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16 best camping hacks you need to know

By Malika Karim, Jack Hauen Jul 27, 2016 4:44 am

Summer’s at its peak, and if you haven’t gone camping yet, you’re doing it wrong. Luckily, there’s lots of time left to get out into the great beyond!

We talked to an expert from Go RVing Canada to get their best tips and tricks for making it in mother nature’s house, and added a few ourselves.

Here’s our list of the best camping hacks we’ve ever used:

Tinfoil dinner

The easiest (and most delicious) dinner you’ll ever have. Wrap a cheap flank steak, some veggies, and a potato, along with the seasoning of your choice, in a few layers of tinfoil. Throw that package in the fire for a few minutes and you’ll end up with a juicy, meaty mess.

Learn your knots

Not so much a hack as a skill, knowing the right knot to use in any situation can save you a lot of headaches. A simple and incredibly useful one to start with is the bowline.

Instant lantern

Fill a four litre jug with water and shine a flashlight into it — boom, instant ambient light

Alternative kindling

The amount of fat in Doritos makes them excellent kindling if there’s none around. Also try the lint from your drying machine — be careful, this stuff really goes up.

Keep your food secure

If you’re in a place with wild animals – and if you’re camping right, you are – you need to make sure you’re not attracting them. Keep your food in a tightly-secured cooler, and hang it from a high, stable branch if you can.

Don’t get lost, use an acorn

Did you know that an acorn can be used as a whistle? Simply form a small triangle with your thumbs on an acorn cap and blow. Full tutorial can be found here.

Mise en place

There’s nothing better than arriving to your campsite and having to do minimal work for your evening meal. Cut up all your veggies and fruits in advance to avoid one more task at the campsite.

Better than s’mores

Get yourself some canned instant crescent rolls, wrap up some Nutella and marshmallows (or whatever) and roast it over the fire for an gooey, crispy treat.

Get creative!

Things in nature can be used as storage. Wrap a belt around a tree trunk and place hooks in the belt’s notches for a place to store your pots and pans!

Save your flashlight’s battery

Placing glow sticks at the bottom of a cooler will make it easier to grab your beverages when the sun goes down.

Coffee bags

Pour some coffee grounds into a coffee filter. Tie it up with string or dental floss. Brew like tea.

Manage the itch

Did you know that deodorant can be used as a mosquito bite reliever? If the bugs get a hold of you, use your deodorant to take care of the irritating itch!

Towel down before bed

All the sweat you accumulate on your body throughout the day, becomes cold and sticky at night. Strip down completely, towel down, and you’ll feel much warmer.

Change all your clothes before bed

Sweat from the day also lingers on your clothes. So change everything you’re wearing before you zip in for the night. Yes, even your underwear.

Wear a touque at night – bring two with you

Temperatures can get pretty low when camping in Canada, even if it is the summer. Always wear a touque if you’re winter camping to trap in your body’s heat because 40 to 45% of body heat is lost through your head. Also bring two touques, just incase one gets lost or wet.

Bring extra plastic bags

For water proofing your shoes (in case they aren’t waterproof already) wrap your feet in plastic bags and then step into your shoes. This will keep your feet dry!


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Jack Hauen
Jack is a fourth-year UBC student, coordinating editor of The Ubyssey, and two golden retrievers in a human suit.
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Malika Karim
Malika is a former Daily Hive Calgary City Editor. Graduate of SAIT's Radio Television Broadcast News program and UofA's Bachelor of Science program. Flames, family, and sleep over everything. Email [email protected] for all Calgary related stories.

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