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Camping Ideas and Tips

These easy camping ideas will help to make your next camping trip a breeze!

motorhome in campsite

Whether you are a seasoned camping family, or brand new learners, you can always find new camping ideas to make your trip easier.

We’ve camped for so many years that we have oodles of systems and routines. Sort through these ideas, pick the ones that make sense for you, and modify them to fit your situation.

Here's the most important tip of all:
Make and use a good list!

Did I ever tell you about the time I forgot to pack the sleeping bags……..?

Using a list ensures that such things won't happen to you!

camping list

Packing is easy and stress-free with a good list.

Visit this page and choose a camping list that matches your family's needs. Remove the items you won’t use and add your own ideas. Print out the list and keep it close by as you pack.

You'll arrive at the campground with everything you need!

Camping ideas for cooking and eating

Make your own firestarter
using dryer lint and a toilet paper tube.

dryer lint inside toilet paper tubes

I don't see the point of spending time making firestarter (I find that a piece of newspaper works just fine) - but this one was easy to do so I gave it a try. It worked brilliantly!

I lit the lint with just one match. It flamed up immediately and ignited the cardboard. The flame was vigorous; when I placed some small pieces of wood on top, the firestarter continued burning and soon I had a campfire!


Use an old oven rack as a grill over the campfire.

grill over campfire

Maybe your campsite will have a fire ring with an attached grill - but maybe it won't.

Bringing along your own grill means that you'll be ready for campfire cooking, no matter what you find at the campground.

You could buy an expensive camping grill - but why not visit your local thrift store and look for a secondhand oven rack? It will be sturdier - and much less expensive!

Invest in a portable camping fridge.

portable camping fridge

If you are a tenting family, you will love this fridge. It takes up very little room and holds a surprising amount of food.

Imagine not having to buy ice for the cooler.

Imagine not having to deal with the melted ice in the cooler - and with the resulting spoiled groceries.

Imagine having an ice cold drink on the hottest day of the year.

This was one of our best purchases ever.

You can read all about it here.

Make knife protectors from cardboard and duct tape.

knives in homemade sheaths

Whether you carry your knives in a cloth bag or shove them in a drawer, these homemade sheaths will keep your knives sharp and your fingers safe!

Camping ideas for cleaning

Carry dirty dishes in a bucket with a handle.

bucket full of dishes

I love campgrounds that provide dishwashing sinks for tent campers! However, the sink is usually located some distance away from my campsite. How to get the dishes there without dropping them?

In a sturdy bucket with a handle, of course! Carry the dirty dishes to the dishwashing station, rinse the bucket out while you are there, and carry the clean dishes back to your site.

Camping ideas for the bathroom

Some campgrounds have basic facilities. Other have bathrooms that are almost luxurious.

camp bathroom

No matter what type of bathroom you find, these tips can make your trip more pleasant.

Bring a pair of shower shoes.

The shower at the campground might be impeccable clean - but it might not. Wearing your own shoes will give you peace of mind; you won't need to wonder whether you're picking up any nasty germs from the floor.

Keep a pair of sandals clean and dedicated to showering. Then you won't be the one dirtying up the shower floor.

Inexpensive flip flops work perfectly!

feet in flip flops

Carry your shower gear in a plastic basket with holes.

Keep your shampoo, conditioner, soap and washcloth handy and clean in an inexpensive basket from the dollar store.

Sit the basket on the floor of the shower.

Look for a basket like this one. that has holes in the sides to allow water to flow out and air to circulate.

Use a bathroom kit with a hook.

bathroom toiletries kit with hook

Some camp bathrooms have sinks but no counters. Where do you put your things?

You can hang this type of bathroom kit from a hook or a light fixture and have everything you need right at hand. Here's a nice one from REI.

Bring along a universal sink plug.

Your campground sink may or may not have a plug. An inexpensive universal plug will fit any sized drain, letting you wash your hair - or your dishes, or your child - in the sink.

Click here for more great camping tips. (I had too many for one page!)

Camping Hacks

One summer I came across an article entitled “41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius”.

I tried out almost all of the ideas.

Some of them were helpful camping ideas that have become part of our camping routine.

Some of the ideas were more trouble than they were worth - but you might want to try them, just for fun.

Some of the ideas were just stupid!

Here they are! (I'm not going to tell you which ones are the awesome ones. You’ll have to read them for yourself!)

Camping Hacks - Part 1

  • using foam tiles on the floor of the tent
  • making a lantern with a headlamp and a jug of water
  • making a lantern using a bottle of Mountain Dew and some ordinary household supplies

Mountain Dew, peroxide, baking soda

  • baking bread in a tin can
  • learning about poison ivy

Part 2

  • making a homemade tick deterrent
  • making a waterproof match holder
  • making a sturdy toilet paper holder
  • cooking crescent rolls over the campfire
  • storing spices in empty TicTac boxes

spice jars and tic tac boxes

Part 3

  • using a 2 person sleeping bag
  • purchasing a trailer hitch hammock stand
  • making single-use toothpaste packets from drinking straws
  • making travel coffee bags from coffee filters

coffee filter, dental floss, coffee

  • using “ready brew” coffee packets

Part 4

  • making homemade candle stakes

candle stake

  • making homemade soap leaves
  • making a water dispenser from a laundry detergent bottle
  • using a leather belt to hang pots and pans on a tree
  • making Campfire Cones: a tasty campfire treat

Part 5

  • making a mini first aid kit from a mint tin
  • using a homemade premixed pancake mix
  • making a lantern with a battery operated candle
  • making a portable washing machine with a bucket and a plunger
  • making a fire starter with an egg carton and charcoal

Part 6

  • using Doritos for kindling
  • making oil lamps from mini shampoo bottles
  • adding flavor to barbecued meat with rosemary
  • packing waxed cheeses
  • keeping mosquitos away by burning sage

Part 7

  • roasting soft candies over the campfire

roasted Starburst on a stick

  • cooking instant risotto
  • baking inside an orange shell
  • using biodegradable trail-marking tape
  • organizing a scavenger hunt

Part 8

  • making an emergency toilet
  • making portable fire starters
  • using microfiber towels
  • making ice blocks from jugs of water
  • making emergency candles
  • using a panini press

Share your camping tips with us!

What do you do to make your camping trips go smoothly? Please share your best ideas.

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Pill Bottle tips 
Since we have lots of prescription and pill bottles at home, I decided to search for uses for them. Here's two of them: Looking for several ways to …

Camping with kids 
Putting a sturdy dishpan at the entrance to the camper or tent will allow you to strip the little ones and clean them up, giving them a quick foot bath. …

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