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A beloved activity of nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike, camping combines relaxation and adventure in the best of ways. In today’s day and age of rapid urbanization, the thought of spending some quiet time in a deserted moor holds universal appeal. It is this need for an escape, for a sanctuary of sorts, that is coveted by campers.
Considered a family activity, camping involves overnight stays in tents or trailers. It has been proven to relieve stress and overwrought nerves. It is also the simplest way to rest a person’s body clock and bring their sleep schedule back to normal.
Camping has, in the last few decades, enjoyed a steady rise in popularity. Seasoned campers prefer to camp out in the wilderness, while first-timers try their hands at park campgrounds.
And while polled primarily enjoyable, camping does come with a few challenges. Temperature regulation, ensuring safety, increasing visibility- these are a few of the problems regularly faced by campers. And while I do not promise to have answers to every query, I might have up my sleeve a few tricks to alleviate some commonly faced problems!
1. Sage, to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay
Mosquito bites are a common camping problem and one that can cause a host of diseases like dengue and malaria. In case you forget to bring mosquito repellent with you to the campsite, fret not.
Put some sage in your campfire. The emanating scent drives away mosquitoes.
2. DIY Lights
Use a headlight/ a strap-on torch and glue it to the inside of an empty water jug. This works as a light for inside the tent as well as a DIY lantern you can use when you step out in the dark.
3. Waterproof Your Shoes
Wearing wet shoes is one of the most unfortunate things a person can do, especially whilst camping. But given the inevitable marsh that one might encounter during a
hike, wet shoes are often unavoidable.
There is a simple solution to this. Use beeswax compound on the shoes to make them waterproof. It also prevents shoes from smelling.
4. Bottle Your Own Tick Repellent
Prevention is better than cure. The same logic applies for keeping ticks away. While mostly harmless, a tick infestation can sometimes be a precursor to Lyme disease even if the victim is asymptomatic at first.
Make a homemade tick repellent using easily available essential oils and use it as a spray before you camp.
Common ingredients include:
5. Edible kindling
As preposterous as this may sound, corn chips make for great kindling. Use extra Doritos or nachos to substitute for firewood on a chilly night!
6. DIY Shower
Showering in the wilderness can be a hassle if your tent is not pitched within easy distance of a pond or a stream.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with this hack for a DIY shower that works surprisingly well. All you need is a large jug, a watering can with a removable spout, a chain, some tape, and a glue gun. Tape the contraption to a tree at a height and enjoy a cool shower when the need arises.
7. Egg Carton Fire Starter
A fun and useful DIY project, you can fashion individual fire starters out of an old egg carton.
Stuff the crevices with dryer lint and pour melted wax on top. Let the wax cool, and follow it up cutting the carton into individual sectors. Store and use as required.
8. Deodorant for Bug Bites
Bug bites come hand-in-hand with camping. An easy and effective way to get rid of the itch is to spray deodorant on the affected area. Stock up a few for your next camping trip.
9. Toothpaste Dots
Instead of bringing along the whole tube, make some toothpaste dots to carry along in a sealed bag.
Place carefully sized dots on a surface and let dry. Add some baking soda to both the front and back so they come apart easily. Store.
10. Garbage Bag Line Your Bags
Use disposable garbage bags to line the inside of your camping bags. This keeps the contents from getting wet even when caught in the rain.
You can also use Ziploc bags for essentials like electronics and charging equipment.
11. Precracked Stored Eggs
Crack a number of eggs and store in a bottle or container to take along with you on camping trips. It saves one the trouble of carrying actual eggs, which might potentially undergo rupture.
12. Hot Water Bottle for Your Sleeping Bag
Temperature regulation is a challenge faced by many campers. Even though sleeping bags might ward off most of the cold, there are other things you could do to keep warm.
My personal favorite is to use a hot water bottle or bag, either on its own or wrapped in a protective covering. Place it at the foot of the sleeping bag to keep feet warm.
13. Foam Tiles for a Softer Floor
Camping can take you places, from beaches and valleys to rugged hills. A smart and easy way to make the space you pitch your tent it more livable is to use foam tiles for the floor.
They are inexpensive and easily available. They interlock, like puzzle pieces.
14. Tic Tac Condiment Containers
Use tic tac boxes to store spices for your camping getaways. They are a perfect size and hold just the right amount for three or four-day detour to the woods.
Added bonus? They are air-tight and keep your spices from spilling all over the bag.
15. Single-use Soap Leaves
One does not really need a full-sized soap bar for camp, do they? Purchase rolls of soap paper instead.
You can also use a DIY hack and implement a peeler and shear soap leaves off of your soap bar at home. Take care to make the leaves as thin as possible, but not too thin or they might snap. Pack in a Ziploc bag.
Use one leaf for one bath.
16. Makeshift Toilet
In case the toilet facilities at your campsite are non-existent, take along with you a makeshift toilet.
All you need for this DIY project is a bucket with a lid that opens by virtue of a footrest and a milk/vegetable crate glued to the top that will serve as the toilet seat.
17. Microfiber Towels
If you like to camp and do it often, you know the importance of packing light. Towels are essentials, but the regular kind does not work for camping trips.
Bring along with you microfiber towels that are lightweight and very absorbent. They also do not take eons to dry.
18. Water Purification Tablets
Camping will often require you to drink from streams and ponds. Do not drink the water directly as it often causes GRDA and other water-borne diseases.
Use water purification tablets or powder.
19. Carry Tinfoil
Tinfoil is a camper’s best accessory. As long as you have it, you can cook just about anything in a campfire be it meat, potato, or green beans.
All you need to do is wrap your food in the foil, and set it down to cook.
20. Scented Candles
A fun little DIY project for the outdoors, use half of an orange peel as a base for the candle. Use a tealight and put it in the middle of the peel.
21. Invest in a Cool Box
Invest in a decent cool box when you go camping. A non-electric one can keep food and liquids cool for up to eight hours, while one with an electric hookup does so for 4-5 days.
Either way, you need one.
The points listed above were only a few of the many camping hacks available. And while all of them might not be possible for you to put into practice, do remember that the watchwords of camping are vigilance and composure. The rest comes after.
And with that, I leave you to map out your next camping adventure!