We have made a list of the best camping hacks of 2016 to make your next adventure into the wild every bit as awesome as you deserve.
1. Floating Cork Keychains
These simple cork key chains are great if you are planning on going canoeing, fishing, boating or enjoying any other water activity on your next camping trip. If you drop your keys into the water by mistake, don’t worry – the cork will ensure they float. Screw a loop screw into a wine cork, attach your keys with a chain ring and you’re good to go.
Check out this DIY blog for a more decorative versions
2. Corn Chip Fire Starters
Forgot to pack fire lighters but remembered to pack delicious Dorito’s? Don’t worry, you can use corn chips to start a fire! If you think about it, the reason behind this hack is pretty simple – corn chips are essentially pure hydrocarbons (which burn) drenched in fat (which also burns). Just use a match or lighter to set the chips alight and voila – your night out in the wild will be warm and toasty!
3. Aluminium Grill
Sometimes all you want is to be able to devour a juicy, tender steak under the stars but you can’t because lugging an enormous grill around when you go camping isn’t exactly practical.
If you make this aluminium grill, you can have that succulent piece of meat (or basically any food you have been craving) in no time! Simply take an empty lasagne dish, fill it with coal and place a clean wire rack on top. Fold over the edges, light the coals and get grilling.
4. Pre-cracked Eggs
How delicious is a helping of hot, freshly made scrambled eggs in the morning? Just because you are camping in the wild doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite breakfast food. It is the most important meal of the day after all. The only problem with eggs is how to transport them – they usually end up cracked and broken and causing a mess. The answer to this problem is pre-cracking your eggs and storing them in a bottle. When you are ready to cook, simply open the lid and pour out the desired amount of egg into your pan. Yummy!
5. Spice Things Up with Tic-Tac Boxes
If you fancy yourself a bit of a chef and want to take your campsite cooking to a new level, tic-tac boxes make brilliant mini spice containers. Salt alone is an essential to take camping food from drab to fab. Yes, camping is about getting back to the simple things in life and that means taking time to enjoy those simple things. If baked beans are on the menu, add a little curry spice or go full Nigella and turn your barbecue into a flaming feast.
6. Outdoor Shower
One of the most common issues when camping is not being able to have a decent shower. Yes you can rinse yourself down at the nearest stream or, if you’re lucky, take a swim in a lake but few things compare to having an actual outdoor shower in the wild! This makeshift shower is perfect to take along on your next camping trip. All you need is a rectangular water jug, a spout from a watering can and some rope to hang it from a tree. This works well with a pop up shower tent.
7. Duct Tape Holder
We all know it’s true – duct tape fixes anything, and we mean anything. Tear in your tent? Duct tape. Your torch batteries keep falling out? Duct tape. Your hiking shoe broke? Duct tape. A wild animal is chasing you? Duct ta… ok maybe not anything! But, seriously, a roll or 10 of duct tape is a must have on any camping trip. An easy and effective way to carry it is to wrap a few layers around your water bottle – this saves trying to pack it awkwardly into your backpack.
8. Camping Cuisine
Turn your campfire into a working stove and create gourmet meals! It’s safe to say you can pretty much cook anything in foil. The list of recipes is endless – stew, bacon and eggs, nachos, fish, pasta dishes and even desserts can all be made in foil. Just wrap up your chosen ingredients into a foil parcel, place over a hot fire or grill and let it cook. Bon appetite!
9. Foam Floor Mats
Thick flooring should totally come standard in tents… but until that happens get yourself some kiddies foam floor tiles and connect them to make a comfy mat. This is great for smoothing out the rough and rocky terrain of the outdoors. It also provides extra insulation and keeps your gear dry. Winner!
10. Water Bottle Lantern
This quick outdoors hack turns a water bottle into an ambient lantern using a headlamp. The light is diffused and spreads across the tent or campsite much more evenly.
11. Save Your Matches
Fire – Absolutely invaluable on any camping trip. You could have all the wood, coal or corn chips in the world, but if you can’t light them (and you aren’t Bear Grylls) you may have a problem. The best way to keep your matches safe is to store them in plastic containers. This will stop them from getting wet and ruined. Use any plastic container and stick a piece of sandpaper onto the lid for striking.
12. Insect Repellent
This hack is for those little bugs in and around your campsite. Whether its mosquitoes or other bugs that you’d like to keep away, sage is one of the most effective insect repellents and grows pretty much everywhere. Grab a bunch, dry it out, tie it up and set it alight to ensure they keep their distance. You can even throw a whole lot into the camp fire. It’s perfect for inside the tent or outside at your sitting area, plus it smells great!
13. Warm up for Winter
Winter nights in the outdoors can get bone chilling cold. Other than your trusty sleeping bag, you may need something extra to keep you warm. Campfire stones are the perfect solution if you have packed light and have not brought along a tent heater or ground mat. Simply wrap the stones in a towel or spare piece of clothing and pack them inside your sleeping bag. The stones will retain heat much like a hot water bottle and will guarantee a cozy nights sleep.
14. Keeping Things Organized
Using a shoe organiser is a fantastic way to keep things tidy and easily accessible around camp. These are especially handy for the cooking area. You can keep utensils, cutlery, spices, wash cloths etc. in each shoe holder. Hang it up on the nearest tree or off one of your tent poles.
15. Camping Coffee
Some of us literally cannot function without a good cup of strong coffee first thing in the morning. This awesome hack will ensure you don’t have to go without your guilty pleasure. Pre-pack your favorite blend into filters and tie them up with dental floss. When you’re out on the trail, boil some water, pour it into a mug, pop in your coffee parcel and let it brew. Mmmmm, delicious hot coffee in the great outdoors.
16. Bread on a Stick
Wrap some pre-made dough around a cleaned up stick and enjoy the delicious taste of fresh, warm campfire bread.
17. DIY Lanterns
If you’re looking for easy to make DIY lanterns then look no further! These lanterns are great for brightening up your tent, not to mention adding ambiance to make an awesome camping trip that extra bit special. Get yourself some soda pop bottles or mason jars, pour some glow-in-the-dark paint inside, shake it around and hey presto! You have light. And they’re pretty too!
18. Charcoal Eggbox
Yet another fire starter hack for camping. Not only does this start a fire like a charm, it also keep your charcoal from dirtying up the rest of you camp gear. You can use as many egg boxes as you need depending on how quickly you want your fire to grow.
19. Getting Creative
Let the kids explore their outdoor creativity by using sticks, stones, trees and even the movement of the sun on a sundial to discover the fun and entertainment nature can bring.
20. The Ultimate Marshmallow Delight
No campfire experience is complete without marshmallows and we have added one simple ingredient to turn up the decadence dial. All you need is a packet of marshmallows, and a box of Oreo’s. Your next step is to collect the perfect length roasting stick from a nearby tree and toast that marshmallow to caramelized perfection. Lastly, split open the Oreo and sandwich the marshmallow between the two halves. After devouring this delicious morsel in seconds, remember its bad campsite etiquette not to share.