35+ Camping Tips, Tricks & Treats

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FireSummer holidays are just around the corner and if you have a camping trip or two on your agenda, you might just find a new trick or two in this bunch!

I’ve put together a list of projects and ideas to help around the campsite, a list of must-have home remedies (for poison ivy, mosquito bites, etc.), plus a bunch of fun ideas for cooking you might want to try this year…and don’t miss the old-timer’s fishing weather poem and dependable rope knot examples at the bottom of the page.

Lots here and I’ll be adding more goodies to this page as I find them so you may want to bookmark it for future reference. Enjoy!

To start things off, here’s a recipe for removing mildew from tents:

Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup of Lysol in 1 gallon of hot water. Wash your tent with the solution (use a sponge) and let it air dry.

Step 2: Mix 1 cup salt and 1 cup concentrated lemon juice in 1 gallon of hot water. Wash again with this solution and let it air dry.

Although visible stains won’t be removed, it does kill the mildew.

General Maintenance Suggestion:

Remember, after use your tent should be thoroughly aired-out before being stored. Even if you camped in perfect weather, dampness from the ground, from condensation and from respiration will provide enough moisture for mildew to take hold. It will also last longer if you avoid storing it in its stuff sack. Instead, hang it up or keep it in a large and breathable storage bag.

Source: I published this previously here on Tipnut (January 25, 2007) from an online source that is no longer available.

Next is a batch of DIY projects and a few tips…

mel-designs.typepad.com

mel-designs.typepad.com

DIY Roasting Sticks: Make your own roasting sticks using wooden dowels and wire hangers.

Clever Night Lamp: Make this with a plastic milk jug filled with water and wrapped with a headlamp.

flickr.com/photos/listorama/

flickr.com/photos/listorama/

briangreen.net

briangreen.net

Single Use Salve Packs: Make these with drinking straws and your choice of ointments and salves.

Build A Mobile Kitchen: Make things easy by packing essentials in a box just for trips, includes a checklist to download.

outsidemom.com

outsidemom.com

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

Toilet Paper Roll Protector: Protect TP from rain and dirt by storing in a plastic tub (like a Folgers Coffee container).

Newspaper Logs: Make your own firewood with this trick using newspaper & water.

tacticalintelligence.net

tacticalintelligence.net

pioneerliving.net

pioneerliving.net

How To Build A Campfire: (for cooking) A good resource for those new to the game, the goal is to have the wood turn into coals at the same time.

Try spraying “Original” Listerine around the campsite to repel mosquitoes. You’ll find more suggestions here.

Tipnut.com

Tipnut.com

tipnut.com

tipnut.com

You’ll find a few recipes for making your own DEET-free bug/mosquito repellents on this page.

Are wasps making their presence known around the campsite? Make a trap with a jar, some jam and a bit of juice. See instructions here.

tipnut.com

tipnut.com

tipnut.com

tipnut.com

Are flies a nuisance? Try hanging clear plastic bags filled with water from tree branches. You’ll find more suggestions on this page (includes a flytrap bait recipe).

Make your own ice packs with liquid dish detergent or fill empty juice boxes and milk cartons with water and freeze. More ideas found here.

Tipnut.com

Tipnut.com

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

Organizer: Keep supplies and utensils organized with a shoe bag organizer.

Laplander Stove How-To: Slits are cut into a log then stuffed loosely with bark, twigs, pitch wood, etc.

tomahawksadventuretravel.blogspot.ca

tomahawksadventuretravel.blogspot.ca

popularmechanics.com

popularmechanics.com

Hanging Gear: (slide #54) Use an old leather belt and S-hooks to hang gear high around a tree trunk.

DIY Laundry Kit: Made with a 5-gallon bucket (& lid) and a new toilet plunger. Hang clothes on a rope to dry.

didyasee.com

didyasee.com

jjmatheshikes.blogspot.ca

jjmatheshikes.blogspot.ca

Toothpaste Dots: Once they’re dry you can pop one in your mouth, chew a bit, sip some water then start brushing.

Duct Tape Stash: Wrap a couple feet of duct tape around a lighter to always have a stash on hand without the bulk.

fieldandstream.com

fieldandstream.com

skruben.blogspot.ca

skruben.blogspot.ca

Spice Containers: Here’s a nifty idea, use empty Tic Tac containers to store your spices.

Gear Checklist: Free pdf printable on a single page listing assorted supplies to check off (Shelter, Cooking & Meals, Toiletries, etc.).

nwtripfinder.com

nwtripfinder.com

Quick Tip: Save the ashes from the campfire to use in the garden.

How To Make Waterproof Matches & Fire Starters

*First published March 26, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

BoxHere are different methods to waterproof your own matches and make fire starters, you should use wood stick matches rather than the cardboard sticks.

Although they’re waterproof, make sure to store them in a sealed, waterproof container. Ziplock bags, old prescription bottles, film canisters and small tins should work just fine.

Waterproof Matches

Method #1

  • Dip the first half of the match in melted wax. You can use old candle stubs or canning wax/paraffin wax for this. Dry, then dip the other half to completely seal the match.

Method #2

  • Dip the first half of the match in clear nail polish. Dry, then dip the other half to completely seal.

Fire Starters:

  • If you want to pack away some fire starters for camping or ‘just in case’ you get stuck in the bush when backpacking or biking, fill the holes of an empty egg carton with sawdust, or dryer lint, or fabric scraps. Pour melted wax over each and let cool. Store in sealed ziploc bags.
  • To make waterproof ones, tightly roll newspapers or fabric scraps about 1 1/2 inches thick and 3 inches long, wind string tightly around the roll to hold the roll together. Completely submerge in melted wax. Dry then store.

After dipping the matches and rolls, lay them on a sheet of clean wax paper to dry thoroughly. After they are dry, place them in the waterproof container (or ziploc bag) and store away until needed.

Quick Tips:

  • Nut Shells: Donโ€™t toss away peanut shells or shells from other nuts. Store them year round in a big tub and take them camping. Toss the shells in amongst the kindling and theyโ€™ll act as wood chips.
  • Lemon & Orange Peels: Save your peels from citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. You can toss them in the fire to give a nice, fresh smell.
  • Alcohol Soaked Corks: Soak wine corks in rubbing alcohol (stored in a sealed glass jar). Toss a couple corks under the wood before lighting the fire.
  • Candle Ends: Use the ends of candles by placing a couple in the middle of a wood pile and start the blaze with a little kindling.

From around the ‘net…

jjmatheshikes.blogspot.ca

jjmatheshikes.blogspot.ca

Cosmetic Pad Firestarters: The cotton pads are soaked in melted wax and allowed to dry before packing away in a small zip bag.

Made With Recycled Bits: These are made with egg cartons, dryer lint, shredded paper, bits of twigs and old candles.

everynothingwonderful.com

everynothingwonderful.com

sewmanyways.blogspot.ca

sewmanyways.blogspot.ca

Egg Carton & Charcoal: A cardboard carton is filled with “match-light” charcoal (one briquette/hole).

Good To Know: First Aid & Remedies

Pack a pair of tweezers in your first-aid kit, they’ll come in handy when removing ticks. See instructions here.

Regular household vinegar can help with poison ivy (and oak), see more recommendations here (including a lard salve recipe).

Keep an ice pack on hand at all times, this will help soothe wasp stings. More suggestions found here.

A dot of mustard can help relieve the pain from a bee sting. See more suggestions here.

Keep a bar of soap on hand to help take the itch away from mosquito bites. Over 40 more ideas are found here.

Pack a few bags of tea, they will come in handy if you get sunburned. See recommendations and more remedies here.

Recipes & Cooking

kidsactivitiesblog.com

kidsactivitiesblog.com

Campfire Cones: A fun treat made with mini-marshmallows, chocolate chips, waffle ice-cream cones, chopped fruit and tin foil.

Orange Rolls: Uses refrigerated roll dough and bakes in halved orange rinds.

trulysimple.com

trulysimple.com

ljcfyi.com

ljcfyi.com

Orange Cakes: Batter from instant cake mix is poured in empty orange rinds (halved), wrapped in foil and baked right on the coals.

Fire Roasted Nachos: Ingredients are assembled in a foil pan, wrapped in foil then held over the fire for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

familyfun.go.com

familyfun.go.com

ninthandbird.com

ninthandbird.com

Campurritos: Recipe for pre-made breakfast burritos that are wrapped in foil then thrown on the fire to cook.

Gourmet S’mores: Suggests making these with (one or two of) peanut butter, Nutella, coconut, strawberries, pineapple, dried apples, candied ginger, banana slices.

mnn.com

mnn.com

munchinwithmunchkin.com

munchinwithmunchkin.com

Macaroni & Cheese: Cooked in a cast iron dutch oven, the pasta is cooked ahead of time at home.

Omelets In A Bag: Ingredients are mixed together in a Ziploc bag then cooked in a pot of boiling water.

therunawayspoon.com

therunawayspoon.com

bonappetit.com

bonappetit.com

Cooler Corn: Here’s a surprisingly easy way to cook corn on the cob.

Hobo Eclairs: Cooked on a broomstick! These are made with Pillsbury crescent dough and served with whipped cream.

elizabethannedesigns.com

elizabethannedesigns.com

scoutingmagazine.org

scoutingmagazine.org

Dutch Oven Formula: Learn how to bring a Dutch oven to the correct temperature without fail.

Pancake Batter Idea: Prepare pancake batter at home and store in a plastic squeeze bottle for convenience.

realsimple.com

realsimple.com

simplybephoto.com

simplybephoto.com

Rolo Marshmallows: No instructions required, just take a look at the step-by-step photo tutorial. Yum!

Mushroom, Sun Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Dip: Cooked in a cast iron pan and served on a warm piece of toasted bread.

acommunaltable.com

acommunaltable.com

lakelandgear.com

lakelandgear.com

Bacon & Eggs Bag Breakfast: This is interesting, paper lunch bags are lined with bacon, topped with eggs then cooked over a fire.

Also see:

  • 25+ Snack Mixes & Munchies: Lots of goodies in this collection, many can be made ahead of time and packed in plastic pails to be munched on later around the campfire.
  • Quick Tip: Campsite coffee got you down? No need to settle! You can buy stainless steel french press pots (I use one at home) and the coffee turns out delicious every time! Here’s how to use one. You’ll need to grind coffee beforehand (at home) or if you prefer buying it, make sure it’s coarse ground.
  • 13 Recipes From Sunset.com: Dutch Oven Braised Beef & Summer Vegetables; Pinnacles Scramble; Berry Camping Cake; Chili Lime Corn On The Cob & More.
  • 50 Things To Grill In Foil: From Food Network, ideas include Jalapeno Poppers; Jerk Chicken Wings; Quesadillas; Mussels; Coconut Shrimp & more.

Campfire Banana Boat Recipe

*First published August 9, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

Recipe - Tipnut.comRemember this childhood treat? Here’s how to make them:

  • Peel back one strip of the banana peel (keep the peel attached on the other end).
  • Slice the exposed banana in half lengthwise, but do not slice through to the peel on the other side.
  • Fill the split banana with mini-marshmallows and Smarties (or chocolate chips or chocolate bar pieces).
  • Fold the peel back in place and wrap the whole banana in foil.
  • Place on the grill of a campfire.
  • Once the chocolate and marshmallows are melted (you’ll have to keep checking–don’t overcook), remove from heat, grab a spoon and eat the hot gooey goodness between the peel.

Newspaper Fish How-To

*First published August 14, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

Here’s a campfire favorite that can also be done on the BBQ. Doesn’t everything seem to taste better when cooked outdoors :)?

What you’ll need:

Fresh Fish
Seasonings
Newspaper – soaked in water

Directions:

  • Gut and clean the fish then season the inside (you can also brush a light layer of oil on the outside if you like). Roll it up tightly in a couple sheets of wet newspaper.
  • Place the wrapped fish directly on hot coals of a small campfire or on a hot grill. Cook for approximately 10 minutes on each side.
  • Remove from heat and open the package, many times the skin will peel off with the newspaper.
  • Cooking times will vary with the type and size of fish being cooked as well as how hot the heat is.

Tips:

  • Keep the head and tail on if you like. Use at least 2 sheets of newspaper when wrapping.
  • If you don’t like the idea of cooking the fish in direct contact with the newspaper, wrap in a wet paper bag first.
  • If you prefer, you can wrap with dry sheets of newspaper (tightly), and give it a good dunk in a pail of fresh water.
  • Watch that the newspaper doesn’t get too dry and start on fire before the fish is done. Remove from heat before this happens, spray some more water on it and wrap another layer of wet newspaper. Return to the fire and finish cooking.

Seasoning Ideas:

Depends on the type of fish being cooked, but some tasty suggestions:

  • Lemon Pepper
  • Onions, Cilantro, Salt & Pepper
  • Lemon Slices (or wedges), Salt & Pepper
  • Lemon Slices, Fresh Dill
  • Lemon Slices, Rosemary
  • Creole Seasoning

Fishing Weather Poem

When the wind is in the East,
‘Tis neither good for man or beast;
When the wind is in the north,
The skillful fisher goes not forth;
When the wind is in the south,
It blows the bait in the fishes’ mouth;
When the wind is in the west,
Then it’s at the very best.

Author Unknown

Dependable Rope Knots, Hitches & Slings

*Source: Practical Helps For Farm & Home (1945)

Dependable Rope Knots, Hitches & Slings - Click To View Larger Size

Click To View Larger Size

  1. Bowline: Gives a loop that will not slip under strain, and can be easily untied when strain is released.
  2. Running Bowline: Passing long end through loop makes good slip knot.
  3. Bowline on a Bight: Makes comfortable emergency sling to sit in.
  4. Square or Reef Knot: For joining ropes together.
  5. Double Blackwall Hitch: For hitching rope to a hook for hoisting.
  6. Fisherman’s Bend: For fastening a rope to a ring or anchor.
  7. Wall Knot: Used to prevent unstranding and act as a stopper.
  8. Sheepshank: For shortening a rope or to pass by a weak spot.
  9. Timber Hitch and Half Hitch: For lifting spars. Can be easily loosened when strain is taken off, but will not slip under a pull.
  10. Clove Hitch: For fastening staging to upright or securing loose ends.
  11. Rolling Hitch: For hauling spar or large cable.

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What Readers Are Saying:
88 Comments to “35+ Camping Tips, Tricks & Treats”
  1. travellinardie says:

    make homemade tinder/fire starters with cotton wool balls and either vaseline or baby oil – don’t make the balls too soggy. take 1 ball, pull it apart slightly then light. these work fine with emergency fire lighters. make them in advance and store them in a ziplock bag.

    • KD says:

      Dryer lint works good and recycles the link too. Pack into paper egg cartons.

      • val says:

        i’ve used dryer lint lightly packed in toilet paper tubes! an who doesn’t have those laying around? (usually in my kids’ bathroom… or bedrooms with their cars in them!)

      • Maladjusted says:

        Anything dry that will burn tear strips, or roll into balls, or compact slightly. Then you fill CARDBOARD egg cartons (styrofoam will gas you). Fill with hot wax (great place to use candle ends and other recyclables). Once it cool its good forever and waterproof. Make ur tinderbundle, toss this on top and light a corner. Toss more tinder on top slowly and you’ll be warming up and cooking breakfast in no time.

  2. Starbuck says:

    Crunchy Cheetos are also a great fire starter. A great thing to keep in the pack as you can eat it and lite a fire (takes just a few for a good blaze).

  3. Danielle says:

    It is not recommended to pull ticks off with tweezers, you may risk decapitating them causing further problems with infection…a public health nurse says soak a cotton ball with dish soap apply to tick and let sit for a few minutes if the tick does not back out you can slowly slide the cotton ball back and the tick will slide right out too and be stuck to the cotton ball

    • Emily says:

      I tried this method about a week ago and it did not work. ๐Ÿ™

      • Pam says:

        The tweezer method is the one suggested on medical sites like Webmd:

        “Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick. If you don’t have tweezers, put on gloves or cover your hands with tissue paper, then use your fingers. Do not handle the tick with bare hands.
        Grab the tick as close to its mouth (the part that is stuck in your skin) as you can. The body of the tick will be above your skin.
        Do not grab the tick around its bloated belly. You might push infected fluid from the tick into your body if you squeeze it.
        Pull the tick straight out until its mouth lets go of your skin. Do not twist or “unscrew” the tick. This may separate the head from the body.
        Do not try to smother a tick that is attached to your skin with petroleum jelly, nail polish, gasoline, or rubbing alcohol. This may increase your risk of infection.
        Do not try to burn the tick while it is attached to your skin.”

        • Stacy says:

          When dealing with ticks, we just lit a match, blew it out then placed the hot end on the ticks rear. After a few seconds, the tick just backs off. Grab it and mush it with a shoe. Works every time.

          • Mia says:

            I use the blown out match method too. Works great.

          • Bryan says:

            actually the suffocation or burning methods are NOT RECOMMENDED as they increase the possibility of infection with whatever virii/diseases they may be carrying. The idea is that if burnt or suffocated with soap/vaseline they regurgitate a bit of the “saliva” and blood and then release.. this is NOT GOOD if there’s anything in there harmful to you. Granted with deer ticks the possibilities are less, but the #1 way is the fine tweezers taking care to get the head.

          • Catherine says:

            Bryan is right. Putting substances on ticks will make them regurgitate and their stomachs are where the diseases are found. Tweezers are good but instead of sqweezing them, which could also make them regurgitate, take the flat side of one prong of a set of tweezers or a small knife and slide it between the tick’s main body and your skin (getting as close to the head as possible). Then gently lift/pop them off your skin. That method is less likely for disease transfer.

          • Susan says:

            Anything that makes it regurgitate is bad- including the tweezers. Squeezing the tick with tweezers pumps the bacteria back into the skin. I have found a great device called a tick spoon (found in camping area at most chains). This looks like a bright orange plastic measuring spoon with a narrow slit in it. Slide it under the tick against the skin–it pulls it out, head and all with one swipe. Use it many times!

          • Amanda says:

            I always use the blown out match. Its always worked. I know how to do it so im sure that just makes it a more comfortable method. It’s never failed ๐Ÿ™‚

          • monkeybuttmomma says:

            The match works! I’ve been ripping ticks off me for decades and the blown out match makes them sucker back it up quick. You gotta be smarter than the dang match, that’s the only warning to issue. Just don’t let someone who can’t be trusted with a match USE matches.

      • Kevin says:

        The best way to do it is heat a needle till red hot push to the back of the neck of the tick he will pull out himself. If you pull them out with tweezers you can also make them regurgtate blood back into you thus giving you desieses

    • tammy says:

      putting gas on them works well

      • Pete says:

        If you will dust liberly inside clothes with Johnsons Baby Powder you won;t have any ticks or chjggers.

        • Kate Madsen says:

          Pete, I wish I had read your post sooner. Being from the north and now a snowbird..didn’t have a clue about Chiggers. OMG!I didn’t know what the heck was going on. It was as bad as swimmers itch( the only thing I can compare it too) But it lasts much longer and you don’t have a clue how/where/ or what you got into.. Once we mow it’s ok. Had my friend not warned me of spiders and chiggers..( had to look them up) I still would be in th edark.. the only remedy I got on them was to bath n bleach water( can’t remember the ratio) and YES I know bleach is bad..but preferable to amputating the affected area! ANYWAY..thanks for the tip:-)

          • Tracy says:

            My son had chiggers really bad in his groin area and under his arms. I read in one of my holistic herbal home remedy books to apply the cut side of an onion to the chigger bite area. It worked in seconds! He was a little stinky, but he didn’t care, went right to sleep! Yay! We left them on while he slept, and it cured them, never had to reapply.

          • Connie says:

            Chiggers love me (and yes, we do have them in the north, too). The best way I’ve found to get rid of them is to sit in a warm tub of water with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda. Doesn’t take long. For 1 or 2 bites I mix a tiny bit of water with a bit of soda, dab it on, once is usually all it takes. Soda is so much safer than bleach, especially around the kids.

          • Rick says:

            You can put clear fingernail polish on them too and that will take care of them.

      • christine says:

        Best way to deal with chiggers fast is to suffocate them, that’s how we did it in the 70’s anyway. Just brush on a small amount of nail polish over the spot where the chigger is (yes I said suffocate them, these are parasites that have burrowed into the skin), this coupled with a dab of campho phenique (if you can find the liquid version these days) just before using the nail polish is a life saver with these little critters.

    • Michelle says:

      I put Neosporin pain relief around the tick and then put vasaline over it. Wait for a few minutes and then use a tweezers. Kids don’t feel a thing and it pulls right out.

      • Mike says:

        That is not proper. The tick regurgitates when you do it that way. Web MD says to grasp the ticks head with tweezers and pull off. Don;t burn or put anything on the tick. Best wishes.

    • lala says:

      Actually, anything that causes the tick to “back out” on its own will also cause it to regurgitate into the wound, something they automatically do. Personally, I’d rather just pull the little bugger out than have him spit up under my skin. Just saying.

  4. Emily says:

    Also for wasp or bee stings, cut an onion in half and put it on the stings. It will take the swelling out and help with the sting.

    • Donna says:

      meat tenderizer works too…make a paste with a little bit of water and apply to bite/sting

      • Paul says:

        We always keep Preparation H on hand for bee stings, or those pesty deer flies, just a dab takes the sting away, we have a cottage, and the grandkids know we keep a tube in the fridge. Also use super glue when they get a cut, it cuts the air from hitting the nerves, and helps to heal a lot quicker.

    • Lona says:

      Wet tobacco and apply to the area

  5. Emily says:

    Make the onion juice with your knife before you put it on the sting. It will also pull the poison out on it.

  6. Christie says:

    Sorry, but the water in the bag to repel flies is a myth and has been proven not to work.

    • Michelle says:

      Put a penny in the bag. This works here in Texas!!!

    • Beth says:

      It is used everywhere on the beach food huts in Puerto Rico.. Works like a charm.. weird to have flies everywhere but the table and the food. They hand them around the tables and from the umbrellas.

  7. Brooke says:

    I’ve been successful in using the tweezer method, just use a steady firm hold, try not to squeeze the tick with the tweezers. Each time I was able to get the entire tick off intact.

  8. Renee says:

    Great outdoor tips, thank you for sharing!

    I was told by my vet not to worry about getting the tick head out, that once you get the body, the head will soon die and either drop off or then you can easily remove.

    • Heather says:

      That’s not true. My mom is a nurse and I am a CNA a tick regenerate similarly ta a starfish that can grow it’s leg back If the head is still intact the body will regrow.

      • Marcy says:

        Hopefully by attaching your and your mothers’ titles to this completely and utterly false statement you haven’t damaged people’s view of this vital profession. A basic web search and/or high school biology course will illuminate – starfish are echinoderms with distributed rather than centralized nervous systems, while ticks are very small arachnids that do in fact have a brain (albeit primitive)…in their head….removal of which causes death. If you want to draw a parallel between starfish and ticks, the appropriate one would be pulling the leg off the tick, not decapitation….incidentally, pulling the leg off a tick also won’t result in any kind of regeneration.

        • Audrey says:

          As a high school student, I can assure that Marcy here is right. On the other hand I also want to back up heather here. The head of a tick CAN regrow a body. Even though the start fish comparison wasn’t exact, I think it is better to compare it to a cockroach being able to live several days with out a head–except backwards? Either way, there aren’t many things similar to ticks in this sense. All you need to know is that by not removing the whole head, the tick can still live and burrow in your skin. The body is only supposed to be pulled out because of the diseases it might carry in the stomach.

          (Coming from someone who’s lived on the east coast and gone on many summer hiking trips there)

      • kerry grand says:

        WHAT? zombie ticks regenerate an entire body when you have just a head left? I’m sorry but you are spreading falsehoods

      • Mick says:

        Glad to see our health care providers also have the ability to use correct grammar.

      • gabrielle Marie says:

        A tick of any kind, one legged, two noses, or even a freaky starfish tick that can grow parts back ….needs to not attach itself to me or mine! I’ve never seen one, southern Cali must not have many? Thank you for mini bio lesson Marcy…I bet you teach?

  9. Nicole says:

    We used a dryer sheet for repelling flies- some days it worked, some days it didnt…

  10. Emily says:

    If you wash your waterproof tent in Lysol, it will destroy the waterproof protection.

  11. Lauren says:

    If there is one tip I have picked up in my years of camping that I recommend to everybody it is this:

    Make blocks of ice at home in your freezer a day or two ahead of time.

    It is so easy, take some tupperware containers and pour some water in the bad boys, pop in the freezer, wait and your done. The blocks of ice will last you two days, maybe three.

    Loose ice is good in addition to the blocks but you won’t have to worry about a warm cooler. The block will keep for a few days and also keep any water that may have melted and is in the cooler super cold. The larger the block the longer it will take to melt away.

    Happy camping!
    Lauren

  12. Paula E. says:

    Freeze bottles.of water. They will keep everything cold and provide drinking water when melted.

  13. Paula E. says:

    Fire starters made with dryer lint, a cardboard egg carton and melted wax works really well. On a camping trip where we had rain all day and very wet wood, the egg carton fire starters stayed lit long enough to have a roaring fire in just a little longer than usual.

  14. Nancy says:

    When making ice for using in drink coolers or just to keep things cold, I use my Food saver bags. I make a bag, fill it with water (about 3/4 of the way to allow for expansion)…seal it….and then lay it flat on a cookie sheet in my freezer for at least a day. You can then use it in the bottom of a cooler or float it in a drink cooler to chill the drink without watering it down….the beauty is you can reuse them over and over…

  15. pamela says:

    Please do NOT use the camp cooler/boiling water/cook corn method. Boiling water releases nasty chemical stuff from the interior. Besides, by the time you boil that much water…. you could have cooked corn in any number of ways.

  16. Sharla says:

    My grandfather passed down the tradition of “Garbage can Stew” It is awesomely hilarious to see all the strange looks you get by cooking your meal in a garbage can!
    you need a mettle garbage can that does not leak! We have a large normal size can for big groups and we have a smaller can for small groups. Very important that the can does not leak..My grandfather and I spent a great deal of time at the store filling up different garbage cans until we found one that didn’t leak. (haha good times) He later welded it together to prevent further leaks, not too sure how “healthy” that is but we rarely use this cooking method so I don’t really worry about it.
    You will also need enough empty cans to fill the bottom of the garbage can, the men of the family always said beer cans made the food taste better (now that I’m older I think it was just an excuse for them to drink beer haha)

    Preparing to cook: rub dish soap on the outside of the can about half way up, fill the empty cans with water and place on bottom of garbage can, then put a screen over the cans so no food falls down.

    Now fill her up: anything can go in, our favorites is whole potatoes, whole carrots, corn on the cob, cabbage (cut into forth), sausage,and brats. We have even have done a seafood one where we put corn, a bunch of crab legs and shrimp. Pretty much anything that can be steamed cooked can go in. Anything that takes longer to cook should be placed at the bottom where there is the most heat.

    Put the top of the can on and place it right on the fire pit, usually for the big can it would take about a hour but check on it because times and the types of food you put in may very.

    • Tammy says:

      Sounds interesting as long as the drunk chefs remember to rinse the can well after washing it with the soap. :)~

      • Angela says:

        I think she meant that you are to rub the dish soap half-way up the garbage can, which will be sitting in the fire (this helps to clean off the soot/ash really easily. It also works well for any non-cast iron pot you might use to cook with while camping.).

        Then you put the aluminum cans (of whatever your preference) filled with water in the entire bottom of the inside of the garbage can. You put the screen on top and steam cook the food.

        No soapiness in the food at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jessie says:

      I would be very wary of cooking in a garbage can. Garbage cans are galvanized and any galvanized steel gives off very toxic fumes when heated. Welders usually wear respirators when they have to weld on galvanized steel because inhaling the fumes can render them unconscious in less than 5 min. Not sure I’d risk that touching my food.

    • chuck says:

      Trash cans are “galvanized ” which means they are coated with zinc. This is what causes zinc fume fever when welding without proper ventilation. If you heat the can with a direct flame the zinc fumes will be vaporised and deposited on the food inside.

  17. vera crocker says:

    We love ice tea when we go camping..I make at home the tea mixture and pour into double gallon zip lock bags and freeze flat( leave some space for expansion) We use one cooler for just the meat. The meat is also frozen and then double wrapped in newspaper or brown bags. you can put the frozen zip lock bags of tea into the meat cooler or use with other items which need to have ice. As it thaws drink the tea.Saves space money and you have something you may love to drink as we do. I also make some of our meals such as stew and hearty soups ahead of time cool and freeze using the same idea. We have gone camping and still have things frozen after ten days.

  18. sumon says:

    Do not grab the tick around its bloated belly. You might push infected fluid from the tick into your body if you squeeze it.

    • louise says:

      Was told to put a piece of tape over the tick and pull in the opposite direction, the tick should come right out without the danger of leaving the head in, haven’t had to try it as yet but sounds logical.

  19. Samantha M. says:

    With the help of my sister, I tried out the laundry bucket idea this weekend with my husband. We were going to a friend’s house that evening, so I washed a pair of jeans for both of us to wear in case it got chilly. It worked incredibly well; much better than I expected it to! I plan on using it at home too, but only for very small loads/delicates and hang them on my drying rack. Such a money saver!

    • tanya says:

      i can’t find anything on this laundry bucket idea – can you help?

      • Betty says:

        You get a 5 gallon bucket, cut a small hole in the top-insert CLEAN plunger handle thru the hole in lid-then put lid on top of bucket filled with water, detergent, and your clothes—move plunger up and down to agitate the clothes…when done pull lid off bucket-wring out clothes–have a second bucket for clean rinse water and do the same or dump detergent water if done with it and add clean water for rinse…wring out and hang to dry!!!

        You can also make an emergency toilet, using a 5 gallon bucket and a camping toilet seat…..

    • Laurel Bowen says:

      Forgot about the laundry bucket ! Will have to make one! Grand kids and I do a lot of camping during the warmer months and they dirty a lot of clothes!

  20. krista says:

    I freeze water bottles, helps keep things cold and always cold fresh water on hand for those hot days

  21. Gina says:

    if you have a tupperware drink container (like the old oblong ones with the lid that snaps on and the cover for over the hole) you can put 2 dozen eggs in (do it gently) and you can put that in your cooler. In the morning you can make beautiful over easy or sunny side up eggs. On the last day you use whatever broke for scrambled eggs. It is cool how each egg stays separated and just plops into the pan.

  22. Erin says:

    Great ideas!!!! Love it! My family loves to go camping and I’m always looking for new things to try and different remedies. Thanks for sharing! I will “stop by” again!!

  23. KsPetunia says:

    Doc told me Sea Breeze for chiggers. Works pretty well…..

  24. Colleen says:

    I scramble my eggs at home, a little on the soft side. At the campsite it is so easy to just reheat them. no mess. makes good breakfast puggie pies.

  25. Colleen says:

    We use 2 of those mesh collapsible laundry hampers for our garbage. A large outdoor bag fits in great. Hold it in place with clothes pins. One for garbage and one for recycling. They fold up small and flat when it’s time to pack up. If it’s windy we bungee cord them to a tree so they don’t tip.

  26. Sam B says:

    Ticks! We got ’em in Arkansas — here’s what works for me — Castor oil on a cotton ball. Castor oil is quite thick, viscosity-wise. Open the cotton ball a little, pour three or four small dollops, then place over the tick. Squeeze the cotton ball a little to exude the oil, wait a few minutes, then delicately pull the tick loose inside the cotton ball. The oil blocks the breathing spiricules on the tick’s sides, suffocating it, making it want to back out, while the oil will slip into the bite area and lubricate the pincers. Eh, voila! tick caught up in the cotton fibers, then you can use a small lighter to torch them, and they explode with a satisfying little pop!

  27. Amy says:

    just thinking about ticks and chiggers makes me itchy.

  28. Lenore says:

    Loving these ideas, love to camp, big time sustainability nut (degree carrying)and always looking for ideas when camping to make my life easier when putting everything together. I keep all of my cooking supplies and utensils in one storage tub, all of the other essentials like rope, lamps, tarp, etc. in another. I love the rolled newspaper “wood” as we live in Florida and find that it is not always cheaper to buy wood when we go, will now be up-cycling our newspapers for this. All of the ideas I have seen here are somewhat new have heard of a few of the others though. I will be keeping up to date with this page! Ticks and chiggers suck, I keep Vaseline handy for these buggers and regardless of whether you use tweezers to pull out or not they will regurgitate when they detach or are pulled. Vaseline seems to be the easiest and fastest. Bug spray I use and seems to work very well is Combine in a 16 oz bottle: Natural repellent
    15 drops lavender oil
    3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
    1/4 Cup lemon juice.
    Fill bottle with water.
    Shake.
    It smells good too, and if you spray your clothes this helps as well. Thanks everyone!

  29. Paul says:

    If you save dryer lint, put that in an egg carton, and then pour used candlewax on top of it. Put that in you’re camping box. Candle wax with the dryer lint is a sure fire starter everytime.

  30. Chris Wilborn says:

    With Chiggers or Ticks (and I assume everything else) :
    “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”…. You know you are going into their Feeding Area , SO protect yourself !
    (:>)

  31. Joe says:

    Camp laundry We use a large plastic bucket or small barrel with a tight lid. Many food and cleaning products come packed in these. Rinse clothes first to get off loose dirt. Put clothes, soap, and water in the bucket (not too full need slosh room) and put on the lid. Go for a drive, bumpy roads are best. After 20 minutes or so drain out the soapy water, wring out excess water and do a rinse cycle with clear water. Do a second rinse if desired. Wring and hang.

  32. les carling says:

    to stop mosquito from biting you we use marmite it works for us even on holiday if you don’t like marmite kix it in to your gravy you want taste it

  33. gail wooley says:

    To make a handy paper towel holder. I use a pants hanger from the dry cleaners. Just unhook one end and slide roll on and hook back up. You can use the hanger part to hang from tree limbs,tents,canopies. Etc

  34. Sue says:

    Poison ivy?
    Pull some leaves from a wheeling willow tree, boil in water until the water changes color and starts to smell a little. Remove from heat and cool only enough that it will not burn the skin, dab with a paper towl on areas of the body effected, let air dry, repeat several times a day re heating the mixture each time, also store in the fridge in between each use.

  35. Nancy says:

    You can make excellent fire starters with dryer lint stuffed inside empty toilet paper rolls. You can even cut them in half for dry weather fires. Store in zip lock bags to keep dry. Also, and old refrigerator rack makes a great cooking surface over the fire or coals. When ready to pack up, just slip the rack in a trash bag. Always love being up early to cook breakfast over the fire. Even baked biscuits/bread on the fire. For fabulous baked potatoes, wrap cleaned potatoes in foil, then wrap with newspaper. Put directly in the fire/coals. Doesn’t take long, paper will be burnt but potatoes cooked and clean. Corn on the cob, put still in the shuck corn on the coals. Turn 2-3 times to help even cooking. Done quickly. Happy camping.

  36. Erik says:

    Hahahahaha, more than half of this would not work for camping in Africa.
    Monkeys will run off with anything that is outside.
    Why struggle so much with Mildew on tents? If you use a spray bottle with pool shock treatment in it, you just have to put the tent on the lawn and spray it with treatment & water mixture and come back an hour later & rinse. Much easier.
    Caster oil works for ticks, but in a pinch you can light a match and burn its backside and it will let go too.

    you can put your old cooking oil in egg cartons too to start fires. (just dont use the teabag trick – it pongs BADLY)

  37. dave says:

    Very good tips in here. I have always found that being organized while camping is a key. During your trip it will give you more time to relax and do the things we love.

    dave

  38. Shaggy says:

    Been camping with BSA for 40 years. Always keep a bar of lye soap in the backpack. Poison Ivey ,oak and chickens don’t stand a chance. As soon as one of the boys runs into it scrub down god exposed area. Problem solved.

  39. Optimum RV says:

    Great tips, I especially enjoy the charcoal in the egg carton. When I RV grilling AND eating eggs in the morning are one of my favorite things that I can’t live without!


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