So, you’ve become a master at the art of camping. Your checklist, itinerary, and packing routines have all been whittled down to a science. You’ve got an outdoor emergency kit always at the ready, and you can set up the tent or build a fire blindfolded (though it’s not exactly recommended). You’re confident that no extra piece of camping information could possibly be of use, because your bases have all been covered multiple times. Well, these tips are for you. They’re creative, little known, and might just come in handy on your next camping trip – no matter how many times you’ve gone without them before.
Fun birthday gag? More like cheap wind-resistant matches. Trick candles, no matter how windy it is outside, will stay lit – allowing you liberal amounts of time to get your kindling started. This is decently useful, but the one distinct advantage sets them above the windproof match echelon is that they’re completely reusable. You can put a trick candle out with a pinch of water, and, once it’s dry, it will light right back up. The next time you go to the party store for a birthday card, be sure to pick up a package of these impressive fire starters.
Hot water in a pinch
When hot water is needed for any reason and you don’t have time to build a fire, try this simple trick when you first arrive at camp. Fill a few gallon sized Ziploc bags with water, lump them all in a black trash bag, and leave them to sit in the sun. If the weather’s warm, that water will be nice and hot in a matter of hours. Do note, however, that this technique is not especially effective during Winter.
The best kindling money can’t buy
The next time you do some laundry, don’t throw out that dryer lint. Your clothes are made mostly of cotton, and those loose fibers that get left behind are packed just loosely enough to catch easily and maintain a nice, steady blaze. If you save some of it and put it in a bag, you have free emergency kindling in just about any situation.
Never sleep in a puddle
If you’re an avid backpacker, this outdoor tip can really come in handy. Most sleeping bag cases aren’t waterproof, so if a sudden downpour occurs, you’re stuck with a damp sleeping bag at best, and a soaked one at worst. To prevent this from happening, put the sleeping bag in a trash bag, and then in the case. The waterproof plastic will stop the rain from getting to your bag, no matter how hard it’s coming down.
Carry some Crayola
Trail markers, as any avid outdoorsman knows, are an absolute necessity when hiking in unfamiliar territory. The problem with using tape, though, is that you have to go to the trouble of collecting it on the way back up the trail. The next time you go hiking, carry some brightly colored chalk to mark the trail. A rainstorm will wash it right off, so there’s no need to worry about cleaning up any messes.
Whether you’re an avid camper or just starting out, these creative tips can make your life in the outdoors a whole lot easier. They’re simple, cheap, and will hopefully prevent some of the nagging annoyances that life as a camper can sometimes bring.