40 Camping Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Experts

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Whether you are a beginner or an expert when it comes to camping, you will be sure to benefit from knowing camping tips and tricks to make it a memorable experience. You will save yourself some pain and better your experience by reading this. Afterwards, you will be ready.

Tent Advice

1. Survey the campsite. While nature is usually quiet, your campsite neighbors may not be so generous. Take into account those who are loud and place your tent away from those people, or close to them if you are okay with the noise.

2. Watch out for window makers. Dead branches have a habit of falling. It would be unpleasant to wake up during the night to find a branch sleeping next to you. If you take the extra time to carefully place your tent, then your future self will thank you.

3. Be aware of the wind direction. The wind can be very cold. It can make 40 °F feel like 15 °F, so be sure to place your tent in a spot that does not get all the cold breeze. Also, be aware that, if your neighbor has a campfire, then you could be breathing in smoke all night long.

4. Get a tent that fits your needs. While a big tent is nice, we are camping, not staying at the Ritz Carlton. For this reason, get a tent that will fit you. If you get one based on your needs, you will have more flexibility. It will be easier to handle and work with.

5. Double doors are your friend. A vestibule is a great extension to your tent and, again, gives you added flexibility. You enter through the vestibule and then into your main sleeping quarters, providing an extra layer of protection for you from the elements.

Sleeping Bag Tips

6. If cold at night, put hot water in your water bottle. Not all nights are warm and fuzzy, so it helps to have some help. If you fill your water bottle with boiling water and then seal it, you can have your own personal sleeping bag heater. It will be sure to keep you warm despite the chilly weather outside your tent.

7. When in your sleeping bag, wrap your feet in dry clothes. If you do not like the idea of putting hot water in a water bottle to keep warm, then just wrap your feet in dry clothes. It will be sure to keep your feet nice and warm on those cold nights.

8. Get a sleeping pad. You spend 1/3 of your life just sleeping, so save your back by paying a bit extra to get one. The ground is hard. So unless you are used to sleeping there, then I would recommend you get a pad to save yourself some back pain.

9. If you do not like sleeping on the ground, consider a cot. With a cot, you will stay off the ground and save your back some future pain, perfect for those who have sensitive backs.

10. Put clothes into your sleeping bag’s stuff sack or into a bag to create a pillow. A pillow can take up a lot of room, so this will save you that extra space. It is simple and easy to do. Just be careful what you put in there because your head will be laying on it.

11. If you have a spouse of a significant other, then consider a two person sleeping bag. When camping, it helps to save space, so a two person sleeping bag will be perfect. It also makes the experience much more enjoyable for you and your significant other.

Insect and Plant Advice

12. Mix 1 part tea tree oil to 2 parts water in a spray bottle to make an all natural tick deterrent. If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I am a big fan of all natural products. After following this single step, you are all set to go.

13. Burn a bundle of sage. Mosquitoes and other pests are common. They will scratch and bite, driving you up the wall. If you burn a bundle of sage, then you will keep them at bay, saving your skin from some nasty scratching.

14. Take care of poison oak and ivy with Epsom salt. Just dissolve Epsom salt in water and then dip in a washcloth. Place on the affected area and cover it. Great! Now you just took care of your poison oak.

General Camping Tricks

15. Turn Your Water Bottle into a Lantern. With your filled water jug in hand, put a head lamp face down onto the bottom of it. The water reflects the light from it, creating a lantern that spreads out the light. Wonderful! Now you are ready to tell a scary story.

16. Use a garbage bag in your socks and backpack. If you are like me, then you like to stay dry. If you put a garbage bag on your socks after putting them on or put line one on the inside of your backpack, then you will keep your feet and gear dry. It saves the hassle of a wet camping experience.

17. Use candle wax to speed up your zippers. This was another new one for me. The wax gives you the extra lubricant to keep your zippers moving nice and smooth. Just rub the candle along the teeth of the zipper 2-3 times.

18. Cut up a straw to fill with antibiotic ointment or toothpaste and then seal the ends will a lighter. If you want to pack ultralight, then this will help. Just pop them open when you want to use them.

19. Use an empty laundry detergent container as a hand washing dispenser. Keeping your hands clean at camp is difficult. But if you have one of these nearby, then you will keep your hands nice and clean.

20. Pack a mini first aid kit into an old prescription bottle. A first aid kit can take up a lot of room. A prescription bottle, though, does not. If you take one of them, you can fill it up with a band aid, gauze, and tweezers.

21. Minimize everything. Camping is about minimal living. You enjoy yourself with as little as possible. For this reason, leave behind your luxury items and only bring what you need. It will clear your head and simplify what needs to be done.

22. Do a camping audit. After the end of every trip, it is important to do a reflection. Ask yourself questions. What went well? What did not go well? What could be changed to make the experience much more enjoyable? These questions will better prepare you the next time you go out.

23. Multi tools are your best friend. If I can find a camp tool that gets more out of one item, then I go for it. It saves you space and headache. You will love having a multi tool.

Campfire Tips

In a previous article, I discussed how to make a campfire. It would help you a great deal in addition to the tips below when constructing your campfire.

24. 12-14 logs should be plenty for cooking. If you are planning an evening meal on the campfire. 12-14 cut and split logs should suffice. It will keep your fire going long after you are done.

25. Lighter wood burns faster than dry woods. If you pick up a log and it has more heft than you would expect, then it is a hard wood. If you have a lighter wood like cedar, then it will burn easily. Knowing this will give you an idea of how long your campfire will last.

26. Bring extra wood. Sometimes your fire runs out sooner than expected and then you have to rekindle a new campfire. If you keep a bit of extra wood nearby, then you will be ready to throw on some more logs if the fire gets too dim.

27. Use newspaper and toilet rolls to get your fire going. These are very flammable, so they will help you get the spark you need to start your campfire.

28. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer to start a campfire. Because it is alcohol based, hand sanitizer will start a campfire in no time flat.

29. If you have a coal campfire, cover them with rosemary branches once they are an even gray. This will give your meat and vegetables a nice, extra flavor.

30. Bring a shovel. Coals and logs can get quite hot, so a shovel will be sure to make moving them that much easier. A shovel can also be used elsewhere if need be. Do you need a latrine dug? A shovel will do it. Do you need a pile patted down? A shovel will do it. It is a versatile tool for any camper.

31. Build a rock wall around your campfire. This will help keep any loose flames from starting a grass fire or, more likely, your tent could catch aflame. Play it safe with fire. It can be a challenge to control.

32. Bring smooth river stones to place near your fire. If you are like me, then you like to be nice and cozy when you sleep under the covers. Place some smooth stones near your campfire and then into your sleeping bag. It will preheat your blankets for you. Just be careful. This is a campfire, not learning to ride a bike.

Camp Cooking Advice

33. Aim for one pot preparation. If you cook in only one pot, then you save the hassle of doing the dishes. You are in the outdoors, not a five star restaurant. Keep it simple and you will be sure to have a good time.

34. Save those silica gel packs to prevent rust. This is a new one for me. Pots and pans tend to rust, largely because of wet conditions. Silica gel packs keep your pots dry, preventing rust and making them last longer.

35. Keep your favorite treat in the car to eat after camping. My favorite treat is oreos. I love them. So every time I go camping, I keep them at the ready to eat once I am done. It is my indulgence for my arduous camping experience.

36. Use old tic-tac boxes to store spices. Now and again, I pop a tic-tac to keep my breath fresh. You can keep pepper, chives, cinnamon, salt, oregano, and many other spices in these. Just because you are camping does not mean you have to eat poorly.

37. Save those fast food condiment packets. If you have ever eaten fast food, then you know they have small condiment packets. You can use them on your camping trip, so be sure to grab a handful the next time you are at McDonalds.

38. Put coffee into a coffee filter and then seal with dental floss. When you want coffee, just use it like you would a tea bag. Pour on boiling water and you are all set to drink your favorite morning beverage.

39. Wrap a belt around the tree with hooks to hold pots and pans. Sometimes, it is good to feel like you are in a kitchen at home again. With this, you can hang large spoons and pots, perfect for the outdoor chef.

40. Prepare your meals at home. If you do your preparation beforehand, then you will save yourself a lot of time down the road, so you can focus on the joys of camping.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You now are ready to head into the wild. You can kick back in your camping chair and enjoy the sounds of nature. Sit back knowing that you are well-prepared. You can focus on the charm of camping in the wild. Have fun and savor your time out there.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, please do comment below and share this article. Thank you in advance and I hope you make today a great day!

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18 Comments on “40 Camping Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Experts”

  1. Hey Alex! This was a wonderful and informative article! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Reminded me a lot of things I learned when I was younger and never really forgot. It also taught me new things that I never thought of doing.

    It’s been so long since I’ve been on a camping trip. It’s not really part of what we do now as a family. But if I were to try it again, I know you’re a resource I can always look up and use.

    Good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Louie & Gigi

    1. Hey Louie & Gigi, it is nice to know that you found this article helpful. For beginners and experts, it offers a lot of valuable information.

      From what you have said, it sounds like you have a pleasant family. Hopefully you will go camping soon in the near future. It is wonderful to know that you see me as a resource. I appreciate the compliment.

      Thank you for sharing and I hope you make today a great day!

  2. Yep. I’m ready to go Alex some really good tips, some I would never of thought of. All these tips we need to remember, they might help us out, even if we didn’t go camping. Great job and a lot of work, should be everything we need to know about, when we go camping.

    1. Hey Fred, it is wonderful to hear that you benefited from this article. You are right that it could help you even if you aren’t camping.

      Thank you for sharing and I hope you make today a great day!

  3. Wow, these are some amazing tips! Clearly I would be eaten by a bear or die of hypothermia if I hadn’t read this. Very well written and informative.

  4. Alex, you’re a great resource of camping information. I learn something new every time I visit your site. That’s why I have it book marked.
    I love the cot tip. I’m definitely going to buy one. Any advice on brands?

    1. I appreciate the compliment Vince. It is wonderful to hear you are always learning from my website. When it comes to cots, I would encourage you to check out the Coleman Trailhead Steel cot. It is well reviewed online, inexpensive, and durable. You will be sure to enjoy it.

      Thank you for your question and I hope you make it a great day!

  5. This is a really informative article and it is really well written. Without this advice I would likely be eaten by a bear or die of hypothermia! Seriously though, there are so many little tidbits that I would never have considered. Thank you for the great tips!

    1. It is wonderful to hear that you found this article helpful Wendy. There is quite a lot to camping than most realize. Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  6. Awesome tips Alex! I was serving the military in my country for a few years and I’m glad you pointed out dead branches (Deadfall). There are people who are unaware of the dangers of this so it is very important to remind campers to watch out above.

    I wished I heard of burning sage during my army days. Glad you mentioned it, I will keep that in mind when I go camping! Mosquitoes are the worst.

    I did not know covering the coal campfire with rosemary branches give your meat extra flavors! Where did you learn that?

    So many valuable tips here, beginner campers should really take a look at this!

    1. Neil, it is wonderful to know that you found these tips helpful. You are right that dead branches are quite dangerous to tents if a person is unaware of them.

      Also, sage is wonderful for dealing with mosquitoes. It helps to keep them at bay.

      I learned about putting rosemary on coals from a BuzzFeed article. I have not yet had the time to try it myself. But from what I have read online, it works well.

      Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  7. Alex,

    This was a very informative article and I wish I had found it 11 years ago before my families first campout when my sons joined cub scouts. We had never been camping so we had to go out and buy everything without any knowledge or experience. It was a miserable experience (temps in the low 20’s and wind gusts that nearly blew several tents away) and I would have gladly given everything away to never camp again.

    Well my youngest just earned the rank of Eagle Scout and we have been on may camping adventures. We learned a lot over the years and upgraded our equipment several times. The one thing I learned was not to go cheap on the basics. A good tent and properly rated sleeping bag are paramount to having enjoyable camping experiences.

    Since I never really fell in love with camping I am probably done with it forever but I can say without a doubt that your tips will benefit campers of any experience level.

    1. Hey Scott,

      It was wonderful to hear that you found this article enjoyable and that you would have liked to have read it years ago. The Cub Scouts are very fun. I wish I had joined it, but my Dad has never been much of an outdoors man. I never got into it as a result.

      Congratulations on your son earning the rank of Eagle Scout. That takes a lot of commitment. You have to put in hundreds of hours.

      You are right that it is important to never go cheap on the basics. If you do go cheap, then you risk a lot of different disasters happening. It is better to play it safe.

      Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  8. Hey Alex, I hope you are doing well. Great post on camping tips and tricks. I would consider myself a beginner camper since I do so maybe every other year. But having an experienced camper like you giving the tips and in some cases more importantly the tricks, is very helpful. It will save people like me a lot of heartache and will help to make the camping experience very enjoyable. I have bookmarked your site for future use. Thanks and take care.

    Mike

    1. Mike, I am doing well. I appreciate your interest in my well being. It is nice to know that you benefited from this article. Even though I am an expert, there is always something for me to learn. Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  9. Hi Alex. Thank you for some awesome tips. My wife and I are full time RVers and live in our trailer.

    I appreciate you sharing the insect and plant advice. We do a lot of hiking so the hint about keeping the ticks away is appreciated, as well as the advice about poison ivy/oak. I am highly allergic.

    I also like your campfire suggestions. We love sitting by a fire on our campsite. We do use toilet paper and paper towel rolls and we fill them with dryer lint. Another thing we use to lengthen the campfire if we are short on wood are paper logs. We roll newspaper and “tie” it with a folded single newspaper sheet. We mix them in with the wood and they work wonderfully.

    Thanks again for the tips and have fun camping and hiking…Dennis

    1. Hello Dennis, it good you found this advice helpful. It must be a blast to live in a trailer and travel in an RV.

      Insects and plants can be nasty if you do not know how to deal with them. Fortunately, all it takes is a bit of knowledge.

      It is good to hear that you liked the campfire suggestions. Toilet paper and paper towel rolls work quite well, especially with dryer lint. Your advice is well taken.

      Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

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