Camping & Survival

Quick Camping Tip: 10 Camping Hacks and Shortcuts

Picture shows a man standing at a barbeque grill in the rain with a large umbrella. A tent with a pop up sun shade is in the background.

I’m all about saving time, space and money when I go camping. The less gear I have to bring in the better. After all, isn’t one of the joys of camping, the simplicity? With these 10 camping hacks and shortcuts, I help you save all three, plus enjoy a few new twists on some old recipes.

  • Use frozen jugs of water instead of packaged ice in the cooler.
  • For a new spin on S’mores, use Oreos as an alternative to graham crackers.
  • To save space and prevent broken eggs during transporting, crack eggs and funnel them into 16-ounce plastic water bottles.
  • Greasy chips work great as fire starters. Throw some Fritos or Doritos in your fire pit instead of kindling, especially if it has been raining and everything is damp.
  • Instead of draining the melted ice from your cooler on the ground, collect it in a big bowl, boil it and use it for washing up. In a pinch, purify it and drink it.
  • If camping with babies or toddlers, take an inflatable kiddie pool. More versatile than your child’s Pack N’ Play, fill it with sand, water or blankets and toys. When deflated, these pools roll up and pack away compactly, leaving more room in your vehicle for other gear.
  • If it is going to be chilly overnight, tuck four chemical warmers in your sleeping bag an hour before bedtime to warm it up.
  • Make flourless pancakes for breakfast using 1 and 1-1/2 ripe bananas, 2 eggs and 1/8 teaspoon baking powder—packed in a straw container. Leaving a few lumps, mash the bananas, mix with eggs to make a batter, add baking powder and then fry like normal pancakes. You can skip the baking powder, but your pancakes will taste less like traditional pancakes without it.
  • Throw fresh sage in the campfire to repel mosquitoes. This helps only as long as the sage does, so spray on conventional bug repellant as your primary means to prevent bites.
  • A pop-up or sun shade can be a lifesaver if rainstorms surprise you. Use it to cover your tent to prevent flooding or the BBQ grill and picnic table so you still have a dry place to cook, eat and play games.

For more camping tips, tricks and hacks read the following articles:

Do you have any good camping hacks, tricks or shortcuts? Share them with us in the comment section.


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Comments (6)

  1. I liked everything but the pancakes. Bananas; yuck! I go with a premeasured snack or sandwich bag, (depending on how many people you’re feeding), of Kursteze mix, and all you and to do is add water. Although it’s better with milk and an egg, especially if you friend them in bacon grease.

    1. the pancakes is where the empty plastic water bottles come into play pre measure your pancake mix into the larger bottles in the correct volume to take a full smaller bottle of water add half the bottle, shake, add the rest and shake more until fully mixed… adding pecan halves or chocolate chips will aid in the mixing as agitators… Also people like to get eggs out of their shells. DONT. while in the shell an egg is protected from bacteria, crack the shell and it is immediately attacked by air born bacteria as well as any that you didn’t kill when cleaning the containers you put them in. and if you don’t use them right away you give it time for bacteria to grow. Raw egg whites are the perfect bacterial growth media. Invest in plastic egg carriers if you cant carry them in the original cartons

  2. GO buy a camper trailer that has a large awning. Some solar panels and converter from tool town and then you just hook up and go when and where you want.
    Remember days when wife I and the dog used to head for hills for weekend of camping and fishing without seeing any othr man woman or munchkins us and the world.
    TWO zip up bags, A large tarp overhead and small one on ground, coffee pot (2 cup no guts) a small akillet, fishing gear, matches small candle toilet tissue and last but not least fishing poles, Ruger 41 mag, and 22/22mag pistol.
    Some dry milk, powdered eggs, dehyd potatoes flour and butter squished into plasyic baggies.
    Cook fish squirrel or rabit and grouse over pit using green viny maple rwoven racks and wrapped in ferns or fresh blackberry leaves.
    SOMETIMES SMOKE A FIsh ON AN OLD DRIFT WOOD SLAB ALONGSIDE A FIRE and use green aldr or viny maple slivers as smoke.
    Sit there talking by fire at nights anfd now and then poke the wood fire and watch sparks to not burn woods.
    Watch a moon , or barring a moon, the stars, by dousing a fire to see heavens lights.
    Had deer and elk walk right through our camps, as ee wete just as natural as they were.
    Once had wife wake me on moonlit night to see elk on hillside; then we got a laugh as the elk were just stumps in blue moons light.
    We srrn theghost of ages past in the whotes if old Cathedral cedars and towering dying fir or pines and kept quiet in reverence.

    A BLUEfn umbrella would never of made our camps any better, it was rain or sun, of communing with nature, and finding the soul of a loved one, t that is what makes a camping trip worth while.
    My soulmate went to our creator awhile back, but I have a notion she will of already picked a great camping spot for us to head out to once I get settled in with her again.
    Keep it simple and look for the beauty that makes a life of living together that much richer; For all you know maybe we are all but campers upon this spot in time.

    1. @ Hide Behind: Thanks for that… especially towards the end; it helps us all remember what is truly most important in life.

    2. What ever happened too Molly and the Tandem 4×4? If this is the right G-Man, I’m thinking of.

  3. A few scrapping’s of magnesium will start a fire so intense in heat (1,202-degrees Fahrenheit). That when you apply wet or soaked wood, the intense heat of the fire will actually draw the water out of the wood, allowing it to burn like a regular camping should. Please Note: Too put out a magnesium fire use either copious amounts of dirt or sand, depending where your camp fire is located.

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