Going camping? Our family has learned a lot of camping tips over the years to make our trips more enjoyable. Whether you want to go winter camping, backcountry camping or summer camping, read on for tips that will make a huge difference in your experience!
There are few things I know for certain but, I know with absolute certainty, that family camping trips are like a magic wand for helping your family enjoy quality time, connecting you with nature, and allowing you to recharge your batteries all at the same time.
Our family loves to go camping, and as a result, I’ve learned (and researched) a LOT of helpful camping hacks along the way. I’m sharing these tips with you to help make your next or first camping trip feel like less work and more fun.
Essentials Camping Tips
Depending on the kind of camping you want to do, there are different things to take with you, although there are similarities between them all.
For example, winter camping will require different gear than summer camping. By the same token, tent camping will require slightly different supplies than camper camping.
Here are some DIY hacks to make sure you have everything you need (and nothing extra) on hand.
1. Stuff a Pillowcase for Tent Camping
Space is always in short supply on a camping trip; make the most of your limited space by stuffing your clothes and sweater inside a pillowcase and using THAT as your pillow.
2. Take Air Activated Warmers when Camping
You know those air-activated hand warmers you can put in your gloves to keep your hands warm? Use them in your sleeping bag (down by your feet) to keep you nice and toasty when camping somewhere chilly or cooler. Another way to keep you warm is by placing a hot water bottle near you inside the tent.
3. Use a Camping Planner
The worst thing is forgetting something. Promise. Been there. Done that. One trip we literally forgot the toilet paper!! Never again! The $7 spent on the Camping planner is well worth it!! Your sanity is worth it!!
Check Out These Posts for More Help On What to Take Camping:
- Essential Camping Gear to Pack for Rainy Weather
- 15 Must-Have Camping Supplies
- Best Sleeping Bags for Camping
- Must-Have Items for Cold Winter Camping
- Spring Camping Items Every Camper Needs
4. Camping Gear List
If you take a look at all the camping gear articles online, you’ll soon find your head spinning with a ginormous list of gear you are “supposed” to have.
Follow that up with a shopping bill that could likely pay your mortgage, and camping may suddenly seem like more trouble than it’s worth.
In my experience, you don’t really need as much stuff as many people claim that you do. Stick to the basics and you’ll have a more relaxing and enjoyable time (not stressing over everything you’re “supposed to bring”). Plus, you’ll save some money and really connect with nature – as camping was meant to do!
Here is a basic list of what you need to bring to a campsite:
- Clothing for cold weather (pack in layers)
- Tent and tent zippers
- Sleeping pad or mattress (air mattress)
- Sleeping bags or bedding and extra blankets
- Cooking gear (cook or camp stove, grill, cooking utensils)
- Food storage containers
- Flashlights and battery, headlamps and lantern
- Outdoor chairs
- First aid kit, hand sanitizer and baby wipes
- Bug spray for bugs and insect repellent
- Matches or flint
- Plastic bin or trash bags to keep your dirt
Want to make this trip the best trip ever? Then grab this ultimate cabin camping checklist and start checking as you get ready for the great outdoors.
Hacks for Tent Camping
There are two camps of people: those who prefer to camp in a hardshell camper of some type like a trailer or within RV Parks campground with better amenities like shower and bathroom, and those who prefer to pitch a tent and “rough it”.
My family (and millions of others around the world) definitely fall in the latter camp, because we feel that tent camping is camping in its purest form.
Tent camping comes with its own unique challenges and skill-sets, though. Use these tips to help make your tent camping experience even better.
5. Use Tarps for Tent Camping
Rig a tarp both above and below your tent so that you stay dry no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. They are cheap and easy to pack – and make a HUGE difference when needed. Use glow sticks to illuminate your ropes in the middle of the night.
6. Bring An Eye Mask On Your Next Camping
If you’re camping in the summer, the sun may be up long before you want to be. Pack along an eye mask to help you get the shuteye and relaxation you’re craving.
Here are some more tent camping hacks you’ll love:
- Tent Camping Hacks You’ll Be Thankful to Know
- 15 Tent Hacks To Make Your Tent The Comfiest Place on Earth
- 15 Crucial Items to Take Tent Camping
Camping Food Hacks
Here are a few food camping hacks for your next trip. These are genius – I wish I had known them sooner!
7. Pack Eggs in a Bottle when Camping | Cookie Crumbs & Sawdust
What is more classic than cooking scrambled eggs in a cast-iron skillet over the morning fire? Well, maybe roasting marshmallows. ?
Now you can forget about having broken eggs all over by scrambling them ahead of time and storing them in a bottle! If you won’t want to use plastic, you can simply use a mason jar with a lid.
8. Campfire Popcorn for Camping | Delish
Popcorn is great for camping – it’s and easy to pack, easy to make (pop and sprinkle salt!), versatile food that the whole family will love.
9. Prep Your Meals at Home before Camping Day
If you want to get a little more adventurous than hotdogs, chips and Doritos with your camping meals, cut up and prep everything (especially your vegetables) at home before you leave. It will save you time with both cooking AND cleaning.
Take A Peek At More Camping Food Hacks and Ideas:
- Irresistible Camping Food Ideas
- 10 Must-have Camping Trip Food Items
- Delicious Camping Foods For Every Camping Trip
Winter Camping Tips and Tricks
Most people stick to summer camping, but winter camping can be tons of fun and a completely different type of experience!
However, if you’re new to winter camping, there are some differences from summer camping. Use these tips to help make your winter camping experience a blast.
10. Use a Double Sleeping Bag As You Go Camping
If you’re camping with someone you don’t mind sharing a sleeping bag with, do it. Double your body heat means adding extra layer of warmth.
11. Minimize Heat Loss On Your Camping
Conduction is not your friend when it comes to staying warm while winter camping. Minimize heat loss by using an insulation, closed-cell foam sleeping pad on top of your sleeping pad or mattress.
We Got Some More Tips and Tricks For You:
- Winter Camping: Everything You Need to Know
- Winter Camping Tent Hacks
- Crazy Easy Ways to Go Winter Camping and Have Fun
- 15 Winter Camping Tips That Will Keep You Cozy
There’s nothing like going camping to help you relax and bring the family closer together. I hope these tips and tricks help you prepare for the ultimate memory-making camping trip!
More Essential Camping Hacks
- Simple Camping Hacks
- Essential Items For Your Next Car Camping Trip
- 7 Frugal Camping Tips That Will Change How You Camp
- 16 Addictively Fun Camping Games For Kids
- Camping Hacks to Make Camping With Kids Easier
Which camping hack will you try next?