11 One-minute Camping Hacks for Less Stress and More Fun - Panergy
1. GET A HEAD START ON YOUR FIRE
A campfire is an essential component of any great camp-out so you don’t want to spend half the evening trying to get one started. Bring a few homemade fire starters: Fill an empty toilet paper tube with some lint from the dryer, light it, and let it burn under your kindling for an easy start. Be sure to check with your campsite about fire regulations in the region as burn bans are becoming increasingly more common.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN LANTERN
Light common areas, like a picnic table in your campsite or the tent, with something that casts off more light than a single headlamp. Turn any empty water container (including a one-liter water bottle or a plastic gallon jug) into a lantern simply by strapping your headlamp around the outside with the light facing in.
3. USE A WATER BOTTLE TO STAY WARM
Once you’ve left the warmth of a campfire, nights in the woods can be really chilly, even when you’re cozied up in a sleeping bag. Heat up some water on a camp stove, then fill a one-liter water bottle with it. Slide it to the bottom of your sleeping bag and let your feet rest on it while you fall asleep. A hot water bottle can go a long way towards keeping the inside of your sleeping bag toasty.
4. SOME SOCKS ARE SACRED
Leave one pair of socks at the bottom of your sleeping bag—no matter what. That way, when it’s time to hit the hay, you know you’ll have dry socks to keep your toes warm. No matter how tempting it is, take those socks off in the morning and stick them back in your sleeping bag. You’ll thank yourself later.
5. USE A WATER BOTTLE TO KEEP FOOD COLD
Rather than filling a cooler with ice packs, which are just added weight once they melt, fill a few reusable plastic water bottles or hydration bladders with water and stick them in the freezer a few days before your trip. Use these as the ice packs in your cooler. Not only should they last until you eat or drink the contents of your cooler, but you’ve got yourself cool, fresh drinking water without having to take a trip to the pump or nearest stream.
6. USE YOUR CLOTHES TO DRY WET SHOES
Step in a puddle or get your shoes wet crossing a stream? When it’s time to turn in for the night, pull out the insoles and stuff an item of dirty clothing in each shoe. This will absorb the moisture left inside and keep your feet happy for the next day’s hike.
7. PREP MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
Although meal prep can be a fun group camp activity, frankly it’s way easier (and more sanitary) to chop veggies and mix spices in your kitchen at home than it is to try it at a picnic table at your campsite. For a super-easy breakfast, crack a few eggs, and add your favorite spices and veggies to a water bottle before you leave. Keep it in the cooler, then simply cook it in a hot pan using the SPRK+ Camp Stove from Eureka! when you’re ready for breakfast. You can do this for all your other meals as well. Even elaborate meals can be made simple at camp.
8. UP YOUR KITCHEN GAME
Even if you’ve done your homework to get meals ready, serious camp chefs often need to add a dash of this or that to get the perfect flavor. For a portable spice rack, fill empty Tic-Tac containers with often-used spices and label them with permanent markers. Store in a stuff sack or gallon-size plastic bag. Use as needed.
9. MAKE SINGLE-USE SOAP
There’s nothing more unpleasant than pulling a slimy bar of soap out of your backpack. When you head out for a few days, bring a vegetable peeler to shave off single-use servings of soap for washing hands and dishes, and for taking showers when you’re at a frontcountry campsite. You can also do your soap shavings in advance and bring them in a waterproof bag.
10. DON’T LOSE THOSE LIDS
There’s something special about a hot cup of coffee on an early morning camping trip, so finding a way to brew it with a quality coffee-maker like the Camp Cafe is a key element to morning camping happiness. In addition, a good travel mug will keep your morning brew warm even on chilly mornings outside. For best results, buy a travel mug with a handle—then punch a small hole in the lid and tie a piece of parachute cord from the handle to the lid. This way, if you accidentally drop your lid, it won’t go very far.
11. SKIP THE PILLOWS
If you’re staying at a drive-up campsite, it’s no problem to throw a couple of extra pillows in the car—although there’s no guarantee they’ll stay clean. Instead (or if you’re hiking to your campsite) grab an inflatable camping pillow. They're light, fold up easily so they doesn’t take up space, and easy to inflate/deflate.
Having a successful (and comfortable) camping trip is all in the details. It’s the little things such as an extra pair of socks or a non-slip pillow that can make all the difference. Incorporating these 11 tips into your next outing will have you relaxing peacefully under the starry night sky in no time.