Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
Camping can be one of the most fun and rewarding activities as it gets you outside, enjoying the fresh air and the nature that surrounds you.
But whether you’re setting off on your first camping trip or if you’re an avid camper who loves nothing more than pitching a tent, there are some hacks that can really elevate your experience to make your time sleeping outdoors as comfortable and as safe as possible.
If you’re planning your next trip, keep these hacks in mind, as they’ll really up your camping game.
Use a Live Branch For Your Smores
You can’t have a campfire and not have smores—it’s almost criminal. But if you forgot your metal campfire roasting sticks at home, you’ll need to find a substitute in nature.
Find a tree with long, thin branches and cut one off, ensuring that it is green inside. Live branches are less likely to burn over a flame, making them the perfect marshmallow roasting stick.
Always Carry Kindling
Starting fires sometimes isn’t the easiest task, which is why it’s handy to take some form of kindling whenever you’re going camping. Kindling helps a fire get going and can be a lifesaver if you want to start a quick fire before the sun sets.
Did you know that even the lint from your dryer can be an excellent firestarter? Be sure to clean your dryer out regularly and save the lint for future camping trips.
Create Coffee Bags
There is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee after a night spent in a tent. However, if you don’t want to carry your French press but still want a decent cup of non-instant coffee, you can create coffee bags with coffee filters.
Simply get a coffee filter, fill it with two tablespoons of finely ground coffee, fold it into a pouch, and tie it off with a string. Then when your mug is filled with hot water, leave the bag to steep to your desired taste. You can also buy pre-made coffee bags from certain coffee companies, so that’s a great alternative if you don’t want to make your own.
Heat Your Sleeping Bag With Rocks
Getting into a cold sleeping bag after a long day is just not it—especially during the cooler months. One way to have your sleeping bag nice and toasty is to heat smooth, clean rocks near the fire, placing them into your bag 30 minutes before your plan to go to bed.
The rocks will have a similar effect to a hot water bottle, so that way, it isn’t just up to your body height to give you a good night’s rest.
Gather Rocks Around Your Tent Pegs
If you’ve ever been camping, you’ll know how easy—and common—it is to trip over your tent pegs—especially during midnight toilet trips. To help combat this issue, place rocks around each peg, so you have a better chance of seeing them come nightfall.
For an even better solution, place solar-powered LED lights at every pole—that way, you’ll always be able to see your pegs, even if it’s pitch black outside.
Wear Merino Wool Base Layers
Merino wool base layers are one of the best insulating layers you can wear while camping. Put on a Merino wool layer under your regular clothing in order for it to retain your body heat, resist odor, and wick away moisture to keep you warm and dry throughout the entire night.
Socks Keep Critters Out of Boots
Your hiking boots are the perfect overnight accommodation for creepy crawlies. So if you don’t want any unwanted visitors, flip your socks inside out, stretch the ankle over the boot’s opening, and gently push the remainder of the sock inside your boot.
Bring Slip On Camp Shoes
Slip-on camp shoes like flip-flops or Crocs will really come in handy when camping. After all, you don’t want your tent to get dirty with mud, so keeping some easy-to-put-on shoes just outside the tent door will mean you can slip them on whenever you need to make a trip to the toilet.
Pack Emergency Essentials in a Waterproof Tin
It’s always wise to keep a tin filled with emergency essentials on hand whenever you go camping. The tin should include things like matches, bandaids, antibiotic ointment, and a pocket night, amongst other things, but you can tailor the contents to suit your type of camping trip.
Place a Foundation Sheet Under Your Tent
To help keep your tent as warm and as dry as possible, you’ll want to pack an extra tarp or ground sheet to place under your tent. The additional layer will prevent groundwater from seeping into the tent and will trap in warmth to hopefully improve your sleep.
Freeze Food and Drink Before Putting it in the Cool Box
Cool boxes do a great job at keeping things cold, but an extra step you can take to ensure the longevity of your food is to freeze it the day before your trip. This also works with drinks, as you have a better chance of rewarding yourself with a cool beverage after a long hike.
Have a Torch on Hand For Nighttime Toilet Trips
It’s very likely that at some point in the night, you’ll need the toilet, so placing torches in easy-to-grab places can mean that you aren’t stumbling to the camp toilets blind. You can also purchase a solar-powered lantern that you can leave on all night, so you’re never left completely in the dark.
Take an Old Mat For Outside Your Tent
Another way to prevent your tent from getting dirty is to place an old mat outside the tent door. Then whenever you go to get into your tent, you can simply wipe your feet and not have to worry about dragging dirt, grass, or leaves into your sleeping area.
Pack Something to Charge Your Devices
The final camping hack that all campers should remember is to pack a way to charge devices. Especially if you’re camping in the wild, it is so important that you have a charged phone to call for help in the event of an emergency. Whether you take a solar-powered power bank or a small portable generator, ensure you have the means to keep your phone charged at all times.
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