Camping is a blast – friends, family, yummy campfire food and fun camping games. Now some will say that the only way to truly experience camping is to sleep on the ground with nothing more than a pillow and a blanket (and the blanket is also optional). But I’m not one of those people and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I like to be able to sleep so I can enjoy all the adventures that might happen the next day. But sleeping doesn’t come easy when there is nothing but a tarp between you and the ground (and I don’t care what they say, grass makes no noticeable difference). So in an effort to help other campers who share this opinion of sleeping on the ground with me…

We have found some great tent hacks to make your camping trip a little more comfortable.

tent camping tips and tricks

Tent Hacks to Make Your Camping Experience Cozy

1. When Camping, Roll Your Clothes.

One thing about camping is that you’re going to be around a fair bit of dirt.  No need for your clean clothes to get dirty.  Roll your outfits by the day, this allows you to grab all that you need for the day at one time.  AND it takes up less space in your pack.

2. Bag Your Toilet Paper.

When nature calls the last thing you want is rain drizzling on your toilet paper, or accidentally dropping it and it getting dirty.  On your camping trip, bag your toilet paper and toothbrushes and every other hygiene item.

3. Use a Pool Float as Your Camping Sleeping Pad

SO COMFY!!  If you already have a pool float, grab it for your next camping trip.  We like them as they deflate so they don’t take up much space when not in use – added perk, our pool float fits the back car seat in our van, meaning our twins can sleep in the van if its raining or we are having a tent issue – cause we all know that happens sometimes.

tent hack use floor tiles as a camping mat

4. Create a Tent Foam Floor

Can’t get used to the hard earth under your tent? Soften the floor with foam floor tiles. You won’t believe the difference it makes! This also works well for keeping mud and dirt out of your floor!

5.  Create a Tent Light – Use Your Water Jug!

Fill your tent with a soft light all through the night by filling a jug with water and wrapping your head lamp around it. This’ll make the tent a not-so-scary place for kids who are afraid of the dark.

6. Heat Your Sleeping Bag With a Hot Water Bottle

I always bring Nalgene bottles with me when camping.  I prefer that brand as they are nearly indestructible and can sustain REALLY hot water without melting!!  Which means NO COLD FEET!!  Have cold feet at night? Fill a water bottle with hot water and put it down in your sleeping bag to keep your tootsies toasty warm.

If you have young kids, remove the bottle before they sleep – cause, well, hot water.

7. Use Kids Belts as Sleeping Bag Straps

Tired of wrestling your sleeping bags in your tent??  They are IMPOSSIBLE to roll back up!!  After breaking our sleeping bag strap we found a solution that was even better!!  Our son’s adjustable belt!!  Now our ten-year-old can make the roll himself… even if it’s not perfect, the belt goes around the roll… and then we can cinch it tight and make it back into the tight roll it needs to be!!

15 camping tips and tricks

8. Keep a Shoe Basket In Your Tent Entrance

Who wants dirt tracked inside the tent? Eww! Keep a shoe basket near the entrance to collect those dirty shoes and keep your tent floor spic and span.  We keep our bug spray and sunscreen stick in the basket too.  This way kids have a visual reminder to spray their feet – ticks to attach themselves to shoes and legs the most!  Keep them safe all day with this mental hack.

9. Use Solar Lights Stakes – Outside of Your Tent!!

You know how everything is just so dark when you go camping? Put some cheap solar lights outside the tent and on the way to the bathroom area to help you find your way around instead of fumbling in the dark.

10.  Make Your Tent Sparkle with Lights

Here’s another alternative for kids who are afraid of the dark: solar-powered twinkle lights! Just don’t hang them directly over kids’ beds, as you don’t want them to knock them down and get tangled up in their sleep. I’d put them on the opposite side of the tent room, actually.

11.  Protect Tent Zippers with Wax.

Keep tent zippers from sticking by rubbing them with a wax candle.  It works for all zippers!!  But Tent zippers are especially prone to problems as they are often folded and bunched up.  The last thing you want is to get to your camp site and not be able to open your flaps. Wax helps.  Promise.

12. Hang Your Camping Gear in Your Tent

Use this gear line organizer (affiliate) so that you never have to dig through piles of sleeping bags and pillows to find your phone again.  Added perk… Bugs!!  Flies and other flying camping pests don’t like to fly under things that are swinging above them.  If you hang this near the entrance you will find you have fewer bugs in your tent!!

13.  Create a Tent Trash Can – From a Laundry Basket

Dealing with trash bags is frustrating, but this pop-up trash can using a hamper is a brilliant idea. (You may want to use rope to tie it to something to keep it from blowing away.) But even better, you should use this same trick inside the tent to hold dirty clothes during your stay.

14. Stop Tripping over Tent Lines

Are you always tripping over your tent lines because you don’t see them until you’re right there? Mark them off with pool noodles.

15. Keep Your Tent Cool

Keep your tent from becoming unbearably hot by using a reflective blanket to deflect sunlight.

16.  Use Binder Clips to Secure Tent Flaps

Keep your tent flaps open with binder clips. We have more binder clip tricks, too.

Keep in mind, very few tents are big enough for your king-size pillow-top mattress so no matter what you do, some sacrifices must be made. But you don’t have to rough it completely if you don’t want to. As you’ve seen you have all sorts of ideas for improving your camping conditions so you can focus on more important things like making memories.

For more camping tips and tricks, check out these posts:

15 Tent Hacks for the Comfiest Camping Trip Ever