Nothing is more beautiful than waking up with nature – birds chirping, sea of clouds, alluring sunrise, and a cup of coffee in your hand. It is of no wonder why more and more people are drawn to camping. However, admit it or not, camping comes with a price. Aside from the risks of sleeping in an unfamiliar territory, there are a number of things needed to consider when you are in the outdoor – keeping valuables safe, waterproofing, securing oneself in times of danger, and the list goes on.
To make your camp a home away from home, here are 10 camping hacks you can try the next time you go camping.
- Pack light.
Space is always a problem with camping: people usually pack more than what is necessary. Surely, it’s good to play safe but it’s totally different when you’d be bringing a very big bag for an overnight camp. So here’s the catch, bring a small bag. Choosing a bigger will tempt you to bring things that are actually not that essential. Small bags allow you to contemplate how “needed” is needed allowing you to process what you actually need and what you just wanted to have.
- Bring precooked food.
While it’s a good feeling to cook your own food, bringing a lot of ingredients can add up to the space consumed by your camping equipment. To better preserve food and save space, prepare your food at home and reheat them at the campsite. This way, you can cut the time in preparing your food and savor your adobo and tinolang manok without the hassle of bringing bulky containers. Preferably, it would be better to chop and dice vegetables and put all spices and seasonings in one container.
- Sleep well using your own pillowcase.
Hanging neck pillows on your backpacks may give you a traveler or camper look, but in terms of convenience… they are not. Instead of adding weight to your pack, why not place all your clothes in a travel pouch (or ziplocks for waterproofing) then use it as your pillow? This makes an excellent replacement to your bulky pillows.
- Turn your headlamp into a lantern.
Why bring lanterns when you can maximize the use of your headlamps? Make use of you (Nalgene) water bottles by strapping the headlamp to fill the entire tent with ambient light. This does not only make good source of light, this also make the night a little more colorful to all camper when they use altogether all their colorful water bottles.
- Use empty containers (water bottle) for rice.
Skip the use of plastic and avoid spilling rice while traveling by practically placing your rice on an empty container. Maximize the space it consumes in your bag by placing the estimated amount of rice needed for the camping – preferably your cookset. But if it’s filled with your spices and seasonings, might as well reuse your plastic water bottle. This way, you can be certain that your rice is safe – through thick and thin.
- Bring microfiber towels.
Remember, we are trying to practice light packing here. Knowing how bulky towels can be, try buying those microfiber towels. Not only that they are quick dry, they are totally absorbent and lightweight!
Additional tip: Just in case you want to use hand towels, you may as well make use of your newspapers. They are absorbent and quick dry as well.
- Glue sandpaper on your match container.
Just in case your lighter fails, make sure to always bring pieces of matchsticks. Nah, not the whole pack but just few pieces of it. This way, you will no longer need to stress yourself when the sides of the matchbox is ruined or wet.
Additional tip: Cotton with petroleum jelly makes a good fire starter.
Additional tip: Paracords (mountaineering bracelets) come with fire steel ferro rods these days.
- Never forget your first aid kit
It’s better to be safe than sorry. So no matter how packed your things are, always, always make space for your emergency kit. You’ll never know when you’d need bandages, antibiotics, pads, and alcohol.
- Know the wonders of your things.
Be as resourceful as you can. Make sure that whatever you bring when camping can be of different usage – say, belts can be wrapped around a tree and where hooks are placed for hanging pots and pans or duct tapes can be maximized for patching your tents and mending your shoes.
10. Waterproof your things.
No matter how sunny it is, remember that no one can exactly predict how the weather changes; so might as well be ready, right? If you have a number of ziplocks, you can pack by categories all things that you’d be bringing. This way, you won’t need to disassemble your pack just to look for a band aid. Or, you can simply make use of a dry bag, place everything that you need, and put everything in your backpack. Make sure you have a raincover, poncho, and rain jacket to protect you in times of heavy downpour. Most importantly, to assure a good night sleep, make sure you bring a sleeping bag with you. This will certainly keep you warm at night. Believe me, this is a life savior.
Of course, there are many other things that you will learn as you go on with camping. But more or less, these are the basic things that will make your camping a success. Always research on the place that you’ll be camping, follow the guidelines set on the area, reduce waste, and respect the locals and wildlife. Most importantly, enjoy.