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Camping Shortcuts

Camping can be an amazing getaway with that special person, the family or group of friends. A lot of preparation goes into making that trip a successful, fun adventure for all. We would love to share some of our favorite camping shortcuts we’ve learned from our campers that can help make your life simpler and make your trip more enjoyable.

Exercise Mats. OK tent campers, this one’s for you! Say goodbye to that hard, bumpy, squishy ground! Place puzzle/exercise mats/tiles under your sleeping bag for a more comfortable surface. The mats connect together easily for setting up/breaking down and are lightweight.

Tic Tac Containers. Are there any cooks out there? Those cute little Tic Tac containers that you hate to throw out have a use. Fill ’em up with spices! They are compact and travel well in a small box.

Mason Jar and Herbs. Two amazing ways to take care of flies and mosquitoes. First is the fly jar (as seen on Facebook by Andrea McKnight-Burrow). Find a mason jar and poke holes in the seal/lid, just large enough for flies to enter. Fill the jar half full with pancake syrup, then add cut up raw hot dogs. Flies will enter but never leave! Once your jar is pretty full of flies, dispose and start over! Second hack, wrap sage or rosemary up in aluminum foil, poke holes in the foil and add to your campfire to keep those pesky mosquitoes away!

Pool Noodles. Let’s take care of those sharp edges either outside on your slide-outs or inside along your cabinetry. Pool noodles are your fix, they are soft and squishy but they are also pliable and cut well. Cut to length and slice where needed and push into place along that sharp edge! These foamy floats are also great on the end of your tent lines to clearly show where those trip hazards are!

Ice Cube Trays. Here’s one for those campers who park their travel trailers for an extended time. The worst thing to happen would be the electric goes off, the food in your freezer thaws, the electric comes back on, the food refreezes and you are unaware of this situation because you’ve gone home for a few days. Rewind. Take an ice cube tray and fill with water. Place a dime (or any denomination of coin) on top. If you ever lose power and things re-freeze, your dime will have been moved to the inside of the ice cube!

Lint. Sometimes fires are so hard to start! How about constructing a fire starter out of the lint from your dryer? Grab an empty toilet paper tube, stuff with dryer lint, place in your campfire and light it up! If you are looking for a larger starter, stuff lint into the little cups of a paper egg carton and then light.

Glow Jars. How about a project for the children before your trip? Take an empty mason jar and paint the inside with glow in the dark paint. Once dry, put the lid on and let it sit in the sun to charge up so it can glow bright at night. A non-electric rechargeable night light!

Newspaper. Last but not least, let’s tend to those wet shoes. At some point in the camping adventure you or someone in your party will have wet shoes. This is where newspaper comes in handy. Shove as much newspaper in those wet shoes as possible. The newspaper will soak up all that moisture and the shoes will be dry come daybreak.

Campfire photo courtesy of Donald Harris.

So there you have it, some of our favorite camping shortcuts. We hope they make your camping experience more amazing. So many people have ingenious ideas to make your life simpler and more enjoyable, what will you come up with? See you around the campfire!