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 Camping Hacks

Part 2

Camping hack #6

Bring a tick deterrent.

This hack tells how to make a homemade tick spray using tea tree oil and water.

It sounds like a great idea - but I didn't try it because …. well …. how would I know if it worked?

If I used it and didn't get bitten by a tick, was it because I used the tick deterrent, or because no tick happened to land on me on that particular day?

We always take precautions against ticks whenever we hike in tick-friendly country.

We wear long sleeves and tuck our pants into our socks.

You can learn more about avoiding ticks here.

We also do regular tick checks, and we carry tick tweezers so that we can easily remove any ticks we find.

tick tweezers

My tick remover is one of those things I keep in the first aid kit and hope not to need!

It is sturdy and easy to use. Perhaps you should get one, too!

For more information about how to remove ticks, visit this page.

If you have tried a tick repellent, I'd love to know what you thought. Do you have any other hints for avoiding ticks?

The verdict: I decided not to try it.

Camping hack #7

Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder.

I decided that this one wasn't worth the effort. Strike-anywhere matches usually come with their own sandpaper right on the side of the box. Why not just put a box of matches inside a waterproof container - or buy an inexpensive waterproof match container?

matchbox in plastic container

When you are getting ready for a camping trip, the last thing you need is an unnecessary project.

Of course, if your kids think that making one of these would be fun, let them go to it - and please let us know how it worked!

The verdict: Not worth the effort.

Camping hack #8

Repurpose a coffee can to hold and protect toilet paper.

If I had a cabin with its own private outhouse, I'd try this. But I'm a camper, and the outhouses I use are shared with lots of other campers.


I'm not going to leave my coffee can TP holder in the community outhouse for everyone to use - and it's a bit bulky to tote along every time I make a trip.

Most campground outhouses are supplied with toilet paper, but it's good to arrive prepared just in case. If the outhouse roll is empty, it's nice to have another option.

Here's what I take along to the outhouse:

toilet paper in a ziploc bag

We take the paper cylinder out of the roll and store the roll in a ziplock bag. It squishes nice and small - just the right size to fit in a backpack.

The verdict: A cool idea if you have a cottage - but not for camping.

Camping hack #9

Make crescent rolls over the campfire.

We sometimes make our own homemade mix so that we can cook bannock over the fire. This looked like a convenient alternative.

It was! These were tasty - and easy!

My first attempt burned on the outside and was raw on the inside, but after a couple of tries I figured out how close to the fire to hold my stick. (Not too close!)

crescent roll on a stick

I put a dollop of Nutella on the dough before I wrapped it around the stick, and it was warm and creamy and delicious by the time the biscuit was cooked.

Next, I wrapped the dough around an already-cooked hot dog and cooked that. It was delicious too!

hot dog on a stick wrapped in dough

The verdict: Highly recommended!

Here's everything you need to make your own batch!

Camping hack #10

Use Tic-Tac boxes to store spices.

This is an ingenious idea!

Tic Tac boxes are a great shape for packing efficiently - much better than my round spice jars.

spice containers

Each box holds 2 Tbsp/30 mL of spice - just the right amount for a weekend camping trip, or for making one batch of a specific recipe.

There's just one problem: Tic Tac boxes have changed! They are not as strong as they used to be when they were made of rigid polystyrene. Nowadays, Tic Tac boxes are made of polypropylene, which is more readily recyclable (good for the planet) but less durable (bad for spice-toting hikers).

The trickiest part is removing the lid.

Stick your index finger in the hole, and pull firmly but carefully. The new flexible material may or may not stand up to your tugging.

One of our 3 boxes survived intact. The second one cracked but was still usable, and the third one ripped open and had to be thrown away.

The next tricky part is filling the Tic Tac box with spice.

I used a funnel made of paper, and managed to fill the box without spllling too much.

My kids were delighted to eat the Tic Tacs for me!

The verdict: A brilliant idea if you happen to have some old Tic Tac boxes; an okay idea if you have  the new boxes.

Continue to Part 3.

Did you miss the first part of the series? Click here to start at the beginning.

For lots more great camping ideas, go to my home page and see what else The Camping Family has for you!

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