If you’re heading out for an exciting adventure campout or just want to get back to nature, these essential camping hacks will keep you safe and comfortable every time.
Food and drink
1. Take Extra Fuel
No matter how you plan to cook tasty camping meals (gas or fire), always bring extra fuel! You’ll be surprised how much you’ll get through if you’re not used to outdoor cooking, and not every campsite will have a store!
2. Don’t forget utensils!
Something will inevitably be forgotten when heading out on a camping adventure, but don’t let it be your cooking utensils! At a minimum, check that you have knives, forks, and spoons for every camper, plus a wooden spoon, spatula, serving spoon, scissors, and tongs. You’ll also want a bottle/can opener.
3. Consider your storage
While leftovers might not be on the top of your mind when you’re packing for a camping adventure, not bringing any way to store food will be a guaranteed nightmare! Grab a pack of reusable food bags, aluminum foil, and some food storage boxes so you can be prepared and don’t attract bears or other wildlife.
4. Get a quality cool box and use it wisely
A high-quality cool box won’t just keep your food (or beers) chilled for a few hours; it can actually keep your produce in tip-top condition for days, even without power! An excellent hack for using your cool box wisely is to freeze meat and other items before packing the box. This will keep your other produce cool and an excellent space saver compared to ice packs!
5. Remember firestarters
There’s little more frustrating than building a glorious campfire only to realize you have nothing to light it with! Long matches should always be included with your camping essentials, along with a couple of lighters and some firestarters to get that blaze going.
6. Plan your meals and prep at home
Don’t leave your meals to the last minute, be sure to have a detailed meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day that you’ll be away from home. And don’t forget to include plenty of snacks and tasty treats for some extra fuel – you’ll need it after pitching the tent and playing all the campsite games!
7. Underestimate available water
It’s always best to assume getting fresh drinking water will be difficult or even impossible at your chosen campsite. Bring considerably more water storage than you think you’ll need, and check out portable options with a comfortable handle for refills.
8. Aim for one-pot cooking
When camping, minimizing weight is vital. Reducing the number of cookpots you need to enjoy tasty and nutritious meals will make your life much easier. We highly recommend a Dutch oven (like the one from Uno Casa), as there’s virtually nothing you can’t cook in this pot!
9. Get a decent sleeping bag
Your sleeping bag is not the place to scrimp when it comes to camping. Spend the extra and get an insulated option that’s super comfy and warm.
10. Bring extra blankets
Even if you’re camping at the height of summer, evenings can still get pretty cold in the great outdoors. In addition to your high-quality sleeping bag, pack plenty of blankets to keep you warm both at night and to wrap up while you’re sitting around the campfire trading stories.
11. Don’t sleep on the floor
A common mistake campers make is to think they’ll be fine sleeping on the floor… Not only is this awful for your back, but a lot of cold seeps through the ground, so this is a guaranteed way to wake up cranky and cold. At a minimum, get a 5cm+ insulated foam padding to protect you from the harsh ground.
Bring a variety of lighting options for different needs… Fairylights make a lovely ambient solution for evening lighting. A quality lantern is better for illuminating the tent and campsite than flashlights, while flashlights are essential for night-time trips to the washroom!
Of course, you’ll also have your cellphone, but relying solely on your cell for light is definitely a mistake!
Pitching the tent
13. Practice pitching and taking down the tent in your backyard
No matter how easy your tent claims to be, nothing is straightforward on the first attempt, so practicing pitching and taking down the tend at home is a great idea to ensure you can get your shelter up quickly when you arrive at the campsite.
14. Keep the kids entertained
Young children simply won’t understand that you’re busy setting up the tent or doing other essential camping jobs. Keep them entertained by giving them easy jobs to do… Like blowing up the airbeds, organizing the kitchenware, or collecting firewood. This keeps them out of your hair and means you’re a couple of steps ahead for a comfortable camping setup.
Leave no trace
These days, we all know we should be following Leave No Trace practices. Consider things like trash and recycling… Remember the saying: “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories.”
With these top tips, you’re sure to have an awesome camping experience.