In the past, we gave you camping hacks to use on your next camping trip, because ‘tis the season of warm weather and campfires. Now, we’ve uncovered even more camping hacks that’ll make you a pro in no time at all.
1. Cowboy Coffee
What’s camping without coffee, right, especially if you’re addicted like I am? Don’t want to risk bringing the French press and need something stronger than instant? For Cowboy Coffee, just boil some water over your campfire, add ground coffee, boil again, then remove it from the fire and let the coffee grounds sink to the bottom. That’s it! A few minutes later, it’s ready to drink. (Ironically, my Eastern European relatives make coffee like this too, a souvenir of Communism, and I grew so fond of it that I still make it back in the U.S.)
2. DIY Shower
Are you at one of those remote campsites with no shower? Some may think it’s no big deal, while others really need a shower at day’s end (you know who you are). Now, your shower dreams have come true with this DIY shower you can make out of just a few simple ingredients, including a rectangular water jug, braided poly rope and a garden watering can. You can also make a fancier version by using a few more supplies, as well as your vehicle’s 12-volt car lighter plug. Who knew, right?
3. Campfire Popcorn
Did you know that you could make popcorn over an open flame—aka in the wilderness—by popping the kernels in aluminum foil? Neither did I. And it’s so easy. Just spice up the kernels as you wish—garlic salt, anyone?—and add some popcorn oil and butter or margarine and you’ll have fresh, delicious popcorn in no time at all. Tip: Bring extra, because everyone else at your campsite will definitely want in.
4. Campfire Crescent (Hot) Dogs
5. Don’t Forget Your Toothpaste
Don’t want to carry an entire tube of toothpaste? (Who has the space, right?) You can either refill a tiny tube using your larger at-home tube, or you can make tiny toothpaste packs. All you need is the toothpaste, some straws, a pair of needle-nose pliers and a lighter. Cut up a straw into one-inch pieces, fill with toothpaste, then seal by using the flame from the lighter. Genius. You can also make toothpaste dots by squeezing dots of toothpaste onto some aluminum foil, sprinkling them with baking soda, then leaving them be for a few days until solid. Then, toss them into a baggie and you’re all set. When you want to use one, just start chewing one up, then add water and your toothpaste to the mix. (Fellow campers will thank you.)
6. Tent Night Light
As you know from camping, tents get pitch black at night, but this easy DIY night light will come to your rescue. Just take a head lamp and strap it to a gallon container of water.
7. Miniature Fire
Wish you had the ability to start a mini fire, if need be, whether it’s for keeping warm or cooking food? Well, you do now—with just an Altoids container, wax and cardboard.
8. Charcoal Holder
Speaking of fires, need to start one with charcoal and not sure where to store the charcoal in the meantime? How about a cardboard egg carton? The two keys: “match light” charcoal and a cardboard egg carton (not plastic). Then, just start the carton on fire, which will naturally get the charcoal going—which means hot dogs in no time!
9. Candle Stakes
Want more light at night aside from the campfire or after it goes out? Try these candle stakes. All you need is some craft dowels, taper candles, and a drill bit (to hollow out the bottom ¼ of the candles). So easy!
10. Mini Oil Lamps
Wondering what to do with your miniature hotel shampoo bottles? After you dig some out of your bathroom drawers, clean them out, then fill with good old canola oil. You’ll also need some solid copper wire, a 7/16” socket (for ¼” drivers), and the trim of a cotton towel (to act as your wick). Checking out all the details here for a perfect little oil lamp. Plus, the light will last six hours. Score!
11. Clementine Candle
I love, love, love this super easy DIY clementine candle—and it becomes an all-natural air freshener to boot. Those little dark bits? Those are cloves, to add scent and decoration. Genius! There’s a great step-by-step tutorial from 17 Apart, but you basically cut the clementine in half and use the pip inside as a wick. You fill that half with olive oil, as well as cut a shape into the top part (like a star). Once the “wick” absorbs the olive oil, you light it (or else add more oil and try again). Mmm.