24 Camping Hacks That’ll Make Your Next Trip Better

By Jason K. | Updated: 02/12/2024

Camping HacksToday I have something you’re going to love

24 Epic Camping Hacks You HAVE To Try On Your Next Adventure!

Because we all want our camping to be more enjoyable, right?

That’s why we’re always on the look out for any new techniques, ideas, and hacks that come our way.

So today I’m going to share the best camping hacks I’ve come across over the years:

Camping Gear Checklist eBook Cover - roasting marshmallows on sticks over a campfire

Want a free camping essentials checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

1. Water Jug Lantern

When cooking dinner in the dark or getting ready for bed, a lantern is better than a survival flashlight.

Lanterns create broad, even lighting.

So for specific tasks, full illumination is more helpful than a focused beam.

Luckily, you’ve got everything you need to MAKE a lantern!

Just wrap your headlamp around your water bottle with the beam facing inward.

Any clear or translucent bottle, even a milk jug, will work.

These makeshift lanterns work great anywhere you need ambient light.

And you don’t have to carry any extra gear!

↓How To Make A Water Bottle Lantern

2. Rock Grommets Camping Hack

High Quality Aqua Defender Tarp

High-Quality Aqua-Defender Tarp

Some tarps come without grommets built it.

These make it nearly impossible to attach a guy line when setting up a tarp tent.

This won’t happen with a survival tarp like the Aqua Defender, but you never know…

Sometimes grommets can wear out, leaving you no way to secure your shelter.

That is, until now.

With this hack, you can add tie points anywhere you’d like.

Find a small round stone and place it where you want to attach a line.

Gather the tarp around the stone and tie your line around it.

This will capture the stone inside the “pocket” you’ve formed.

Creating an instant “grommet”!

Also, the line strain is more evenly distributed than a metal grommet.

So the makeshift stone grommet ends up lasting longer.

↓How I Attach Straps Without Grommets To Cordage

3. Water Bottle Cooler Ice

When packing a cooler for camping, running out of space is inevitable.

Often there’s barely any room for ice once you add all your food and beverages.

Also, the ice melts fast, leaving your cheese and brats floating in gross water – yuck!

Instead, add frozen water bottles or jugs at home and use them in your camping cooler.

The slowly melting bottles will leave you with cold, fresh water and a much cleaner cooler as they melt.

This is one of my favorite hacks because gross coolers are the worst!

Not to mention it will significantly reduce your risk of food contamination.

So save cooler space with this ingenious hack.

↓How To Avoid Paying For Ice To Keep Your Cooler Cold!

4. Doritos Fire Starter Camping Hack

I’ve been to many campgrounds where finding good kindling is nearly impossible.

Before spending hours splitting firewood into matchsticks, use a common campground snack instead!

A handful of Doritos makes a surprisingly good firestarter.

And makes for an “impress-your-friends” hack.

The corn oil in tortilla chips burns easily, while the chip structure acts as a wick to draw fuel into the flame.

Leave some for eating, or your camping friends will burn you at the stake!

This isn’t just a camping hack; it’s also a survival hack as well.

↓Fire Starting Hack: A Doritos Fire

Note: Dryer lint can also start a fire – especially if you soak it in some nail polish beforehand.

5. Plastic Straw Spice Storage

Sometimes camping meals can get boring or “bland.”

Most campsites are lucky to have salt, pepper, let alone a vast array of spices.

Why? Because finding containers small enough for spices is nearly impossible.

Instead, make your own.

All you need are some plastic straws and a heat sealer.

You can make single-serving packs of any spices or flavoring you want!

More curry for the noodles? Easy.

Some extra cajun seasoning for that freeze-dried jambalaya? No problem.

↓Camp Hack: Spice It Up With A Straw

Camping Gear Checklist eBook Cover - roasting marshmallows on sticks over a campfire

Want a free camping essentials checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

6. Packing Eggs For Camping

While my daily camp breakfast is a cup of coffee and a granola bar, sometimes I need more.

Eggs always please a crowd, but bringing them on a camping trip is asking for trouble.

If they’re not protected in the cooler, they can crack – leaving you with a mess and no breakfast.

Instead, do a little prep at home and crack them into a plastic water bottle.

This lets you pour out as much as you need, cap the rest, and toss it back in the cooler.

No mess, no risk, and a faster breakfast.

Now that’s a great camping hack!

↓How To Pack Eggs For Camping

Easy Sleeping Bag Warmer

On frigid evenings, it’s always hard slipping into a cold sleeping bag (unless you have a tent stove).

Even in the summer, your feet can turn into frozen blocks and take forever to warm up.

Rather than shiver all night, fill a hot water bottle before heading into your tent.

Wrap the bottle in a spare shirt and shove it between your sleeping pad and sleeping bag.

Now you’ve got warm toes til morning.

Don’t forget to secure the lid – a wet sleeping bag quickly becomes cold!

↓Hack: Heating Your Sleeping Bag

8. Hot Rocks For Dry Boots

Wet shoes on a hike can be more than just uncomfortable.

They can leave your feet blistered and torn up, making it hard to keep pace.

Drying them out in rainy or humid conditions can be a real chore.

Instead, here’s a great camping idea…

Remove the insoles from your shoes/boots and set them aside.

Then fill the shoes/boots with rocks heated in boiling water.

Rocks can retain heat, allowing you to dry out fast.

↓Wet Boots? Try This Hack!

9. Match Holder With Sandpaper Striker

Even if you’ve got a survival lighter, there are situations where a match is best.

Lighting candles, a kerosene lantern, or a portable stove are far easier tasks with a survival match.

But most matches are fragile.

The box gets crushed, the striker wears out, or they get wet somehow – now they’re worthless!

Instead, protect those matchsticks using a small metal mint tin (the start of so many great hacks).

Then add a bit of sandpaper to the inside lid of the tin.

This quick DIY project ensures you’ll be ready when you need a match.

If you can find fine-grit sandpaper with adhesive backing, it’s even easier!

↓Make An Altoids Matchbox N Striker

10. DIY Waterproof Backpack

It’s one thing to call a car camping trip quits early and head home…

But this isn’t an option if you’re backpacking, and keeping your camping gear dry can be a lifesaver.

So before you pack your gear, use this hack to line the inside of your gear bag with small trash bags.

Do this before loading all your clothes, sleeping bag, and survival tent.

It’s a simple insurance policy against a cold, wet night that could end in hypothermia!

↓Backpacking For Beginners: Waterproofing Your Backpack

11. Stuff Sack + Clothes = Pillow

I have a great pillow at home, but it’s too heavy and bulky to take on the trail.

I’ve tried several inflatable camp pillows over the years.

And they work fine for a while, but they add bulk and weight to my backpack.

Instead, buy a stuff sack with a flannel lining and fill it with your spare clothing.

A good drybag-style stuff sack will keep your clothes dry inside your pack all day.

Then convert to a pillow at night, serving double duty with no extra weight!

↓ZPacks Pillow Dry Bag…Is It The Right Solution For You?

Camping Gear Checklist eBook Cover - roasting marshmallows on sticks over a campfire

Want a free camping essentials checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

12. Magic Biscuit Firestarters

Try this project if you’ve got a few extra candles lying around.

One that will leave you with all the fire starters you’ll need!

Just dip cotton makeup remover pads in melted wax and let them cool.

Seriously, that’s it!

They’ll be nearly waterproof and light easily.

This gives you a clean, dependable flame to start your campfires!

If you want to make it even easier, pick up an inexpensive slow cooker to make melting the wax foolproof.

I got mine for $5 at a garage sale and tossed all our candle scraps in, so they’re ready to melt when I need more magic biscuits.

↓The Ultimate Firestarter?

13. DIY Toilet Paper Dispenser

When it’s time to go, it’s time to go!

But taking care of business in the great outdoors takes more planning than a quick trip to the restroom.

Too often, you’ll find yourself with damp or squished rolls of TP or missing hand sanitizer.

Fix these problems by transforming a large plastic coffee can into a TP container!

It’ll make EVERYTHING much easier!

↓Camper’s Toilet Paper Dispenser

14. Cooking With Foil

If you’ve been to summer camp, chances are high you’ve cooked at least one meal wrapped in aluminum foil.

My first attempts leaked juices and became a burned, sticky mess.

There are some tricks to making “hobo meals” and preparing a feast over open coals.

If you can master these, dinner can be something to look forward to – WITH NO DISHES TO WASH!

↓6 Tips To Master Foil Packet Cooking

15. Hang A Bear Bag PCT-Style

I recently learned about hanging a bear bag in the PCT style – and it’s a lot easier!

With my camping partner, every second counts when we start the coffee in the morning.

So I enjoy the speed of getting this bag both up and down from the tree.

To simplify it, I use a reflective cord for my bear bag to make it easier to find in the dark.

↓How To Hang Your Food Bag PTC Style

16. Duct Tape Lighter

Everyone knows duct tape (or Gorilla Tape) can be used for almost anything.

I’ve even seen a boat made entirely of duct tape.

But packing an entire roll of heavy-duty tape is too bulky to pack.

Wrap a couple of feet of tape around your lighter, and you will always have a bit in a pinch.

I wrap some around my water bottle, too, just in case!

↓Camping Trick: EDC Lighter Upgrade

17. Fix A Sticky Zipper

After a while, it seems like every zipper catches a little.

Cold-weather tent doors are the worst offenders!

But it turns out that candle wax makes an excellent zipper lubricant.

Rub on a little wax, gently heat it with a hairdryer and run the zipper back and forth.

It works like a charm!

↓How To Fix a Zipper With Paraffin Wax Candle

18. Keep Down Jackets & Sleeping Bags Fluffy

There comes a time when you have to wash that down jacket.

You can do it on the gentle cycle in a front-loading washing machine, but drying it is the trick.

The down often clumps when wet and doesn’t keep its loft.

Next time, toss a couple of tennis balls in the dryer with it.

They’ll bang around and make a lot of noise.

But the constant agitation will help the down feathers separate and fluff back up!

This works great with sleeping bags too.

↓How To Wash Your Down Jacket

Camping Gear Checklist eBook Cover - roasting marshmallows on sticks over a campfire

Want a free camping essentials checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

19. DIY Coffee Bags

The faster we get coffee handed out in the morning, the safer our camp will be.

This usually means anyone NOT drinking coffee has to wait for hot water.

Instead of brewing a whole pot of coffee, make individual coffee bags with a filter and dental floss.

This way, you can boil water in a big pot for coffee, tea, and oatmeal without delay!

↓Cheap & Easy Single Serve Coffee Packs – “Quick Trick”

20. Pool Noodles Camping Hacks

What can’t a good pool noodle accomplish?

These devices are just asking to be used creatively.

And if your camping includes an RV or a travel trailer, pool noodles can be used in an incredible number of ways.

↓RV Pool Noodle Hacks

21. Mason Jar Meals

Cooking and camping can either be a delight or a chore.

What’s the difference?

The tools, and the hacks you employ.

Mason jar meals are a perfect way to bring along complex, tasty food, that’s easy to cook and makes nearly zero mess.

Simply genius!

↓3 Mason Jar Camping Meals | Travel Channel

22. Tic Tac Case Toothpick Holder

Never throw away a tic tac case.

Those things are the perfect size and design to hold (and dispense) toothpicks.

↓Best Camping Life Hack For Tic Tac Container

23. Add Mustard and Foil To Your First Aid Kit

Mustard and Foil?


Mustard has been used since ancient times for burns.

And as for the foil…watch this video, as it explains it all…

↓First Aid Trick No One Knows!

24. Super Easy S’mores

We discovered this delicious camping hack just this summer.

Instead of dealing with graham crackers and chocolate, buy some Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies (or any fudge-dipped shortbread cookies you choose).

Quote from Skilled Survival’s Expert –

“It’s faster, easier, less messy, and in my opinion, tastes better.” – “Just In Case” Jack

Camping Hacks Wrap Up

Before I head out, I always look for new camping hacks to make my life easier.

Every small advantage, from camp to cooking meals or staying dry and warm in bad weather, adds up.

Whenever I overcome some challenges, I win a lighter pack, better food, and more time to relax at the campsite.

Some of these camping hacks could also be a lifesaver for you someday!

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