39 Camping Hacks that Bring Comfort to the Great Outdoors - too cool 2 be true

39 Camping Hacks that Bring Comfort to the Great Outdoors

Spending time in nature by yourself or with friends and family is a great way to unwind and refocus. There’s something magical about hearing the wind rustle through the leaves as you fall asleep, and the birds flying through the air as you wake up. That’s why camping is such a rejuvenating activity – it lets you spend multiple days in nature.

Although the point of camping is to get a bit rustic, it’s also nice to enjoy luxuries from home – a cup of coffee, some morning eggs, and a comfortable spot to sit. That being said, lugging along an entire sofa or coffee machine is off the menu for most. That’s where camping hacks come in. Let’s take a look at 39 of our favorites.

Fix Your Zippers With Wax

Zippers are amazing little inventions – when they work. When they don’t work (which is often far too often), they’re annoying little inventions. There’s nothing worse than getting all cozy in your tent at night only to find the door doesn’t zip shut.

That’s a sure-fire way to end up with flies, mosquitos, and bugs interrupting your sleep. Luckily, there’s a clever hack for fixing stuck zippers: wax. Simply take a bit of candle wax and rub it along the zipper. This should ease up the line, making it easy to shut.

Bring Your Coffee in Filters

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a morning cup of coffee while taking in the bird sounds and critter calls that fill the air on a camping trip. That unique joy requires coffee, which isn’t always easy to bring to the woods.

Instant coffee is OK, but not as delicious as quality grounds. To bring your favorite coffee with you, simply put a scoop or two in a coffee filter, wrap the filter with dental floss, and then steep it in a mug of hot water. Voila – morning caffeine!

A (Swinging) Chair With a View

People love camping because it gives them time to unwind. Rather than sitting on the sofa watching a nature documentary, you can sit outside watching nature! To do that, however, you’ll need a good chair – and what better chair than a hammock chair.

These chairs aren’t for everyone, however. For the casual hiker, it’s a bit too heavy. For those with a truck or camper van, it’s absolutely perfect! Put up your feet, sway back and forth, and enjoy the views.

Scavenger Hunt for Everyone

If you’re camping with young kids, then it’s unlikely that they’re going to be content just sitting around all day. That’s why it’s important to have a few activities up your sleeve – in particular, games and scavenger hunts.

The “Happy Camper Scavenger Hunt” is perfect because it comes ready-made and applies to nearly any wooded environment (unfortunately, you’ll be able to find bottle caps almost everywhere). Not only do you get to have fun, but you get to learn along the way!

Waterproof Your Safety Matches

Camping for pleasure (or survival) requires a bit of fire to do everything from cooking food to staying warm. Although lighters are pretty convenient, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. It’s far too easy to leave a lighter in your pocket as you wade through a river.

Once you go to use it later on, you quickly find out it’s nonfunctional. Woops! That’s when matches in a waterproof container come in handy. Stick them in a backpack and you’re ready for emergencies.

Tic Tac Spices

Camp food is usually simple food – granola bars, bacon, marshmallows, etc. – that doesn’t require a whole lot of preparation. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up a bit!

Bringing bottles of oregano, black pepper, and salt is a bit unrealistic because it takes up so much space. Scooping out some of each into plastic bags is risky because it can spill. However, placing a little of each into separate tic tac boxes is just perfect – it stays easy to label and easy to use.

Shower Cap Sandal Protection

As every camper knows, there’s nothing worse than dirtying up your tent and sleeping bag with muddy shoes after a walk. Leaving them outside is a bit risky (curious animals might snatch them away), but so is bringing them inside and sticking them in the corner.

The solution is to carefully bring them inside. You can easily do this by wrapping a shower cap around your shoes or sandals. Any dirt will get caught and you can empty it outside in the morning.

Transport Charcoal in Egg Cartons

What’s camping without a barbeque? Well, it’s still camping, but it’s not nearly as exciting (and tasty) as firing up the grill and laying down some burgers and corn – especially after a long hike!

However, that camping treat requires coal. Bringing a whole bag of coal is a little too cumbersome. So, to ensure you have enough without crushing any individual pieces, try using an empty egg carton. You can carry up to a dozen pieces without any trouble. Let the grilling begin.

Avoid Getting Lost with Tape

Getting lost in the woods can lead to some serious danger. Alongside animal attacks (bears, mountain lions, wolves, etc.), there’s the risk of dehydration and the terror of not knowing where you are. Luckily, there’s an easy way to avoid that: markers.

Both experienced hikers and total newbies can benefit from leaving a bit of cloth or tape on trees to mark the trail or to show where the toilet is. This can save you a lot of walking around in circles.

A Bottle of Eggs

Camping is meant for hardy things – people who aren’t scared of getting dirty, gear that’s fine with being thrown around, and food that isn’t delicate. Despite eggs being a good source of camping protein, they are, unfortunately, very delicate. The slightest crack ruins them.

One clever way to get around that is to crack them before you camp. Then, place the yoke in a big bottle. Make sure to mark the side of the bottle so you know how many you’re having with morning bacon.

Soap Solutions

Camping is synonymous with balance. Let us further elaborate. While it is true that you need to pack plenty of things to survive in the wilderness, you also need to avoid taking too much with you.

Having too much weight will just drag you down and detract from the fun of the trip. While a bar of soap is hardly a problem on its own, it can be one of many things that add up to a far too bulky pack. To be more economical with your space, shave off only the amount of soap you’ll need for the trip.

The Backpack Protection We All Need

Heading out into the wild can pose unique challenges. That is why it’s imperative to have some protective measures in place. Though you’ve probably packed a first aid kit to look after yourself, your backpack could use some protection too. 

Backpacks are destined to get drenched with sweat and rainwater. To protect all the items you have stored inside, line your backpack with a plastic bag.

Cook with Couscous

To survive nature and the outdoors, one must eat a load of carbs. Bear Grylls has stated it well – water is central to survival, but carbs are a close second.

If you don’t have time to cook rice while camping, couscous is a great replacement. It is quicker and easier to cook and doesn’t need much attention.

Mini First Aid Kid

Camping can be dangerous, even for seasoned veterans. So, it is a must to have a first aid kit handy. While you should always have a full kit back at camp, on hikes, you may be able to get away with a mini kit. 

What better way to repurpose an old medicine bottle than to use it as a portable first aid kid? It might be small, but it can hold more than you might think. This is a simple but clever idea.

Soda Bottle Spoon

No matter how well you prepare, it seems to be a law of camping that you’ll always forget something. If it’s ever a spoon that you forget, we have the perfect hack to solve that problem.

If you have a spare empty soda bottle, you can turn it into a spoon. Just draw a spoon pattern on the plastic bottle, then cut along the lines that you have created. Easy!

Toilet Paper Safety Trick

Since the pandemic started, toilet paper has become a highly sought-after commodity. While we don’t condone panic buying more TP than you need, we do support clever TP camping hacks like the one pictured here. 

This clever trick will safeguard your precious toilet paper. If you have an old coffee container, don’t throw it away. Just mimic the picture above, and you’ll have your own homemade toilet roll dispenser. 

Upcycle Your Old Ketchup Bottles

Here’s a trick that can be used anywhere and everywhere. For those who love camping with their family, there are instances when our young ones crave foods like pancakes. Since you are visiting the great outdoors, though, bringing all the extra kitchen utensils can be troublesome.

Instead, try repurposing an old ketchup bottle. Fill the empty bottle with pancake mixture and pack it in your cooler. It will stay fresh for a couple of days, and when you’re ready to use it, this trick takes all the mess out of preparing pancakes.

Need Fire? Burn Some Doritos!

When this trick was first introduced on television, a lot of viewers were amazed. It seems like it couldn’t possibly be true, but we can confirm that Doritos make excellent firestarters. 

As we all know, fire brings warmth, protection, light, and of course, the ability to cook. So, instead of munching all your Doritos, try to spare some as they can be used as a firestarter.

What a Romantic Idea

Okay, to be clear, this is not a necessity if you are planning to go into the woods. It’s no secret that having candles in certain regions is not a great idea. You run the risk of starting a wildfire if you’re not careful, and no one wants that on their conscience.

If you’re staying in an area that’s not prone to fires, and you have a plan to surprise your better half while camping, this hack may be perfect for you. All you have to do is push a stick into one end of a candle and then spike it into the soil. This creates a romantic atmosphere once all the candles are lit.

Create a Disposable Subwoofer

Music is a great way to celebrate the end of a hike or incentivize your tired friends to help you set up camp. Of course, it would be impractical to lug around a professional sound system. However, there’s a simple trick you can use to amplify the music coming from your phone. 

Instead of bringing a boombox or huge speakers to the woods, why not use a simple plastic cup? Place your phone into the cup and then marvel at how well it amplifies and improves the sound. 

Beat Mosquitoes with Sage

We were not exaggerating when we stated that being outdoors is the best way to reset and reflect. There’s just something about being out with nature that makes a person’s body and soul happy. The same goes for mosquitoes.

When mosquitoes see people camping, it looks like a feast. Luckily, we can defeat them with the help of their long-time nemesis – sage. It might not get rid of all of them, but chances are, 60% will move away if you burn sage in your campsite.

Makeshift Kitchen Shelving

Who’s familiar with Bear Grylls? The famed adventurer was the youngest-ever Chief Scout of the United Kingdom at age 35. Some call him the master of the wild who can do anything with what nature provides him.

Not everybody has the skills of Bear Grylls, but you can use one of his tricks. The next time you want to have a place to hang your camping materials, use a leather belt, strap it on a tree, then use S-hooks to hang small items.

The Power Of Plastic Straws

Although plastic products are still considered harmful and hazardous to the environment, on the flip side of the coin, they are very useful as well. The first step in camping is packing your camping materials properly. 

Sounds very easy, right? Well, not really. Instead of bringing the whole thing, you can store health essentials like toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and even cooking oil in packets made out of straws. All you need to seal the packets shut is a lighter and a pair of pliers.

Hand Washing Station

If you are camping in an area where water is scarce, this simple trick will help you throughout your stay. You’ll just need a medium size water bottle, soap, and an old pair of stockings.

Living outdoors can be messy, so staying clean is imperative. By placing soap inside the old stockings (as shown in the picture), not only will you save water, but the soap won’t mysteriously disappear

Let There Be Light

You can create a makeshift lantern out of any water bottle. All you need to do is wrap your head torch around the bottle and direct the light inside. As you can see in the picture, this will create a glowing lamp to light up your tent or camping area.

Although results may differ depending on the position of the light and the plastic bottle used, this trick is utilized by many of our more adventurous friends. We can’t wait to try it the next time we go camping! 

Cozy and Comfortable Bedding

Many adventurers like to rough it. They are against the idea of bringing artificial things to make camping easier. However, we think even the most hardened traveler could appreciate this hack, especially if they have a history of back problems.

While our camping tents and sleeping bags serve their purpose well, rocks, sticks, and uneven terrain can still mess with your sleep and leave you with aches and pains in the morning. That’s where foam puzzle mats come in. They’re easy to pack, take up minimal room, and add warmth and comfort to your tent.

Move Over Marshmallows, Enter Crescent Rolls

Campfires need marshmallows. They are like peanut butter and jelly – destined to be together. However, if you are bored with roasting marshmallows, we have a new snack that might tempt you.

Crescent rolls might look complicated, but they’re actually easy to make. The most important thing in creating a crescent roll is to perfect the dough. After that, you can put any filling inside.

Attention, Caffeine Addicts!

You can save money by creating your own coffee bags using the hack we shared earlier in our list. However, if you’re strapped for time, this backup trick will help.

Many coffee brands sell ready-made sachets that give you the precise amount of coffee you need for one serve. Yes, they do come with extra packaging. However, if you’re an eco-warrior, you should be able to find a brand with recyclable or biodegradable packaging. 

Invest in a Bigger Sleeping Bag

While we are not a fan of big camping tents, we are in favor of having oversized sleeping bags. There are various reasons why this can be a good idea.

If you are camping with your other half, instead of using single sleeping bags, why not get a big one and be bag buddies? Having two people in one sleeping bag provides extra heat, so you’ll be cozier on cold nights.

Campfire Snack Hacks

After a day of trekking and activities, everybody needs to replenish their energy stores. Creating snacks outdoors can be challenging, but we still need to observe proper hygiene. Instead of having everyone dipping their dirty fingers into the snacks, why not do something transformative? 

First, set out a bunch of snack options, including marshmallows, chocolate chips, fruit, and any other favorites. Then, use a spoon to load your desired snacks into an ice cream cone. Wrap the cone in foil and heat it over the campfire. Carefully unwrap it, and you’ll have a delicious treat. 

Controlling The Forces Of Nature

Though the weather will always be unpredictable, there are few hacks we can use to remain dry and warm. Silica gel packets are central to one of these hacks.

For some reason, as soon as we see these gel packets, we automatically throw them away. However, according to science, silica gel is extremely helpful in decreasing humidity. Popping them into your food containers will prevent things like instant coffee and sugar from getting ruined by moisture. 

Tent Support

While you need a tent to sleep in, it’s also nice to have a portable gazebo under which you can gather with your loved ones. That way, you don’t have to retreat into your separate tents if the weather turns bad. Of course, these structures come with a whole new set of problems. 

When heavy rain sets in, it can form puddles on your gazebo roof. To stop this from happening, all you need is a pool noodle. Just copy what you see in the picture above, and you’ll never have to deal with sagging puddles of water in your gazebo roof again.

Cold Feet Solution

As Andre 3000 sang in the famous Outkast song, “you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather.” We couldn’t agree more! 

What’s the quickest remedy if you have cold feet while camping? Pour some hot water into your water bottle, secure the lid, slip it into your sleeping bag, and it will serve as a DIY heat pack.

A Cork for Your Keys

This simple hack will not only help you recycle old corks but will also save your keys if you ever drop them in a lake, river, or other body of water. How many of us have lost a key while enjoying outdoor activities? We are pretty sure we are not alone.

By reusing a cork and attaching your keys to it, you will no longer worry if you drop your keys in the river or lake. Corks are made from a buoyant material that can float.

Long-Lasting Ice Blocks

Keeping your food fresh while camping is a high priority, but having ice cubes in your coolers is never enough. Those little cubes tend to melt within the first day or two, leaving you with a soggy mess in the cooler. Thankfully, we have a hack that will solve this problem. 

Are you ready for a quick trick? Instead of ice cubes, why not freeze an entire water bottle? This will act as an ice block, and since it’s large and contained, it will melt slower. Then, instead of all that water sloshing around in the cooler, it’ll be in a bottle, meaning you can drink it once it melts. How convenient! 

Store Your Bread with a Twist

For some, this might seem like a crazy hack, but if you like to bake, your curiosity will definitely make you want to give it a go. You can bake your favorite kinds of bread or cake in a can or oven-safe jar. This means it will already be in the perfect storage container for camping. 

If you are planning to stay for more than a week, this is a great alternative way of storing food. There are plenty of recipes online that will show you exactly how to do it. Happy baking! 

DIY Lanterns

Here’s another hack that will give you an easy light source while camping. The water bottle light we showed earlier was clever, but this trick is even better.

If you have an extra mason jar and glow-in-the-dark paint, this is all you need to create a light source. It won’t be as bright as your headlamp, but it will provide enough glow to see in the dark.

Protect Your Utensils

Again, this is only applicable to those who are beginners when it comes to camping or trekking. How you set up your campsite will have a significant impact on what your camping experience will be like. If you are planning to camp in a windy area, then you certainly need this hack.

A cake carrier can prevent those paper plates and other light objects from getting blown off the table. It is inexpensive, durable, and can be used anywhere. As a bonus, it also keeps bugs away. 

Research, Plan, Execute

These three simple words summarize everything you need to do before going on a camping trip. Doing your research will keep you a step ahead of anything you might encounter in the woods.

Knowing which plants are safe and which are dangerous can save you from some very painful situations. For example, the last thing you’d want to do if you were short on toilet paper is pick up a poison ivy leaf. However, if you don’t do your research, how will you know which leaves are safe?