Camping is all about embracing the great outdoors and connecting with nature. However, a little preparation and a few clever camping hacks can make your adventure smoother, more organised, and downright more enjoyable.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a newbie to the bush, these 10 camping hacks will enhance your experience and make your next camping trip a breeze.
Top 10 Camping Hacks From Experienced Campers
#1 Stay Organised With Clear-Top Canvas Bags
A clear-top canvas bag is a game-changer for keeping your camping essentials organised. These bags come in various sizes and can be used to store items like cooking utensils, first-aid supplies, toiletries, or any other small gear you need quick access to. The clear top allows you to see what’s inside without rummaging through, making it a breeze to locate what you need, even in low-light conditions. They are just so versatile that they fit into every situation!
But, of course, you can also use any type of bag you already have or (also very popular) plastic tubs if you have the space. Whichever modular packing option you go for, having every bag or compartment containing a certain type of gear, will keep everything running smoothly.
Related: 5 Essential 4×4 Storage Solutions.
#2 Use a Spare Wheel Bag for Your Trash
Keeping your campsite clean is not only considerate but also essential for safety and wildlife preservation. Many camping enthusiasts are unaware of the ingenious storage potential hidden within their vehicle’s spare wheel. By attaching a specifically designed spare wheel bag, you’ll instantly have a convenient rubbish bin that stays outside your vehicle.
Related: The Best Spare Wheel Bags Australia.
As a bonus, you can also use the spare wheel bag to store other things, like recovery gear, firewood, or wet clothes and gear as you are driving back home. These bags often come with a heavy-duty PVC lining on the inside and drainage holes at the bottom so all you need to do is hose the bag down once you are done using it and it will be as good as new.
Yes, this hack only works for car camping with a 4×4 vehicle, but it’s a real game changer if that’s your style.
#3 Make a Pillow with a Pillowcase and Clothes
Forget bulky pillows! Create a comfortable sleeping arrangement by stuffing clothes, jackets, or a spare towel inside a pillowcase. You’ll save space in your backpack and have a cozy pillow to rest your head on at night.
#4 Don’t Forget Duct Tape
Duct tape is the Swiss Army knife of camping gear. It can repair torn tents, secure loose gear, or even serve as a makeshift bandage. Save space by wrapping a small length of duct tape around your water bottle or hiking pole.
#5 Make Your Own Light with a Headlamp
Lighting up your campsite at night is essential for safety and convenience. Instead of carrying a separate lantern, transform your headlamp into a versatile camp lantern. Secure your headlamp to a clear plastic water jug, ensuring that the light faces inward.
The jug’s translucent walls will diffuse the light, providing a soft and even glow that’s perfect for reading, playing card games, or illuminating your surroundings. This makeshift lantern is lightweight, takes up minimal space, and is an ingenious way to maximise the utility of your headlamp.
#6 Prep Your Meals at Home
One of the joys of camping is savouring delicious meals cooked over an open flame. However, cooking at the campsite can be time-consuming and require a lot of gear. Not only this, but if you do all the prep at the campsite, you’ll end up with loads of dishes you need to clean which can be a real pain.
Simplify your camping culinary experience by prepping your meals at home. Before your trip, cut up vegetables, marinate meat, and portion out ingredients into resealable bags or containers. This not only saves time at the campsite but also reduces the mess and waste. Plus, you’ll have more time to enjoy the outdoors and less time fretting over meal preparation.
#7 Pack Enough Layers
Weather in the great outdoors can be unpredictable, with temperatures fluctuating throughout the day and night. Being prepared for various conditions can make or break your camping experience. Layering is key to staying comfortable.
Start with moisture-wicking base layers to keep sweat away from your skin, add insulating mid-layers to retain heat, and top it off with a waterproof outer shell to protect against rain and wind. This adaptable clothing system ensures you stay comfortable, no matter the weather. Even if you are sure the weather will be just fine, bring some lightweight layers just in case.
Better safe than sorry.
#8 Always Be Ready for Rain
In a similar vein, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for rain. Pack a lightweight, compact rain poncho or jacket in your gear, even if the forecast looks clear. It can save you from a soggy adventure and help you stay dry during unexpected showers. Bringing a good tarp to set up in front of your tent or over a communal area is also always a good idea: it will provide shade when it’s sunny and you’ll be glad you brought it in case of rain.
#9 Freeze Water Bottles Instead of Buying Ice
Forget about buying bags of ice that eventually turn into a slushy mess. Freeze water bottles and use them to chill your cooler while providing a refreshing source of hydration as they melt. This hack keeps food cold and avoids the mess.
#10 Bring Extra Rope
Rope is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your camping arsenal. It can serve multiple purposes, from setting up a tarp shelter to securing gear and even assisting in emergency situations.
Packing a few extra lengths of rope, each of varying thicknesses, ensures you have the right tool for the job. Whether you need to hang a bear bag, create a makeshift clothesline, or secure your tent in windy conditions, rope is a camping essential that’s often overlooked.
For many of us, camping is all about being adventurous and free. But seasoned campers know that being prepared can make a world of difference. With these camping hacks, you can bring your camping game to a whole new level and free up more time to actually enjoy the outdoors.