While there are certainly more tricks of the trade to than the ones on this list, the following are a few favorite camping hacks to keep clean, comfortable, and caffeinated on your next night under the stars.
- Cold Brew Coffee
Forget the filters, or- even worse- packs of instant coffee, and bring a tub of cold brew for mornings at the campsite. Cold brew has more caffeine and more flavor than traditional drip, and is logistically more efficient because it can be stored in a cooler without the disposable packing, and is ready to go whenever you’re in need of an instant jolt. Use good quality, whole beans, coarsely grind, and let them sit in a 4:1 water to beans ratio for 18 hours. Filter out the grounds with a strainer, and then through cheese cloth to sift out the finer particles. Bottle, keep cool, drink, and enjoy.
2. Laundry Detergent Hand Washing Station
This set up is ideal for car camping situations, as both a hand washing station and a convenient way to clean dishes. Take an industrial sized laundry detergent container- think one of those jumbo sized containers of “All” that has a spout- and simply flip it on its side. Fill with water, and keep a bucket on the ground below the spout so that the soapy run off stays in one spot.
3. Sleeping Socks
There’s nothing worse than dirty socks- or feet- in a clean and cozy sleeping bag. Reserving a pair of socks for nighttime use is ideal for keeping toes warm during cold evenings, and for keeping the day’s dirt out of your sleeping space.
4. Boxed Wine
Pretty self explanatory, but for campers looking for something a bit more sophisticated to sip on by the fire, try one of the many boxed wine varietals on the market- they even can rosé nowadays! It should be noted that for any beverage, glass containers should stay at home, as no one ever means to break a bottle, and future campers won’t be happy when their kids or animals cut themselves walking around on your mistake.
5. Tin Foil
Why wouldn’t you bring tin foil? It’s the ideal cooking tool, as you can actually wrap anything in this malleable foil and stick it right in the fire. Okay, maybe right in the fire isn’t the best spot, but fresh veggies wrapped in tin foil and then perched on one of the stones surrounding the fire make for delicious camping sides.
6. Frozen Water Jugs
Fill a few jugs with water and freeze them before adding the frozen containers to any coolers you’ll be bringing along on a car camping trip. Instead of creating a watery mess that permeates any remaining food packaging and eventually gets dumped, they’ll thaw into more drinking water.