When you’re getting a list of supplies down for a camping trip, vinegar isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, it doesn’t even come to mind at all for most people. In many households, the vinegar sits tucked back on a high kitchen shelf, only dug out for a unique recipe or cooking experiment. But you might be surprised to find out that vinegar’s lightly acidic nature makes it great for many things, and a fantastic all-purpose solution in the outdoors. Below are just a few of the many ways vinegar might prove to you on a camping trip.
1. Mildew Clearing
The first time you bring out the tent from its winter hiding spot, odds are it’s not exactly clean. Many of the common storage areas people use for tents – like garages and basements – have high humidity, which in turn can often lead to heavy mildew buildup on the tent’s surface. With a solution of one part vinegar and two parts warm water, however, you can wipe that mildew right off with minimal scrubbing required. Essentially, the vinegar’s chemical nature in combination with the temperature of the fluid serves to dismantle and wash away those nasty mildew spores.
2. Fish cleaning
If you plan on catching and eating fish on your next camping trip, vinegar can be a useful tool in the fish cleaning process. Before you scale any fish you catch, rub them with a palm-full of vinegar. It will make removing the fish’s scales a little easier, and for those with sensitive noses will help control that strong fish smell that can stink up a whole campsite.
3. Emergency deodorant
Keep in mind, this tip isn’t for everyone. Campers with sensitive underarms should probably skip it. But if yours never give you trouble, vinegar can be an effective deodorant if your regular stuff runs out or is forgotten on a camping trip. Its acidity creates a hostile environment for the bacteria that makes you smell.
4. Bug repellent
Regular, DEET free bug repellent should always be at the top of your camping list. But if you had a particularly bad case of scatterbrain the day you packed, vinegar can be used in a pinch as a suitable bug repellent. The reason it works, as in the deodorant use, is vinegar’s acidity. Bugs at large are driven away by it.
One of the most well known outdoor mantras is “Always be prepared”. And with a bottle of vinegar, you’ll be more prepared for what nature throws at you than you otherwise might be. For many purposes, vinegar is a simple, cheap, and effective solution. So don’t hesitate to give this old kitchen standby a go on your next camping trip.