Summer weather has finally arrived for most if not all, regions of the country. For many families, warm weather means more chances to stay outside and camp. Camping trips are an awesome opportunity for your kids and for seeing nature in a whole new way. Getting out and enjoying the great outdoors can be relaxing, but at the same time can present challenges for every trip. The following are a few simple camping tricks can minimize some of the work you have to do to make your next big camping trip a success.
Rain can quickly ruin any camping trip if you let it. Gear and matches need to be protected in the event a storm suddenly hits your site. Try using plastic tote bags and waterproof crates. Cover your gear with tarps when you go out as well. Store toilet paper rolls in a suitable container with an airtight lid. A Folgers plastic coffee container is effective for this. For waterproof matches, dip the first half of the match in melted wax. Paraffin wax or canning wax can be used here. Once the wax on the match is dry, the other half can be dipped, completely sealing the match.
Homemade logs from a newspaper is a unique way to come up with fire logs, so you don’t have to hunt around for dry wood at the site. It is also a great way to reduce waste by using those newspapers stacking up around the house. Here are the steps:
- Soak the newspaper in water.
- After the paper is completely saturated (a soak of approximately one hour), remove the paper from the water. Let the paper drain completely, and then lay it out into sections of 1-3 sheets.
- While the paper is still wet, take a towel, and roll the newspaper around it. Squeeze the paper while rolling to ensure it sticks together.
- Continue the above processes until the desired thickness is reached.
- Be sure to give your logs several days to dry out, so plan on doing this well in advance of the camping trip. Drying will be quicker if the logs are put out in the sun, or put in front of heating vents.
Homemade Fire Starters
This is a very effective and efficient way to get your fire started. Take an empty egg carton, and fill each hole with old dryer lint, fabric scraps, or sawdust. Pour melted wax over each one, and let cool. Store them in sealed Ziploc bags for a fast way to get your fire roaring.
One thing that could be overlooked but is really important is to bring a backup pair of eyeglasses in a case. You don’t want to be wandering around blind if you happen to lose or damage your glasses. You can even get transition lenses from places like All About Eyes to save you from bringing sunglasses, contacts, and regular glasses while out in the woods. Make sure you use plastic bags for cotton balls, toothpaste, and other lotions. The last thing you want is an explosion in your suitcase.
Utilizing a few tricks while camping can make things a bit easier. After all, it’s your vacation. You don’t want to work too hard at it!