I would love to hear other people's camping hints. Here are some of mine:
Hope these suggestions help others and maybe someone has thought up some more.
Have fun camping!
Here's some I could think of that we do:
*save your paper towel cardboard rolls and stuff them full of plastic grocery bags for later use
*buy one of those cheap drying racks at your supermarket to dry wet towels or swimsuits on (found mine for about $8 in the laundry section with the ironing boards, etc)
*use clear containers or baggies to make things easily visible
*We have found that fleece materials for bedding stay dry better, and don't hold that damp feeling
This tip is more for canoe trips. We save our old tennis shoes to wear on the river. At the end of the day we put them in the trash. Old shoes get one more wearing and no stinky, wet shoes to bring home.
Learned this trick from Girl Scouts...soap the bottom of your cook pots and they won't turn black over the fire. You have to coat them from the rim down the sides.
Break your eggs in a plastic baggie so you don't have breakables like that riding along.
MARK YOUR METAL ITEMS WITH AN ELECTRIC PENCIL:
-"WRITE" YOUR NAME, CITY/STATE ON YOUR CHILDREN'S BICYCLES, YOUR CAMPSTOVE, AND ANY ITEM THAT COULD BE STOLEN FROM YOUR CAMPSITE. THE ELECTRIC PENCILS WILL WRITE ON PLASTIC ITEMS ALSO. ALL CAMPS HAVE A RECORD OF THE CAMPERS AND CAN BE LOCATED IF ITEMS ARE RETRIEVED FROM THEFT OR LOSS UNLESS YOU CAMP IN A PRIMITIVE AREA WHERE NO WRITTEN RECORDS ARE KEPT OF YOUR VISIT TO THAT AREA.
WE MARKED OUR CHILDREN'S BICYCLES WITH OUR NAME/CITY/STATE SEVERAL YEARS AGO; THE BICYCLES WERE STOLEN FROM THE CAMPSITE; THEY WERE RETRIEVED BECAUSE OF THE ENGRAVING ON THE BICYCLES.
The one item that I find makes our camping trips more enjoyable that I wouldn't have thought of unless someone suggested it to me is a doormat. I put a large doormat outside our tent to reduce the grit and dirt that gets tracked in. Seems pretty obvious, but I took our first couple of trips before someone suggested it to us. Much better now.
Pack your food in clear totes, one for breakfast, one for lunch, one for dinner. Most of the time keeps you from having to dig in all to find what you need.
When you plan to go camping, be sure you take the entire meal for the first night already cooked and prepackaged in foil packets, double-wrapped. It takes a lot of time just setting up camp, and if you have your meal already cooked and ready to warm up on the grill, you can devote all your time to the setting up and placement of the things you'll be using the next morning getting breakfast.
Bake a roast of beef or maybe a couple of chickens with carrots, celery, potatoes and onions, and when it's done, make individual packets of double-wrapped foil with some of everything already cut into bite-sized pieces. Keep them on ice, and when you're ready to eat, place them on the top rack of the grill, and allow them to warm, then fold back the foil and set it on a pie tin and supper is ready. Easy supper and easy clean-up as well. Many times, I'd butter an entire loaf of bread...and many times, it was eaten before we retired for the night. Camping makes everyone hungry, I think.
Plain pound cake is a staple of our camping expeditions. It's good with almost any kind of canned fruit, and will make a good breakfast snack any morning while you're waiting for eggs and grits to cook. If you like raisins, make the pound cake in loaf pans, adding raisins for a nice quick breakfast bread. Easy enough to slice and warm on foil too.
Someone else mentioned using fleece throws for bedding, and I second that and add that they are about the best thing we've found for wrapping around you when you come out of swimming as well. They dry much faster than towels do and are warmer, and they keep you from getting chilled.
Just one little safety tip I'd like to offer and that is to do a good survey of your campsite for anything like broken glass or things stuck into the ground which might trip you in the dark. Experience has been a great teacher.
This is also a safety tip, but actually, I used it to protect my sanity more than anything. I bought tank caps in white and painted a big Red X (using bright red nail polish) on the top of each of my 3 daughters' swimming caps. Anytime I couldn't count three caps, I stopped what I was doing right then until I knew they were safe.
Be sure to take along some card and board games for the rainy days which are sure to come if you're ever camping.
Instead of soda pop, I'd take cases of the small bottles of water, and a large canister of Crystal Lite Lemonade. The kids get a lot less sugar, and drink more water which is really what we want them to do anyway. You can even open a bottle of that water, save a bit of it, and add good dry milk to the bottle, shake it really well, and you have milk for their cereal and for drinking. If they insist on Chocolate milk, add some Nestle's Quick, and it comes in strawberry as well. There are few things as much fun as camping if you are prepared to do some resting along with the fun.
Instead of paper plates, I bought a dozen of the less expensive aluminum pie tins, and we ate from those same pans for years. Nothing tastes as good as hot baked beans eaten from a metal pan with a spoon while sitting around a fire. Kids love to "play" cowboys for most of their lives, believe it or not, and most men enjoy things which are simple too.
Save and take with you as many of the old wire clothes hangers as you can get. I can't tell you how many good uses you'll find for them. You can bend them into loops to hang from tree branches to hold towels, or grocery bags of food, or dirty clothes. They make great "clothes lines" for drying clothes too.
When we go camping, even the grandchildren love to pretend we are pioneers, and we all try to do as many things as we can without a lot of fuss or griping. The "Little House On the Prairie" books have been our source of pioneer information, and they are wonderful.
Our children are all grown now and the grandchildren are quickly getting there, but camping has always been the most pleasurable family experiences we've shared and have provided all of us with the happiest memories.
Go camping. Be safe and make sweet memories.
Julia in Boca Raton, FL
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!