You may have spent time this summer going camping. Autumn is the perfect time for a few more family trips. The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp and cool, and the sky is even more beautiful when you are sitting around the campfire at night.
Camping is an opportunity to unplug, connect with nature and spend some quality time together doing something that doesn’t involve a screen.
We wanted to share some camping tips that we thought were creative and fun as well as easy to do!
Make your own lantern – All you need is your headlamp and a gallon jug of water. Any translucent bottle will do, but the coolest effect comes from the type that is not completely transparent but allows you to see water sloshing around inside.
Strap the headlamp to the side of the jug so that the beam is facing inward. The jug will then disperse a warm glow in all directions. This works great to help you find things in your tent. You can also place on a picnic table for some additional light at night.
Light a Fire – Matches are a necessity when camping but sometimes they get wet or the strike pad is too smooth and doesn’t work right. Attach a fine-grained sandpaper to the inside of the lid of a small waterproof container that will hold your matches. The sandpaper will provide a large, coarse surface for striking and will also be protected by the waterproof container.
Put a Garbage Bag inside your backpack to keep things dry – You can’t stop Mother Nature from changing the weather while you are camping. While we would all love to camp when it is sunny and just the right temperature, the reality of the situation is that it could start to rain at any time so we need to be prepared. Line the inside of your backpack with a trash bag before placing all of your items into it. This will provide you with dry clothes and a dry sleeping bag even if it suddenly rains while you are out and about.
Use gallon jugs of water as ice packs for your cooler – Bringing ice on a camping trip can be difficult. It melts quickly and that can make everything in your cooler a soggy mess. Instead of pouring ice into your cooler, freeze gallon jugs of water and put them in instead. They won’t crack when frozen, and have built-in room for expansion in freezing. Then, as the ice turns into water, you’ll have drinking water ready.
Burn sage to repel mosquitoes – Mosquitoes are one of those pests that can really ruin a good time. No one likes to get bitten and scratch for days on end. Next trip, take a few bundles of sage and when dusk occurs, burn a little sage in your campfire. For a longer-lasting effect, set the sage on fire and let it smolder and smoke by the edge of the campfire. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk which is why those are great times to use this tip.
Kindling from Chips – Sometimes it may be hard to find kindling for your fire. You may be surprised to learn that a handful of Doritos can be very helpful in starting a fire. All of the starches, chemicals, oils, and flavors that make up this snack are a great combination for combustion. While Doritos are recommended, most corn chips will suffice in a pinch. The corn oil in these chips is flammable and provides a steady burn that will allow you to get your fire started.
Have a pair of socks just for sleeping – A clean, dry pair of socks to put on for sleeping will help your body differentiate between day and night. It will also keep dirt, bark, pine needles, etc. out of your sleeping bag.
Dry your shoes overnight – Remove the insoles from your shoes and set them aside. Stuff some dry, used clothing into your shoes. Moisture naturally spreads from wet to dry places. The moisture from your shoes will transfer into the dry clothing. In the morning, dry the moist clothing by hanging it by the fire.