Best Camping Hacks Ever — Help Us Make a List!

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As a kid, we camped all the time. My dad made sure of it, and my mom loved it in her way, too. Nowadays she demands a cabin with a hot tub, but i think we’ll get her in a tent again soon enough. 😉 My favorite memories of childhood are from those days. Splashing around in the creek (we always camped by the water) while my dad wrestled with the tent stakes and mom got the food organized. To this day, there is still no meal like one cooked on an open fire…But you guys know that.

In just two weeks, we’ll be taking our kids camping for the first time, in the same North Georgia mountains I grew up visiting, right beside a creek of course. The kids are 8, 6, and 4, so it’s long overdue, considering my parents started bringing us camping before we even had teeth. So many feelings of nostalgia are popping up as we plan this trip, and I want to inspire the kids to love it as much as I always have.

Today I was browsing the web for some tips and came across a few great camping “hacks”. Pretty much everything has a hack version of it these days, but the camping ones prove to be some of the most creative. Some things I definitely want to include in our trip:

Cinnamon rolls in orange peels! Totally for the kids…totally.

I’m no newbie to camping, but I do love using new ideas, especially kid-friendly ones. Family camping is such a tradition-heavy activity, and everyone who does it seems to have their own “things”. So, I’m asking you guys…What would you add to the list? What do your kids love the most about camping that we can share with ours? Let’s compile a giant list of all the best things we do while camping, because the only thing better than creating new traditions is passing them on. 🙂

Thanks for sharing, and Happy Camping!

18 Responses

  1. Sarah

    We like to use Keebler’s Fusge Stripe cookies instead of chocolate bars and graham crackers for our s’mores… One less package to bring, slightly less messy, and just as tastey!!

    • admin

      Thanks for your tip, Sarah! Sounds delicious…this is definitely happening. 🙂

  2. cam

    -Get a dutch oven. AMAZING.
    -Hang a line of rope for drying things( it always rains when we camp) and hanging lamps
    – my mom buys those little solar yard lamps to light near the tent door and the direction to the potty. Also packs glo sticks and necklaces for everyone.
    – prep as much of the cooking as you can before you go
    -bring your Frisbee or some other active game that everyone around can just Join in

    • Chris

      When tying a rope for clothes, lamps and etc. remember to respect the forest!
      DO NOT TIE TO TREES. Use your imagination instead.

    • Wall Plug

      Always a Dutch Oven. I rarely bring a grill. Learn to make a cardboard box oven for breakfast rolls, dinner rolls, garlic bread, cakes and brownies. I like nylon ropes and tie it in a knot to wrap around my holder and keep reusing it. Set up a camping kitchen with equipment only used for camping.

  3. Jennifer

    Camping journal. My brother recommended that we keep a journal of every camping trip and it was the best advice. We have tent camped with our kids for 15 years and have 4 journals full of memories and photos. My husband and I both contributed and the kids drew pictures,gave us quotes, or wrote what they could. Priceless!

  4. Angie

    Put dryer lint in the cardboard toilet paper rolls, use to start a campfire.

    Use a childs play ball and write random questions on it like “what is your favorite color?” etc.
    Toss the ball around a circle and have kids answer questions closet to their right thumb when they catch the ball.

    And we did this on our boat, but if the restrooms are not that close and especially at night, use a small bucket and line with a small trash bag each time you use it, make sure you have TP and dispose of it in the morning.

    • admin

      These are awesome ideas! What a great game to play with a ball. You guys are awesome.

  5. Rich

    Take an empty laundry detergent bottle with the spout that has a button. Clean it out real good, but a few drops of dish detergent in it to make a hand washing station. It has enough soap to get clean, not enough to need to rinse to avoid tasting the soap. Or just set up a second rinse station.

  6. Ryan

    Portable griddle !! You can get them at a camping store or a local store like Target. The ones with two handles, and the length of a 2-burner camp stove (like a Coleman), you just set it on top of your stove. Best cooking equip. I ever bought. You can make 6-8 pancakes at a time, french toast, grilled sandwiches, burritos, hash browns, fried eggs, etc etc….Potatoes in foil – a family fave. Pre-cut potatoes into little cubes before you go on your trip – when you go you put them in foil with cheese, bacon, etc – throw em in the (ends) fire (foil pocketed up) for about 20-30 minutes….open em up, and amazing! Horseshoes – if you have enough room in your campsite, this game is always a winnner. Hammock – always good for those that just want to lounge. We always plenty 20 questions around the campfire – pick something in your head – and have everybody ask a question (yes, or no) until someone gets it or doesn’t by 20 questions – then person that gets it goes, or the person next to you….Card games – always good. Tacos are always a winner (weird camping food, but really it’s not) – I precut either steaks or chicken before we go and bag it up – cook it in a pan for 10 minutes and your good (put flour tortillas on the griddle to heat them up…..check your local Mexican market and you can buy meats specifically cut for tacos and its cheap and already marinated….OK, that’s enough for now….I am a veteran family camper, I have lots of things we do 🙂

  7. Diane

    I always take canvas shopping bags to use for gathering wood. Break the sticks to fit in the bag makes it easy to carry then just dump it out in a neat pile ready to use. We also bring chocolate cookies for the toasted marshmallows. We also use glow stick bracelets by attaching them to the tie off lines on tents & canopy so you don’t trip at night.

  8. Gramma Judy

    Sprinkle a “flat” roast or two with a package of onion soup mix, wrap in heavy foil, freeze. Can be (1)baked on campfire with foil wrapped potatoes (2) cut up for campfire stew (3) cubed for kabobs. Fill several ZipLoc bags with 1 cup of various pastas each…mac&cheese, salad, soups, spaghetti sauced, etc.
    Always take more trash bags, paper towels, and toilet paper than you think you will need!
    Keep a separate cooler or cardboard box with juice and snacks handy. Sometimes a couple of snack stops instead of a big lunch will tide them over until you can make the evening meal.

  9. Jesse

    Make a list, each time you go camping, make a list of things you could have used or wish you had so you know what to bring next time. We primitive camp, so it is important to have the things we need, and is usually too far of a drive to just go and get whatever it is. Now we have 3 tubs ready to rock, and a list of items that go in them to help maintain the tubs.

  10. Jess

    What we like to do for a dessert is bring bananas and the chocolate and marshmallows you’ll probably already have for s’mores. Split the banana open lengthwise and stuff it with marshmallows and chocolate and wrap it up in foil, heat over the fire and voila! Amazing dessert!

    I also use tic tac containers for my salt and pepper or other spices.

  11. Jennifer

    Peach toast is the best camping breakfast! Toast bread over the fire, then spread with butter, a few peaches, a sprinkling of brown sugar, and even pour a little of the juice from the can over.
    I just learned about hall owing out an orange to use for baking and can’t wait to try it! I think definitely thinking outside the box beyond s’mores, hot dogs, and brats is good.

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