You’re no longer borrowing your friend’s camping gear, you have the camping checklist on lockdown and you even camp in remote areas without amenities on occasion. You know all about how to Leave No Trace, how to use a compass and what to pack for unpredictable weather. However confident you might be with your camping skills, there are always some tips, tricks and secrets that other campers have discovered along their journeys. Sharing is caring, so we gathered a whole bunch of tips of tricks from veteran campers from the office. Consider our ideas to enhance your camping experience!
- If you’re last pair of socks is sopping wet from the day, sleep with them around your midsection. It will feel chilly and weird at first, but your body heat trapped by your sleeping bag will dry them by morning.
- To dry out your boots, put them inside the foot of your sleeping bag. They can be loosely placed in a plastic bag to deter dirt from getting inside your sleeping bag. Your boots will be dry (and warm) by morning!
- Before cooking over an open flame, rub soap on the bottom of your pan. This will make for easy cleaning of the black scorching from the flame.
- If you have the same brand sleeping bag and it’s cold as heck outside, zip your bags together for one giant bag. You’ll be toasty in no time.
- To warm up your sleeping bag, fill a water bottle with boiling water, wrap it in a towel and place it in your bag before crawling in for the night.
- Channel your inner hippie by using pinecones and dirt to scrub your pots and pans clean.
- Remember that a fire isn’t totally out unless you can safely sift your hands through the ashes. Don’t mess around with the potential of starting a wildfire.
- When starting a fire without a fire ring, build it away from tree and underbrush root systems. Most people don’t realize that these can catch fire and the last thing you want is having to put out a root fire in the middle of the night!
- When packing your own food, discard any unnecessary packaging like cardboard. Instead, put your food in clear plastic bags that can be tied at the top. Better yet, shop in the bulk section of your local food coop for camping food where you’ll find minimal packaging (and lower prices per pound!).
- When camping at elevations above 7,000 it’s even more important to stay properly hydrated at all times (even when it’s cold out!). Three to five quarts a day will prevent dehydration and high altitude sickness. The last thing you want on a camping trip are headaches, nausea, muscle cramps, hypothermia or frostbite.
- Choose calorie dense foods (cheese, bars, peanut butter) so that your food doesn’t weight more than two pounds per person per day. If you’re hiking while camping, you’ll need an average of 3,500 calories per day.
- For a hot lunch, boil water in the morning and store it in a thermos. Then, pour the water over your dried meal of choice (like soup or macaroni).
- Go gourmet with your smores. Soak the marshmallows in cognac for 5-10 seconds then double bag them for travel. After roasting, serve with dark chocolate and shortbread cookies.
- Hard and semi-hard cheeses like parm, swiss, and gouda will keep for about a week in moderate temperatures. Waxed bricks or wheels keep longer than slices. Pack your cheese in the middle of your pack so as not to expose them to excess heat.
- Bring spices! A little onion powder, garlic, Italian seasoning, cinnamon and cayenne can turn boring camping food into a flavor explosion. Pack your spices in small camping vials.
If you have any camping tricks you’d like to share with us, please fill out the form below! Thank you.