Life Hacks Every Camper Should Know

Camping can be a bit challenging because you are devoid of  comforts you usually have at home or in your community. This is especially true for large groups that must  share limited supplies of food, water and other necessities.

Luckily, there are many life hacks that help  make your camping trip easier, safer and more organized. Below are some great tips straight from a happy camper’s notebook.

1. Avoid Poisonous Plants

Summer is the best time to go outdoors. Unfortunately, it is also the time when poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac grow in droves. Avoid them at all cost and never attempt to touch them. Here are their pictures:

Poison Ivy, Posion Sumac, Poison Oak

"Poison Oak" by docentjoyce available at under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at BY docentjoyce

If you unintentionally come in contact with these plants, you may experience a red itchy rash in the form of blisters, hives, lines or streaks. Do not scratch the affected area and immediately wash it with lukewarm water and soap. Wash everything, including your clothes, where the plant’s oil have been in contact. Common household items that can ease itching include oatmeal, baking soda and calamine lotion.

2. Waterproof Your Canvas Shoes

When camping near a spring, lake or any body of  water, it is necessary to waterproof your shoes. If you like wearing toms or canvas shoes, you can rub beeswax to make them resistant to water. Slightly melt the beeswax, and apply it on the surface of your footwear. Make sure that you apply it evenly and blow dry your shoes afterwards.

This method also works on clothes. However, applying beeswax will make the fabric cakey and crusty. You can mix linseed with the wax prior to application, which should give it more flexibility, without reducing its ability to resist water.

3. Use Organic Bug Repellent

When you are outdoors, you can’t avoid getting in contact  with creepy crawlers or flyers. To prevent bug bites, you can mix your own organic bug repellent at home, using essential oils. Simply go online to find bug repellent recipes you can make yourself. Most of the ingredients you need can be bought at your local supermarkets such as essential oils from lemon, eucalyptus, citronella and lemon grass. Another organic bug repellent is sage. Just burn a bouquet over  the campfire to help keep bugs away.

4. Make Your Own Camp Fire

Making a campfire is easy, especially if you know what  kind of branches or wood to use. There are three types of wood that make  great campfires. Tinder,  which is around the size of a pencil lead and should be longer than your stretched hand. Kindling, which should be as thick  as your thumb and about as long as the distance from your fingertips to your elbow. Finally, fuel wood, which should be about  the size of your arm.

Stack them so that the tinder is in the centre surrounded by the kindling and finally place the fuel wood on the outer layer of your campfire. You can use a store-bought  fire-starter to quickly light up your campfire.

5. Acorns As Whistles

Getting lost in the woods can be tough, especially if there is no cellphone signal in the area. Luckily, you can use an acorn to amplify your whistle and signal your position to your fellow campers. Grab the acorn cap and place it on your lips. Cover everything with your thumb, except for the nut’s small triangular opening, then blow.

6. Light Up Your Camp

If you feel that your light source is insufficient, here’s a camping hack that can help. Simply strap a head lamp to a clear water jug. The water in the jug amplifies the light from the lamp, illuminating the interior of your tent.

But, what if your flashlight just stopped working and you need a source of light other than your cell phone? Grab a short string, which will serve as a wick, and create a makeshift candle using common items such as crayons, sardine oil and even bacon grease.

 7. Add Flavour To Food Using Rosemary

Using a marinade with Rosemary is the secret to making a  great barbecue. You can also use this herb to improve the flavour of any food.  Simply place a bunch of rosemary right on the coals when the latter start to turn grey and ashy. The smoke from the Rosemary has the same benefits as that of burning wood chips.

There are tons of camping life hacks that can  make your life easier the next time you head out on a nature trip. However, many still prefer to camp with a motorhome or a campervan. If you are one of these people rent your vehicle through Salamanda Travel. We have a price comparison tool that will get you the best deals on your upcoming self-drive holiday!