Heading out into the wild camping can be daunting if it’s your first time – what do you need? How much do you need? What will you miss? You won’t know what you’ve forgotten until you get there, but luckily for you, we’ve spent many a night making mistakes under canvas and have learned the hard way how to survive. Here are our top 7 tricks to make life a little simpler.
1. Create portable camping lanterns
Camping lamps don’t always come cheap, and when they do, they’ll likely run out of battery when you’re hot-footing to the loo at 3am in the rain. Make your own and save the hassle! Pointing a head-torch into a gallon jug of water will create a huge, glowing light-source in camp. If you want something smaller, buy a few LED candles and stick them in empty peanut butter or mayo jars to use as table or reading lights.
2. Use Tic-Tac boxes to store spices
If you’re anything like us, food needs to pack a bit of punch, and spices are usually the last thing to be packed into your backpack when going to the woods for the weekend. Fill up a few empty Tic-Tac boxes with your essential spices and you’ll never have bland trail food again.
3. Keep mosquitos away, the natural way
They’re a pest, those mozzies, but nothing seems to keep them away but deet that is strong enough to make your lips numb if you’re unfortunate enough to spray the wrong way. Chuck a few bundles of straw over your campfire/dwindling BBQ and you’ll stay mosquito free without the chemicals.
4. Learn how to pack eggs
It just isn’t breakfast on the weekend without eggs – and now you can take them camping too! Just crack them into a water bottle so that they’re ready and scrambled for later. Easy!
5. Don’t worry about speakers
We know as well as anyone that music is important in camp. We also know that batteries are prone to failure in camp too. Instead of lugging around a load of rechargeables with you, just stick your phone in a mug and have a campfire disco.
6. Keep your clothes warm
If you’re camping out in the cold, there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning, having to squirm out of your warm sleeping bag and put on frigid socks. Put your clothes for the next day in your sleeping bag with you, and it’ll take the shock out of breakfast time.
7. Take a load of sandwich bags
The last time I went camping I threw a roll of sandwich bags in my backpack, just in case. Little did I know that we would use them all up. From keeping soap away from everything else to storing spices (we didn’t adhere to hack number 2, you see), hiding away dirty underwear and rationing trail snacks.