16 Tips and Tricks To Make Camping Easier

We've rounded up the best camping hacks!

By Jennifer Hill, Publisher of Macaroni KID Fremont, Calif. June 15, 2023

Whether you are a camping enthusiast or a newbie to camping, we've rounded up our 16 best camping hacks and tips to make camping easier and wanted to share them with you in case camping is on your summer fun list:

Plan ahead

1. New to camping? Practice setting up your tent at home before you go. Also, try sleeping in it in your yard too. The kids will love it.

2. Freeze jugs or bottles of water to use in your ice chest instead of using ice. Ice melts and is basically useless after it's not frozen anymore, but jugs of water can be used to wash dishes or hands or for drinking. Or you can even save it and refreeze for next time!

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Get practical with storage

3. Use a plastic cake carrier to store paper plates. They will stay clean and handy and won't blow away.

4. Attach an inexpensive shoe organizer to a tree (an old belt makes this really easy to do) and fill with stuff you need to keep close at hand, such as sunscreen, bug spray, cooking utensils, etc.

Prep food to make camping life easy

5. Prepare at least a few of your meals at home for easy heat and eat meals.

6. Enjoy scrambled eggs or even French toast for breakfast while camping? Clean out an empty plastic creamer container, remove the label, and add cracked eggs. You can even mark the container to indicate approximate egg count in 2-egg increments, so it's easy to pour out what you need. This is much easier to store in the ice chest than a carton of fresh eggs!

7. Pancakes? Similar idea as the scrambled egg tip. Wash out a squeeze ketchup bottle, make your pancake mix in advance, and store it in your ice chest. 

8. Pre-wash and dry fruit and veggies before you go. Go one step further and cut them before you go as well. Store your cut fruit and veggies in your ice chest.

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Make clean-up a breeze

9. Save an empty liquid laundry soap dispenser. Once it's washed and rinsed, fill it with water to make it easy to wash hands. You could even have a few – one with a little dish soap added to dispense soapy water and one with only water to rinse hands and dishes.

Keep the kids entertained

10. Keep kids busy with a scavenger hunt. You can make it up on the fly or print something you find online for a fun activity even adults can enjoy.

11. If you have little ones, bring a small wading pool. It's easy to fill with a few inches of water for playing and keeping cool at the campsite and can double for a bathtub if needed.

12. Bubbles! Always pack bubbles. It's quick and easy entertainment while hanging around the campsite or while out hiking with the kids.

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A few more tips from a camping pro...

13. Keep bugs away by tossing a little sage into the campfire. 

14. Drop your cell phone into an empty plastic cup to make a quick and easy low-tech speaker.

15. Unexpected rain? Large trash bags make quick ponchos by cutting holes where needed. 

16. Always pack a roll of duct tape. It has many uses and will always come in handy.

Jennifer Hill is the publisher of Macaroni KID Fremont, Calif.