If you’re like me, you went camping with your family when you were a kid. And you loved every second of it. Being from New Hampshire, I kind of had to learn to love the outdoors. There is so much the outdoors can offer, which is a good thing since it can bring you closer to nature and further away from your couch.
For those of you who aren’t like me and have little experience sleeping in a tent and cooking meals over a campfire, turn to this guide for some summer camping hacks to make your transition into the wild a little bit easier. And don’t worry; your couch will still be there for you to crash on after you’ve had your fill of nature.
Foam Floor Tiles
Just because you pitch a tent in a flat area of land does not mean it will be comfortable to sleep on. Tents provide no cushioning between you and the ground. A lot of people like to use air mattresses but those can be bulky, time consuming to inflate, and sometimes expensive. If you want to save money and space in your car, you can buy some foam floor tiles to provide a flat cushion to roll a sleeping bag out on.
Need a lantern, but don’t want to spend the money? Or maybe if you forget to pack the lantern… Fill up a gallon container with water and attach a headlamp to it with the light facing in. The entire jug should light up by reflecting the light.
Campfire Crescent Rolls
Got a craving for some crescent rolls, but you don’t have a stove because you’re in the middle of nowhere? Don’t worry – you can make crescent rolls on a stick over a fire much like you would with a marshmallow! You can even fill them with marshmallows and chocolate for a delicious and flaky spin on the classic ‘smores.
Portable Hanging Hooks
Get yourself that belt you’ve had since you were 14 but have since outgrown and left hanging in your closet, and put it to some use! Wrap a belt tightly around a tree, insert some hooks, and you’ve got yourself a place to hang wet clothes, pots and pans, or anything else you can think of.
DIY Fire Starters
Let me first start off by saying that fire is not something to play around with by any means. Forgetting how dangerous it can be is how forest fires are often started. But camping just wouldn’t be the same without a toasty, nightly campfire to gather around. Instead of using lighter fluid, consider using an egg carton filled with charcoal briquettes. Simply place the carton under the dry firewood and light both sides; you’ll have a good blaze within minutes. Also, Doritos can be used as a very effective kindling too.
Smoky Bug Repellent
First find some sage. You can either buy it in a grocery store or in a specialty plant store before your trip, or if you’re lucky you might be able to find some near your campsite. Bundle up the sage with some sticks and stick it in your campfire. As it burns, the smoke will deter insects without all those nasty chemicals.
Hopefully these summer camping hacks can make you a pro-camper in no time!