26 Camping Life Hacks That Every Camper Must Know

10 mins read
camping life hacks

Camping is not just an activity, it’s a lifestyle. Any camping enthusiast can tell you why they love staying outdoors and how fun it is. Of course, camping is not easy and definitely not for everyone. It comes with its own set of survival instincts and skills that can be developed with time. However, if you don’t want to learn from your own mistakes, learn from the mistakes of others! 

In this article you will be fed with many camping life hacks that experienced campers learnt and compiled. This can help you save time, money and effort which will allow you to enjoy your camping experience more and quicker!

1. Macrofiber Towels For The Win

 If you have been camping, you will know how important packing optimally means. Scientists have blessed us with the invention of microfiber and not until recently did this fabric get the recognition it deserves. This material makes great towels

If you are an avid outdoor person, you would have at least heard of it or own a couple of it yourself. They are ultra lightweight and dries easily which is ideal for life outdoors. Also, it is relatively thin so it saves a lot of space as you pack.

2. Warm Clothes Hack

Imagine camping in autumn, you wake up to a beautiful foliage but the morning air gives you chills. Now imagine waking up to a pre-warmed outfit ready for a cozy morning walk. This could be you if you place your morning outfit in the sleeping bag you spent the night in. Not only does it feel great to have warm clothes on, it gives you an extra layer of heat retention during the night with no extra effort!


3. Camping Drink Hack

Camping is a great excuse to kick back to some peace and quiet with a nice view and a drink at hand. Making drinks at the camp site isn’t ideal because there are so many ingredients and tools you’ll need just for a few servings. So why don’t you prepare the beverage beforehand, store it in a glass jar and serve it on the spot? 

That way, you’ll save a lot of packing space and time! Some easy cocktail recipes like Shandy or Black Velvet can be easily packed into your cooler to be served on a hill without any cell reception.

4. Pool Noodles Hack

How many times have you tripped over tent lines or hit overhead lines? This is a hazard especially in the dark that can be easily mitigated. It’s just not worth it to fall and hurt yourself like that. There is where pool noodles could come to your rescue! Cut them up to short pieces and split them halfway through. Put them on the lines to mark your tiny lines with these obvious and colorful pool noodles! 

5. Tent Zipper Hack

Zippers are marvelous inventions that changed the game of tents as well as many other things. The one major problem with zippers is when they get stuck, it is close to impossible to get them unstuck without damaging the zipper. Due to the structure of zippers, they are prone to stick to each other especially when you expose it to the many elements outdoors. You definitely don’t want to be locked out of your own tent when night comes. 

Fret not! The simple yet effective solution to this is to apply some wax on it to keep it from getting stuck. Before packing, grab a piece of candle and rub it on both surfaces of the zipper. You can always carry this candle with you and reapply as needed at the campsite.


6. DIY Lantern Camping Hack

If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to make all your belongings do more than one thing. Buying a lantern is great to illuminate the tent and to carry outside at night, but what if you can make your own lantern with inexpensive items in your house?

First you’ll need a torch or a headlight with a strap. You can use a rubber band or even clear cellophane tape as the strap. Next, you’ll want to place the direction of the light onto the surface of a plastic milk bottle filled with water. Now you have a cheap DIY lamp that you can easily make and carry around!

7. Bring Single Use Soap

Make your own single use soap simply with water-soluble paper and a bar soap! First, you cut the paper up to the size of your liking. Then cut up the bar soap and heat it up to melt it. Then dip the water-soluble paper in the melted soap and leave it on parchment paper or any surface you wish. After it dries up, you’ll have your single-use soap! Now you can bring just the optimum amount of soap to save space!

If the above seems like too much work, you could always use a fruit peeler to peel off a thin layer of bar soap. This will not be as pretty, but it sure will do the trick!

8. Tent Cooling Hack

Camping at the beach in summer is fun and all until you get overheated. one of the cheap and easy camping hacks to keep your tent from overheating is to use a reflective sheet. You could use anything you have at home like a silver car cover, garden reflective film or other items of similar nature. Drape it over your tent during the day and it’ll help to keep the heat outside of your tent!


9. Easy Ant Repellent

camping life hack

One of the worst things about camping is to find your meal getting infested by ants. They’re so tiny and they act fast so you probably don’t notice them until a swarm of them is already on your food. An easy trick is to place the plate of food you cooked on a bigger plate filled with water. This acts as a moat around a castle to ward off your pesky ant enemies. 

10. Solar Light Stakes At Night

Buy cheap solar light stakes to bring to your campsite. At night, it can help illuminate your way to the toilet! You don’t have to put in extra effort to charge it if you leave it out during the day to charge with solar power. It is environmentally friendly and useful!

11. Drop Your Phone in a Lake? Try This Rice Hack!

If you accidentally dropped your phone in a lake, try to dry it as much as you can and immediately put it in a bag of rice and let it sit for a day or two. Do not switch it on as it may cause the phone to short circuit and blow up. This hack is cheap and effective. This works because rice is a type of seed and seeds absorb water in order to germinate. Hence rice can work as a dehumidifier to remove moisture from anything that is wet around it.

12. Toilet Roll Packing Hack

You do not want to leave out your toilet rolls when camping. Unless you want to use leaves, they are the cheapest and more efficient option to clean your bum without a bidet. Toilet rolls take up space because the middle part of it is an empty space. You could pull it out and store the toilet roll in a small container or a plastic bag. 


13. Shower Cap Hack

camping life hacks use shower cap as shoe cover

Shower caps and their elastic band make a great tool during camping. They are compact which take up little space and it expands to fit whatever object you want to cover. You can cover food on plates or bowls when left unfinished. You can also cover the soles of your shoes when you store them in the tent. Bet you didn’t expect they’ll come in this handy!

14. Eggs Storing Hack

camping egg storing

Eggs are ideal camping food that cooks quickly and contains good nutrients. The only downside is that eggs can be difficult to maintain along the trip. It is common to find a cracked egg when you unload your egg tray at the campsite. Instead of bringing them in a tray, you can try cracking your eggs before you leave and keep them in a jar.

This way you’ll have all your protein and save some space.  Moreover, you’ll have peace of mind that your belongings will not be covered with smelly cracked eggs on the way to your destination.


You can only use this hack if you will cook the eggs within the same day.

If you want them to last longer, you can make hard boiled eggs or buy an egg carrier!


15. Spice Packing Hack

camping life hacks spice storing

Just because you’re cooking with camping essentials does not mean your food shouldn’t taste good. Bring along your blend of spices to the campsite. If you prefer keeping your spices separate, you can pour them into pill containers. They are tiny and usually come in multiple separate containers.


If you’re thrifty, you can also use empty mint containers that are well-sealed like tic tac containers. Fill them up with spices to save some cash. Now you have a portable kitchen ready for camping!

16. Condiments Packing Hack

To add that extra zing to your meal, you’ll usually turn to condiments. However, bringing a whole bottle of mustard does not make sense if you’re only staying on the campsite for 3 days. You can pack them in smaller plastic bags and seal the opening by tying it like how you seal an icing piping bag. Cut the tip of the plastic bag when you serve.

Even better, collect all the condiment packets from your takeouts and ask for a few extra packets. Keep them for your camping trip to save you time and money!

17. Use Lanyard to Attach All Your Shower Things Together

camping hacks

For most of us, we have a routine as we shower. We’ll need soap, shampoo, conditioner, cleanser and later toner and moisturize, not to mention sunblock. If you only need soap for all purposes then you can skip this hack. For the rest of you, use a lanyard to connect your shower container for easy organization. All you need is a lanyard and some keyrings or carabiners to attach your bottles.


18. Use Baby Wipes

We usually reserve baby wipes for infants but adults could also really benefit from the practicality of these wipes. Bring a pack of wet wipes to camp! You can use it to freshen up when you don’t have a lot of accessible water. You could also wipe down your dirty tools with it. As it contains an amount of alcohol, it does help to kill off some germs.

19. Use Clothes As A Pillow

If you are the type of camper who prioritizes minimalism, this hack can be highly considered. Use your extra clothes as your pillow! This helps to save space from the pillow you’re supposed to bring. Now that you eliminate the pillow, the extra space can be filled with more clothes  and other essentials. Bring pillow cases though, it will make the makeshift pillow more comfortable and it doubles as a bag!

20. Trick Candle Hacks

Remember the annoying trick candles that just don’t go off even after your face turns red from the attempts of blowing them out? Put them to use when you camp, especially on windy sites like the beach. As they keep relighting themselves, it will be difficult for the wind to blow them out! Isn’t this a genius idea?

21. Fire Starter Hacks

Any experienced camper will emphasize how important a fire starter is when you go camping. You may bring your portable stove if you don’t want to rough it. However in case of emergencies, here are some unconventional fire starters to help kindle your fire and make it last longer. This works on both campfires and grills.

  • Pencil shavings: Throwing them out will be a waste! Keep them and use them at your campsite instead.
  • Crayons: Ran out of fire starters? Dimp your kids’ crayons into the pit and you’ll keep your family warm for a few extra hours.
  • Dryer lints: Don’t feel disheartened when your family judges you for collecting dryer lint. You know you’re doing the environment a favor by putting them into good use.
  • Doritos chips: Fire starter and a snack in one package! Keep your fire going while you snack. I don’t know about you, but it sounds great to me!
  • Matches: Don’t extinguish your matches after lighting it up, throw it into the fire.

22. Use Collapsible Containers

Get yourself a set of collapsible containers and save a ton of space. This is great for camping because you can choose to optimize your space by opening them up only when you need them instead of having conventional containers that take up space all the time. This design comes in the form of buckets and cups too!


23. Tent Hygiene Maintenance 

Camping is fun  until you realize the insides of your tent are no different from the outside. Bringing dirt into your tent is very common and inevitable but campers can learn to reduce this by some simple hacks. Add a rug in front of your tent and make anyone who comes in remove their footwear and wipe their feet before entering. 

At night before you retire to your sleeping bag, campers will usually keep their shoes within the tent. Instead of placing it on the floor of the tent, you can also place a shoe box to store your shoes at the entrance to keep your tent clean and organized.

24. Sporks For The Win

Sporks have been trendy for the past few years for how quirky it looks. Bring it outdoors with you and you will appreciate how handy it actually is. If you’ve never heard of a spork, it is a spoon and fork combined into one. You can buy sporks in most outdoor shops. However, if you are up for the challenge, you can make one yourself provided that you have the tools for it!

25. Fitted Sheet Hacks

If you have children and toddlers, bringing your fitted sheet on a camping trip would make your life much easier. Replace your picnic mat with a fitted sheet. Prop the corners up with water filled bottles to create a barrier. Now you have a picnic mat and a toddler playpen!

26. DIY Toilet

Not used to taking a dump outside of your personal toilet? You better get used to it. Most campsites do not have man-made toilets for you to flush your shit down. On top of that, if you are used to sitting down as you complete your business, you may want to pay attention to this hack. 


Making a DIY toilet for your personal use could be inexpensive and easy. There are many different ways to do it depending on your preference. The easiest way is to place a plastic bag in a sturdy paint bucket, then line the mouth of the bucket with a pool noodle for comfort when sitting. If you are a bit handier and would like a challenge there are more sophisticated DIY toilets you can try to build! 

Final Word

Thinking of spicing it up with your partner? Try camping! The outdoors is a great place to relax and to restore your mental balance. You both will learn so much about each other and enjoy the great outdoors together. Don’t worry, overthink or be afraid if this will be your first time. Everyone starts somewhere and with these life hacks under your belt, you will be readier than you realize! 

Known for her eccentric opinions, Angeline is a generalist with a keen eye for detail. As a writer, she believes that the fears that we don't face become our limits.