Tent Camping Hacks - Go Wandering

Tent Camping Hacks

Tent Camping Hacks
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The long-anticipated summer is finally here, marking the beginning of the camping season for countless nature lovers. Continue reading to learn about our favorite tent camping hacks to help you stay comfortable and organized during any camping trip.

Pack each outfit to correspond with daily activities

Consider rolling up your outfits for camping trips instead of folding up clothing items. Duffle bags are different than suitcases, so it can be easy to lose track of where you put things. Decide what you want to wear for hiking and other activities, then roll each of those outfits together so you can get dressed as quickly as possible. If you want to be extra prepared, leave a clean set of clothes, socks, and shoes in the trunk of your car as a backup in case you get wet or excessively dirty during the trip.

Add a reflective tarp to the outside of your tent

This hack may look funny, but it will prevent your tent from getting hot during the day. Get a heavy-duty thermal reflective tarp and put it on the roof of your tent. The reflective surface directs all the sunlight away, leaving you with a relatively cool place to take a break. These types of tarps can also be used as emergency blankets if necessary.

Use a wax candle to lubricate stubborn tent zippers

When a tent zipper gets stuck, it can put a damper on a camping trip. If you're in a pinch, you can rub a regular, unused wax candle on the zipper to get it unstuck. Be prepared for this scenario and stick at least one of these in an easily accessible pocket in your duffle bag before your trip.

Purchase foam floor tiles

No matter how hard you may try, it is nearly impossible to get into a comfortable sleeping position with tree roots or rocks right underneath you. You can instantly increase your comfort level in a tent with interlocking foam floor tiles. Immediately after setting up your tent, cover the floor with these tiles to give you an extra layer of insulation and support underneath your air mattress or sleeping pad. Your back and hips will thank you for taking this extra step.

Set up solar lights

When nature calls in the middle of the night, the last thing you want to do is accidentally trip over something outside the tent. You can reduce your chances of tripping by putting some solar-powered pathway lights near all the tripping hazards around your tent. If you have enough of those lights left over, you can use them to lead you in the direction of the latrine or bathrooms.

Bring a shoe basket

Dirty floors in your home aren't fun, but it is even worse if you track mud into a tent. Your tent becomes your living space in a camping scenario, so keep your floor clean by placing a shoe basket right by the entrance. This will remind everyone to remove their shoes, thus decreasing the chance of having arguments about a dirty floor. If you get your hiking boots wet at any point, remove the insoles and stuff a dry shirt or crumpled newspaper inside of them to speed up the drying process.

Use a pop-up hamper for trash

You can use a small pop-up laundry hamper as a "garbage can" inside your tent. This is a great way to keep the trash at bay, but remember to only throw away non-edible items such as paper in there. Avoid eating anything inside your tent, so you don't attract wildlife to your campsite.

Get a hot water bottle to warm up your sleeping bag

If your feet get cold at night, you can use this hack to help you stay warm. About an hour before bedtime, fill up a hot water bottle with some warm (not boiling) water and stick it in the bottom of your sleeping bag. By the time you settle in for the night, your sleeping bag should be nice and cozy. 

The bottle should be no more than three-quarters of the way full to avoid leakage. Take it out right before you go to sleep and replace the water with more warm water the following evening. Keep in mind that the larger the hot water bottle is, the more surface area it will cover, which will keep you warmer for longer.

Bonus hacks:

Make a DIY lantern

If anyone in your camp feels apprehensive about sleeping in the dark, here is an easy solution. Fill up a plastic jug with water and wrap an LED headlamp around it. This trick will create soft ambient light inside the tent, giving the campers peace of mind throughout the night.

Store toilet paper in a container

Having enough clean toilet paper on hand is paramount when you're roughing it in the woods. Pack something that can store multiple toilet paper rolls before your next camping trip. This hack can range from a simple gallon-sized Ziploc bag to a modified milk container. Any solution that will keep debris and rain away from the toilet paper will suffice.

Prepare fire starters at home

Make your camping trip as smooth as possible by prepping fire starter material at home. A straightforward DIY fire starter that anyone can do is dip cotton balls in petroleum jelly. Another idea for DIY fire starters includes wax paper and dryer lint. Cut out square pieces of wax paper and add some dryer lint in the middle, then twist either end of the wax paper together. It doesn't take much effort to make your own fire starters, but you can always use some Fritos as a fuss-free fire starter too.

We hope you enjoyed learning about our favorite tent camping hacks today. Remember to have fun, make memories, and be safe this camping season! 

Here are some other camping-related articles to read: meal prepping tips, and essential camping cookware.

If you're ready to go camping, here are some itineraries that may interest you: Eastern State Parks, Midwestern State Parks, Western State Parks, California National Parks, Oklahoma

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