Camp Tricks

Seven Killer Camping Hacks for Today’s Campers

August 15, 2016
©istockphoto/Natalia Moroz

©istockphoto/Natalia Moroz

Man has been camping since, well, since there was man. In the past it maybe was not by choice but now we actually do it for fun. Just because you’re roughing it doesn’t mean it has to be rough.

Burning Sage
Burning sage is an old hack. It is said to bring good luck to your camp and success to your endeavors. It’s also said that burning sage works as an excellent mosquito repellant. If it keeps the skeeters away, well that seems like good luck to me.

Fire-starters
This may sound gross to some folks, but you really should start saving your dryer lint. Pack it into empty toilet paper rolls and you have an excellent fire-starter. Not only will this make the campout fire up easier, but you are using two items you would normally throw away.

Starting the Fire is Just the Start
In case you either forgot or chose not to store up that dryer lint and kindling is scarce, you may have to sacrifice some of your munchies. Doritos or Fritos will burn and serve as kindling if worse comes to worse. Chances are if you have to resort to Doritos for kindling, firewood must be mighty scarce too. We usually carry a small propane camp-stove just in case we can’t find wood. If you are really desperate, and using your food for kindling means you are, find the nearest campground and buy a bundle of wood from the campground host. It doesn’t matter how barren the land is, those campground hosts always have wood for a price.

Let There Be Light
If you didn’t bring a lantern and you want to provide some ambience, or at least just shed some light on the situation, grab a jug of water. Using any clear or translucent container of water or any other clear liquid you can make a lantern to light up your life. Strap your headlamp or place your flashlight to the bottle with the light facing inward and viola: instant lantern. This is a good way to see inside your tent, then unhook the light and you have your water bottle when you wake.

Jug Ice Blocks
A day or two before heading out, rinse out a couple plastic gallon milk jugs and fill them up about 80% with water and throw them in the freezer. This gives you two solid blocks of ice to throw into your cooler and keep everything cool. As they melt they also provide you with fresh, cool drinking water. Make sure to not fill them up all the way, because if you remember your physical science classes, water expands as it freezes.

Egg Shakes
One 12 oz. plastic water bottle will hold about 8 eggs for scrambled eggs at your campout. Crack the eggs and using a funnel, pour them into an old water bottle and shake. Now you don’t have to carry an egg carton that never ever survives the trip any way. You also get the added bonus of already having whisked you eggs so there is no bowl to wash. You just pour out what you want into the pan and scramble away.

Treat That Itch
Just in case you forgot to burn that sage and you do get bit, you sure don’t want to be scratching at it all day and night. Hopefully you brought some deodorant or as we call it, a dry shower. Just rub it on the bite and not only will the itching go away, so will some of your stench. Rubbing Gin on a bite works well too, but who wants to waste good Gin?

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