Best Camping Hacks and Tips

26. June 2017 Travel 8
Best Camping Hacks and Tips


Roundup of My Favorite Camping Tips


My family went camping every summer when I was growing up. I tried going in college with some friends but it was a bit of a disaster since we weren’t really prepared to be the adults. Fast forward to last year when my own little family went on our first camping trip. We loved it so much that we’re going again (this weekend!).


Since my college camping trip was such a flop, I did a lot of homework leading up to our first camping trip. My husband isn’t much of an outdoorsman so I found a great compromise – camping in yurts. The best part about yurt camping is that we didn’t have to invest in a tent in case everyone hated camping. My other favorite thing about yurt camping is that it is easier to keep the dirt off of our sleeping bags. I roll up our sleeping bags in the morning and put them on one of the top bunks so that when my kids are in and out of the yurt, they’re not walking all over our sleeping bags.


Best Camping Hacks and Tips

Since I’ve already done a lot of homework on best hacks and tips for camping, I’ll share them here so you don’t have to do the research yourself.


*This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something (at no extra cost to you.


  • Set up a “kitchen”: A friend goes camping with her son regularly so I asked her for her favorite camping tip and she gave me one that really paid off. Buy a Rubbermaid tub and make it your kitchen. Store all of your cooking and eating equipment in your tub so that you know where everything is and it won’t get dirty. The best part is, when we got home, we cleaned everything and repacked it for easy storage. I barely had to do anything to get our kitchen ready for our second camping trip.


  • Keep your blankets and towels in a zippered bag: I stored all of our extra blankets and towels in a plastic comforter bag to keep them dirt-free.


  • Use sweatshirts and towels as a pillow: I take extra pillowcases and stuff them with our sweatshirts and a towel to turn them into pillows. That way, our good pillows don’t get ruined on our camping trip.


  • Take glow sticks for the evening. The nice thing about the great outdoors is that you’re away from city life…which means, it gets really dark at night. We all wear glow sticks at night, which is great for our walk to the bathroom (our campsite has public bathrooms but they are a bit of a walk).


  • Pack a door mat: I found this great idea on this blog – put a door mat outside your tent to reduce the amount of dirt getting in your tent/yurt.


  • Make super simple meals: I see all of these great blogs with elaborate camping recipes that look really tasty but I always keep our meals really simple. I don’t want to spend our camping trip cooking and cleaning and my kids aren’t really big eaters so it is a lot of effort just for my husband and me. For breakfast, we do donuts ( a treat for our family), lunch is sandwiches or hot dogs and dinner is chicken kabobs on night one and sausage and potato hash foil packs on night two. Our sides are fruit or grilled vegetables. Dessert is s’mores (of course!). Super simple, very little clean up or prep.


  • Use foam tiles (the alphabet kind you get for playrooms) in your tent under the sleeping bags: They provide a bit of cushion.


  • Buy plastic shower caps for your shoes: This blog has a few camping tips but my favorite is to put your dirty shoes in plastic shower caps so they don’t get dirt on everything.



I’ve done all of these camping hacks (except the foam tile since our yurt has beds with foam mattresses) and they really do make roughing it not so rough. Do you have any favorite camping hacks?


Roundup of my favorite tried-and-true camping hacks.

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8 thoughts on “Best Camping Hacks and Tips”

  • 1
    Mackenzie on June 26, 2017 Reply

    I totally agree with the simple meals! We just went camping this weekend, and we did a bunch of foil meals. It made life so much easier, too just have to throw each meal in the fire for twenty minutes. Plus nothing beats a warm meal when you’re roughing it!


    • 2
      Kathy Macaraeg on June 26, 2017 Reply

      So true! We lucked out this last trip that our meals were semi pre-cooked because we were dealing with 30mph winds and couldn’t get the grill started. We were able to just heat everything on our little camping stove so we still had warm food.

  • 3
    Emily Morton on June 26, 2017 Reply

    I love all of these! I recently put together my checklist for everything that I need to take camping ( ) and I think I’m going to have to add a few of these to my list!

    • 4
      Kathy Macaraeg on June 26, 2017 Reply

      Thanks! I’m glad it was helpful. I put together my shopping list when I packed up the kitchen tub so that next year I know exactly what we need without having to pull the tub into the house too early (we’re in a condo and store it in a group storage space in the garage).

  • 5
    Shannon on June 26, 2017 Reply

    My kids like the glow sticks. The outdoor mat is a great tip.

    • 6
      Kathy Macaraeg on June 26, 2017 Reply

      Thanks! While I like camping, I admit, I don’t love the dirt and bugs so at least the mat helps keep the dirt out of our sleeping area.

  • 7
    Tom @ Abroad American on June 28, 2017 Reply

    Great list! I’d be more for sleeping pads than those foam puzzle pieces for under the sleeping bags, but if you have them laying around and don’t mind them possibly getting dirty – go for it. They’re not compressible though (right?) so they’ll take their tow on your packing space.

    Another great tip I saw recently was that you should premix spice blends for the camp meals. That way, you can pack up a delicious meal’s spices in just one container. Saves space and time – making your meals more delicious and even simpler!

    Cheers, great list!

    • 8
      Kathy Macaraeg on June 29, 2017 Reply

      Good point, Tom! I know my parents have the foam puzzle pieces and they pack up into one square bag about the size of a comforter bag, so they don’t take up too much space. Are the sleeping pads compressible? That would be a great option if you’re short on space. I saw the spice tip as well and think it’s a great idea. In my case, I’m a very boring cook so I didn’t really take any spices with me. I had my chicken in ziplock bags already in their marinade so they just needed to go on the grill and my foil packs were also pre-seasoned, so I didn’t have to worry about it.

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