to bring, saves a bit of room in the tent, and your little ones will stay warmer sharing each other’s body heat at night.
3. You’re gonna need coffee. LOTS of coffee. Pack some individual servings of instant.
Sure, you could pack grounds and filters and a kettle and all that jazz. Or, you could live on those single-use packets of instant coffee during your trip. It’s all about simplifying.
4. Line the floor of your tent with foam floor tiles for added comfort.
Sure, it’s not exactly a Tempur-Pedic mattress. But you’ll be grateful for the extra inch or so of foam between your ass and the ground. Plus the tiles are easy to assemble and don’t take up much room when they’re stacked. You can find them on Amazon.
5. Get creative over the campfire so you can eat like a damn queen.
Foil packs will save you so much time and clean-up! And the best part is, you can make pretty much ANYTHING in them. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, even dessert. Check out all these amazing recipes and then buy a Costco-size roll of foil.
6. Ground too wet to build a fire? Use a Swedish candle instead.
A Swedish candle is a fire built into a tree stump, so you can have fire for warmth or cooking even if the ground is too wet or you don’t want a big fire pit where the kids will be playing. Find out how to make one here.
7. Does a bear shit in the woods? Well, yes. But you don’t have to with one of these.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Hmmm, I really want to make my own portable toilet!”, then camping is right up your alley. This handy little crapper will save many a tushie.
8. Pack some homemade fire-starters to make getting your campfire going a lot easier.
Just stuff an empty toilet paper roll with lint from your dryer! After you stack your logs, place one of your starters near the stack and light it up.
9. If you forget the dish soap, or want to travel light, use lemons to clean your camp dishes.
Use the juice for cooking, then use the halved lemon to scrub the nasty bits of meals off your dishes.
10. Camping hacks aren’t just for making your trip easier. They can also make it more enjoyable for mom and dad.
Two words: boxed vodka. Or boxed wine. Or adult juice boxes. Easy to pack, easy to use, easy to recycle!
11. S’mores are a necessary part of camping, yes? But who needs all those individual roasting sticks when you can just bring a clean rake.
That’s just brilliant. A place to roast the marshmallows, hold the crackers, and melt the chocolate a bit.
12. Make your own lantern!
Personally, I would save my phone battery for when I had to call for help when I spotted a bear. But you can also use a headlamp! Just strap it to an empty milk jug full of water for some lovely ambient light.
13. Make your own TP holder (for your portable potty, obviously).
Is there anything worse than dropping an entire roll of TP and watching it roll away, collecting sticks and dirt and bugs? Make a little holder for it, so the roll stays clean and certain children don’t use it all in one trip.
14. Keep those little hands clean with a DIY hand-washing station.
This made camping sooooo much cleaner for my kids. We made a camping hand washing station to have at the table. So…
Honestly, I would keep one of these in my backyard. Find out how to make your own DIY washing station here.
Camping hacks won’t make camping seamless. But, they will make it more enjoyable for everyone! Maybe now I’ll work up the nerve to take my own kids. Somewhere near a hotel, just in case.