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9 Genius Camping Hacks for Families

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We’ve got a great list of camping hacks for families designed to make your trip easier, and help you be prepared—no matter what!

As prime camping season draws near, families will flock to the wilderness for sleeping bags, lake swimming, and campfire food favorites. Part of the nature of camping is that certain tasks will be inevitably harder. 

However, camping should be fun and never frustrating. Following are some helpful camping life hacks to make your next outdoor adventure one to never forget!

The Best Camping Hacks for Families

Family poses in tent to share the best camping hacks for families.

Use Trash Bags to Keep Your Stuff Dry

As with all aspects of camping, weather can be the prime factor influencing whether its a fun family retreat or a nightmare. Rain in particular can quickly ruin a campout if you are not careful. 

There is nothing worse than getting all of your clothes and gear soaked, so don’t.

Before you leave the house, line your backpack with a disposable garbage bag for instant water protection. It’s easy and cheap, and it certainly beats having to deal with wet socks!

Dry Your Shoes Out Overnight with Dirty Clothes

Whether through sweat, rain, or fun at the lake, it is easy to soak your shoes while camping. This can be incredibly annoying, especially when leaving them out overnight doesn’t seem to make an impact. 

There is a great way to dry your shoes for the new day. Simply remove the soles and stick some dirty clothes into the shoe overnight. Remove the clothes from the shoes in the morning and add the soles for the day.

Speaking of dirty clothes, if you plan to do laundry while camping, start saving the plastic bread clips from your loaves of bread. They are much smaller and lighter than wooden clothespins, and work just as well!

Freeze Water in Plastic Containers instead of Ice

Taking ice camping can be incredibly annoying. It’s bulky to haul around ice coolers, and once the ice is melted, everything non-plastic in the cooler gets soaked. However, there are better alternatives to ice when camping. 

Before leaving, fill some plastic containers such as gallon jugs or water bottles with water and freeze them. Line your coolers with these bottles for all of the benefits of ice with none of the mess. 

Additionally, once the water in the containers melts, you have clean drinking water for your family.

Hauling drinking water can be bulky and space consuming, but this hack solves both of those problems at the same time.

Light Hacks for Camping

It’s all fun and games until the sun goes down, so you will need to have some good sources of light to take with you camping. Headlamps are a favorite of campers, but they have some drawbacks.

For starters, they only light up what you look at, and can be annoying to other campers if you accidentally hit them with the direct light. 

However, you can easily create a lantern by placing your headlamp into a gallon jug, perhaps one that you hauled ice in as well. This hack lets you have the best of headlamps and standard lanterns.

Additionally, gallon jugs are incredibly light and easy to hang for light wherever you need.

For the artsy campers, you can also paint containers such as jars with glow in the dark paint for an easy DIY lantern.

Use Sandpaper as a Striker

If you have a plastic match case, it can be a pain if you forget to bring something to strike matches. However, this problem can be easily remedied.

Simply glue some sandpaper to the top of your match case for use as a striker.

person near campfire starting the fire

Be sure to purchase strike anywhere matches to fill up your match case. Additionally, the sandpaper will help to keep your matches dry in wet and humid conditions, which can be a literal life saver.

The Versatile Corn-Chip

Corn chips are incredibly versatile food, serving as both a tasty snack and a firestarter! Crushed corn chips and Doritos chips can be used as kindling to start a fire and don’t take very many to be effective.

Additionally, corn chips can be turned into nachos, walking tacos, or even used as a breading for plenty of great camping meals.

Use a Belt to Hang Items up to Dry

Before going to bed at night, remove your belt and hang it around a sturdy branch. Then, attach some sort of hook to it to hang items up to dry. Pots and pans, socks, shoes, and more can be hung up. 

Additionally, this can be a great way to hang up food or items that have held food to keep out of reach of campsite bandits such as raccoons.

Water Bottles are a Lifesaver

hand holding water bottle outdoors while camping

There are many ways to put more utility into your reusable water bottle for camping. For example, consider wrapping duct tape, rope, or paracord around your water bottle in case of an emergency.

Additionally, certain items such as compasses and firestarters can be attached to your water bottle.

The hook of your bottle can also be used to carry fishing kits, matches, first aid kits, or whatever else you may need at a moment’s notice.

You can also use recyclable water bottles to transport foods, such as pancake mix or egg yolks/whites. Typically, water bottles can hold up to 8 eggs, so it’s up to you to decide how you want to use them.

Water bottles can be a great ally while camping when used in the right way.

Get more Use out of Containers

There are many great ways to use containers that we take for granted.

Metal mint containers can be used to store essentials such as a lighter, and can be kept on your person easily. Tic-Tac containers can be used to transport spices for cooking.

Additionally, you can use a coffee can to keep your toilet paper dry, or whatever else you may want to place in it!

Camping can be a wonderful experience, but a challenging experience nonetheless. Fortunately, there are many camping hacks to make your life a little easier.

With the proper safety and preparation, camping can be incredibly rewarding and fun for the entire family. 

With these hacks, you can turn your next camping trip into an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

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