101 Useful Camping Hacks Campers need to Know

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The Best Camping Hacks

Do you have a camping trip coming up that’s causing you stress? Are you wondering what to bring? What about camp setup ideas? Perhaps you’re on the hunt for fun camping ideas that will entertain the entire family. Well, look no further because your outdoor adventure is about to get SO much easier thanks to these brilliant camping hacks! We’ve included camping hacks for packing, camping meals, kids camping activities, and more. Let’s take a look!

Two parents and their kids camping in a tent | The Dating Divas
Adults and kids camping in a tent

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This epic list includes:

Camping Hacks for Easy Packing

Deciding what to bring on a camping trip can feel a bit stressful, but these camping hacks will help you determine exactly what you’ll need (and how to get them to where you’re going)!

Camping hacks and ideas for how to pack for a camping trip | The Dating Divas
Camping hacks to help you pack for a campout
Storage ideas for your night under the stars.

1. Roll Your Clothes (Flavorverse) – Save space in your suitcase by rolling your outfits together. This is an especially brilliant idea for kiddos!

A camping hack for how to roll your clothes and put in a backpack | The Dating Divas
Camping hack for packing a backpack

2. Family Packing List (Childhood 101) – Check out these tips and a printable list to help you be prepared instead of scared.

A young kid camping in a sleeping bag | The Dating Divas
A kid camping and peeking out from inside of a sleeping bag

3. Personal Packing Lists (Our Handcrafted Life) – Print out one list for your entire family, and watch the stress melt away.

A printable list of camping hacks and packing ideas| The Dating Divas
A page of camping hacks and items to pack

4. DIY First Aid Kit (Gettin’ My Healthy On) – Taking tons of bottles on trips will take up a lot of space, but this DIY kit is compact and efficient!

A DIY kit of first aid camping ideas | The Dating Divas
A DIY kit of first aid camping hacks and items

5. Shower Cap Covers (Mom Always Finds Out) – Use this camping hack to keep all of the camping dirt in its place.

A camping hack that uses a shower cap wrapped around a pair of dirty shoes.

6. Packing T.P. (The Family Handyman) – Keep your toilet paper dry with this clever trick!

A CD case camping hack that will keep your toilet paper dry

7. Eggs in a Bottle (Fit Foodie Finds) – Instead of worrying about breaking eggs along the way, crack all the eggs prior to your trip and funnel them into a bottle!

Cracked eggs inside of a water bottle to use for easy camping meals | The Dating Divas
A bottle filled with cracked eggs to use for camping meals

8. Straws (Mighty Girl) – Pack medicine, spices, cosmetics, etc. in straws and seal the ends with heat.

Fill straws with sunscreen to use as a camping hack | The Dating Divas
A camping idea that uses straws to hold sunscreen and other liquid items
Camping hacks for easy packing | The Dating Divas
Try these different camping hacks to make packing easier

9. Cooler with Rack (Amazon) – This snazzy cooler will keep your food safe and dry. The included cooling rack is an added bonus!

A cooler to keep your camping meals organized and dry | The Dating Divas
A cooler filled with camping meals and food items

10. Pack Spices (Amazon) – These containers are perfect for pills, condiments, or spices!

Stackable containers to use for camping hacks | The Dating Divas
A camping idea that uses stackable containers as storage

11. Packing Condiments (The Foodies Fit Home) – Keep the small packets from restaurants, and put them in a little container to bring with you on your camping trip.

Condiments packets to use when making easy camping meals | The Dating Divas
A pile of condiments to use when cooking camping meals

12. Pack Dryer Sheets (Buzzfeed) – Stick dryer sheets in your bag to prevent unpleasant odors. You can also place them under the tablecloth to keep bees away!

A dryer sheet camping hack to keep your suitcase smelling fresh | The Dating Divas
Use Bounce dryer sheets as a camping hack.

13. Camping Notebook (All Those Details) – This is one of the best camping ideas yet! Create a notebook with EVERYTHING you need to store in one place.

A notebook filled with camping hacks and ideas | The Dating Divas
A binder filled with camping ideas and camping hacks

14. Menu Planning (Stuffed Suitcase) – These printables are perfect for helping you organize your camping meals.

A printable menu to help you plan easy camping meals | The Dating Divas
A blank menu to plan easy camping meals
Take a look at all of these different ideas and camping hacks | The Dating Divas
A variety of camping hacks and ideas

15. More Packing Ideas (Family Adventure Project) – Check out all these ideas for packing.

Kids camping with their mom | The Dating Divas
Two kids camping with their mother

16. Snacks to Pack (Scouting Magazine) – These are some fantastic tips on what to bring and what to leave at home.

List of food camping hacks | The Dating Divas
A list of food and snack-related camping hacks

17. Sleep Warm (Scoutmaster CG) – This article lists everything you’ll need to bring and what you need to know in order to sleep at night.

18. Animal Tracks Flashcards (Exploration America) – Bring these printable flashcards along to help you and your little ones identify animal tracks.

19. Duct Taped Holder (Field & Stream) – Pack some duct tape by attaching it to a water bottle or lighters. After all, “Duct tape fixes everything.”

20. Mason Jar Dispenser (One Good Thing by Jillee) – Perfect for down-sizing any liquid, this mason jar camping hack is EASY to make and saves so much space!

For even more ideas on what to bring camping, check out this comprehensive resource of camping essentials!

Camping Hacks & Supplies

You never know what might happen out in the wild, but these camping hacks will ensure you are prepared and ready for anything.

Great Ideas for Camping Tools and Supplies
Essential Things to Bring Camping

21. Pot Holder (Pinterest) – Use a belt and S hooks to store your kitchen essentials safely and conveniently.

22. Camping Blanket (Amazon) – This cold weather, ultra-warm camping blanket is a MUST-HAVE on your camping supplies list.

23. Shower Lanyard (Amazon) – This lanyard will help you keep everything you need for a trip to the bathroom in one handy place!

24. Microfiber Towel (Amazon) – Regular towels take up a lot of space, but these little ones are space-efficient and fast drying!

25. Crayon Fire Starters (Dukes and Duchesses) – Make use of old or broken crayons at your next camp outing.

26. Trick Candles (Amazon) – Pack trick candles for windy camping trips so that if the wind blows them out, they’ll relight themselves!

Clever Hacks for the Best Supplies

27. Pet Bowls (Amazon) – Isn’t it great that camping is pet friendly? These portable bowls are perfect for your four-footed friends.

28. Cart (Amazon) – This cart is ideal for any outdoor adventure!

29. Unbreakable Cups (Amazon) – These stress-free cups are the perfect addition to your camping cookware.

30. Disposable Bathing Wipes (Amazon) – When a bath isn’t exactly easy to come by, these rinse-free bath sponges will keep you feeling fresh.

31. Tent Lights (Amazon) – The CUTEST way to light up your campsite.

32. Collapsible Bucket (Amazon) – Buckets can take up a lot of space, but this one is collapsible and convenient!

33. Wax Fire Starters (DIY & Crafts) – Be sure and check out this simple technique for starting a fire using cotton facial pads.

34. DIY Tiki Torches (The Frugal Homemaker) – Fill these jars with insect-repellent tiki oils.

Brilliant Hacks for Tent and Fire Tools

35. Pool Noodles (Amazon) – Bring pool noodles cut into smaller sections with a slit down one side. They’re perfect for storing cords, hanging towels, and holding cards.

36. Pencil Sharpener Fire Starter (Sarah Jane’s Craft Blog) – Trying using pencil shavings to create the perfect kindling.

37. Solar Lanterns (Camp Wander) – No electricity is needed to keep your campsite well-lit.

38. Utility Spork (Amazon) – Cut down on the utensils you need to bring with this all-in-one tool!

39. Campfire Sage (DIY & Crafts) – Sage is a natural insect repellent, so why not use it to make a more inviting camp atmosphere.

40. Windproof & Waterproof Matches (Amazon) – Keep matches together and waterproof so your fire is ready right away.

Camping Hacks for Families

Camping with little ones can be tricky, but these camping hacks will help things go as smoothly as possible!

Camping Setup Ideas for Families
Fun Hacks for Trips with Kids

41. Fitted Sheet Hack (The Krazy Coupon Lady) – Bring a fitted sheet and keep your little ones safe from sun and bugs.

42. Activities in the Dirt (Hands on as We Grow) – Let the kids embrace the dirt with this fun activity!

43. Activity Bags (Powerful Mothering) – When creating your own busy bags, try thinking of creative activities that will encourage imagination.

44. Color Fires (Life Hackings) – As if the fire wasn’t cool enough… make it glow in fun colors!

45. Road Trip in a Box (The Dating Divas) – Be sure and bring this entertainment kit for the trip TO the campsite!

46. Camping Kid Bed (Amazon) – We promise you’ll use this nifty bed even if you’re not camping. If you’re taking bigger kids camping, be sure and check out these bunk beds!

47. Nature Hike Bracelet (Kid World Citizen) – There’s no way that this craft could be easier!

48. Camping Kit (The Dating Divas) – This kit has EVERYTHING you need for a fun and fabulous camping trip.

Outdoor Ideas for Families

49. Toy Tub (To the Rock Homeschool) – This toy tub is the perfect go-to place for outdoor entertainment.

50. Nature Names Craft (Little Family Fun) – This camping craft is both fun and personalized!

51. Ladderball (Amazon) – This is one family-friendly game that everyone will love. And if you like lawn games, you’ll get a kick out of our Yard Olympics!

52. Camping Notebooks (Glamper Life) – We adore these cute ideas for recording your camping memories and finds!

53. Cool Off Necklace (The Crafty Crow) – Help your kiddos make this sponge necklace that is both fun and functional.

54. Glow Bowling (Growing a Jeweled Rose) – Glowing games are perfect when the sun goes down. All it takes is some glow sticks and some other simple supplies.

Fun Family Camping Ideas

55. Geocaching (Teach Mama) – Geocaching is like a treasure hunt with a map that gets you to the exact location.

56. Glow Jars (Intimate Weddings) – Glowing mason jars probably weren’t on your list of camping hacks but after seeing these, they will be!

57. Parent Survival Tips (The Dating Divas) – We love this list of the TOP hints for making family camping more manageable.

58. Outdoor Play Pen (Amazon) – This kids camping playpen is a great way to keep the littlest members of the family safe.

59. Scavenger Hunt (The Crafty Blog Stalker) – This scavenger hunt is SO fun and includes a carrying case for all your treasures.

60. Marshmallow Catapults (It’s Always Autumn) – Marshmallows and camping go hand-in-hand, but in this activity you’ll be flinging them across the campsite instead of eating them. How fun!

Cheap Camping Ideas

Camping is already pretty budget-friendly, but if you want to stretch your resources even further, be sure and check out these inexpensive camping hacks!

Tips for Making Camping More Budget-Friendly
Budget Camping Hacks

61. Dollar Store Camping Supplies (Mama Cheaps) – Head to your nearest dollar store and stock up on these great deals!

62. Milk Jug Ice (Happy Money Saver) – You already have a lot of things to take camping, so don’t make bagged ice one of them.

63. Toothpaste Dots (It’s Tactical) – These dots mean you won’t have to argue over one tube of toothpaste!

64. Simple Camping for Real Foodies (Don’t Waste the Crumbs) – Creating yummy camping meals doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your family’s health.

65. Camping on Zero Budget (The Budget Mama) – When you really can’t spend a dime, use these tips to make your next camp-out even less expensive.

66. Yoga Mat Sleeping Pad (Happy Money Saver) – Instead of purchasing an expensive sleeping mat, try a yoga mat. Especially if you already have one lying around!

Camping on a Budget

67. Thrifty Camping Ideas (Snail Pace Transformations) – These are some great ideas for collecting supplies without going over budget.

68. Tips for an Inexpensive Trip (Thrifty Jinxy) – Give this article a read for some great thoughts on food storage and meal planning.

69. Camping Hacks Breakdown (Fix) – Check out the must-haves and don’t-needs in this list of camping hacks to help you save.

70. Camping on a Budget (Frugal Fanatic) – We love these great ideas for finding inexpensive gear and free campsites.

Easy Camping Meals

Our list wouldn’t be complete without including some tasty and easy camping meals! We promise there is something for everyone. As a note, be sure and check local requirements about how to store food when not in use.

Fun Camping Ideas for Food
Quick and Easy Tent Camping Recipe Ideas

71. Campfire Hashbrowns (Noshing with the Nolands) – Fully loaded, these potatoes make the perfect side dish or even a complete meal.

72. Cereal in a Bag (Fresh Off the Grid) – Before leaving, fill Ziploc bags with granola. At breakfast time, unzip, and add milk!

73. Breakfast Burritos (Taste and Tell) – These tasty burritos just need to be warmed by the fire.

74. Omelette in a Bag (Fav Family Recipes) – Try scrambling your eggs in a bag for some extra fun!

75. Campfire French Toast (This Lil Piglet) – Isn’t this the most gourmet campfire meal you’ve ever seen?!

76. Bread in a Can (The Make Your Own Zone) – We love how compact and simple this bread is–a total win!

77. Camping Quesadillas (Cupcake Diaries Blog) – Quesadillas are always such a versatile option especially during a camping trip.

78. Individual Coffee Bags (Little House Living) – Can’t stand the thought of camping without your daily cup of joe? Use this hack to create dippable coffee bags!

Family Friendly Dinner Recipes for the Fire

79. Steak and Eggs Pack (Julie’s Eats & Treats) – A foil packet makes this meal easy to clean up.

80. Breakfast Burgers (Jelly Toast Blog) – Create the best camping hack sandwich over a campfire!

81. Pizza Pockets (Fresh Off the Grid) – In addition to being portable, these pizza pockets are easy and delicious.

82. Campfire Chili (Serious Eats) – This dutch oven chili is so simple to throw together, and you can make a lot without making individual portions.

83. Camp Crescent Dogs (Pillsbury) – Grab your s’mores stick and get dinner going.

84. Slow Cooker Camping (A Year of Slow Cooking) – Here’s another spectacular option for a crowd. It also includes great tips for making easy camping meals with a slow cooker!

85. Onion Bombs (Eating in Neverland) – Meatloaf inside an onion, wrapped in foil, and baked over the fire? Yes, please!

86. Oatmeal Energy Clusters (My Crazy Good Life) – It’s always a good idea to have some easy-to-grab snacks on hand.

Kid Friendly Camping Snacks

87. Broccoli Foil Packs (Cheslea’s Messy Apron) – Now THIS is how you get the kids to eat their veggies!

88. Grilled Foil Cheese Fries (Recipe Goldmine) – There is nothing we love more than cheese fries.

89. Campfire Potatoes (Savory Nothings) -Potatoes are the perfect, fail-proof side dish. They go with anything, and everyone loves them!

90. Campfire Doughnuts (Must Have Mom) – We’re drooling over these camping hack doughnuts made from canned biscuits!

91. Campfire Spinach Dip (Outdoor Connection) – Who doesn’t love a good spinach dip–especially when eaten in the great outdoors?!

92. Dip Snacks in a Jar (Choose to Thrive) – Celery and peanut butter, hummus and carrots… the options are endless.

93. Watermelon Popsicle Sticks (A Pretty Life in the Suburbs) – A simple little hack to make snacking even more fun!

94. S’mores Trail Mix (The Sensible Mom) – Add this to your list of snacks that will be gone before you know it.

Yummy Camping Desserts

95. Baked Apples (Super Healthy Kids) – On a cooler night, warm apples with a pinch of cinnamon will totally hit the spot.

96. Less Mess S’mores (Pizzazzerie) – This bag of s’mores (without all the cleanup) is one of our favorite camping ideas.

97. Strawberry & Nutella Sandwich (Mustard Seeds) – We can’t imagine anything more delicious than gooey Nutella paired with strawberries.

98. Ice Cream in a Bag (Growing a Jeweled Rose) – This would be the perfect cool camping hack to do on a hot summer night!

99. Oreo S’mores (Be Different Act Normal) – Who knew that s’mores could be even better?!

100. Blackberry Cobbler (Gingersnap Crafts) – This cobbler makes for sweet and cozy comfort food in the great outdoors.

101. Camping Cookbook (Amazon) – Be sure and check out this mouthwatering recipe book! It’s the perfect tool for helping you come up with even more great camping meals.

Is that a great list or what?! For more ideas, check out our list of more camping tips and tricks, not to mention our list of the best family vacations. You could even plan some camping time for just you and your sweetheart with this campout idea. And finally, you have to take a look at some of the best camping gadgets!

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I'm a friendly gal who's obsessed with all things marriage and Hubby-related :). When I'm not having adventures with my sweetheart and baby boy, you can find me in photographer mode, deep in a Netflix binge, or crafting! I also enjoy treasure hunting (aka. thrifting), dark chocolate, and eating as much sushi as possible.

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Recent Comments

  1. Thanks for all the tips! We hadn’t been camping in 7 years and went for 5 nights last week. Some of the things that worked out great:
    *pasta salad divided up into meal size portions. I loved Vegan Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad by Ashley Manila at bakerbynature.com
    * I rinsed then froze canned black beans in a baggie for tacos. Next time I will freeze the cheese also to help it last longer chilled.
    *using large juice containers filled with water and freezing them days ahead of our trip, they lasted longer and were less messy than ice in our hard plastic cooler.
    *I Premixed marinades in a bag
    *Disposable gloves for handling meat, especially marinated meat.
    *”Easy Panzanella Salad for Camping” by backroadramblers.com (I used croutons instead of bread and premixed the dressing before our trip.)
    *great recipe: Sausage & Grilled Shrimp Kabobs by gimmesomegrilling.com
    *hook shaped shower gel bottles by Avon were handy in the shower.
    *Made a list of what worked and what didn’t work while we were camping/what to do again, what to avoid, what to try, etc. What didn’t work: not pretesting our camp stove—which did not operate and would have been handy in the rain.
    Thanks for your compilation of so many tips! 🤩⛺️🌲

    1. Wow, it sounds like you had a wonderful adventure! Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing those fantastic tips with us!! 🙂

  2. Growing up, I went camping often with my family but have yet to take my own that I am all grown up. I love this amazing list!

  3. Growing up, I went camping often with my family but have yet to take my own that I am all grown up. I love this fabulous list!

  4. Thank you for the useful ideas ! I’m an avid camper, I’ll be taking my kids this time to camp in woods. Hopefully, it’ll be a fun experience for them

  5. My hubby and I went camping just last weekend, wish I would have seen this post before we went! We had a blast and it was such a wonderful time to connect and have fun together. I would definitely recommend going camping with your spouse if you haven’t before! These are some great ideas, going to save these for next time we go, which hopefully will be soon!

    1. That time to disconnect from tech and focus on each other and nature can be so cleansing! I’m glad it was a great time for you.

  6. We LOVE camping. Have tried several of these hacks already. Pie irons are our favorite way to cook over the fire!

  7. This is great info! We have been thinking of going camping and will be starting from scratch, so this article is so helpful! 🙂

  8. My kids are always begging to go camping but it’s not my thing. Maybe we’ll have to compromise with some glamping.

  9. I’ve been camping quite a bit, but there’s some awesome tips and ideas that I haven’t even thought of! Excited to try them out.

  10. Ok, I have to admit…this gal is not camping material. I like the outdoors, but when it comes to sleeping and bathroom facilities, I prefer the amenities of indoor comfort…like the Holiday Inn or The Marriott haha!
    But, love all the ideas, recipes etc.

  11. Great ideas! Some of these would even work if you’re going somewhere that you have to bring your own food/toiletries like a beach house. And the shower cap for shoes hack would be perfect for a trip to the beach if you wear flip flops or swim shoes in the sand.

  12. You divas always have the best ideas! 💗 We love camping and I’m loving all the fun new recipes on here! We will definitely have to try them out on our next camping trip! 😋 Thanks for sharing!!

  13. We didn’t get to go camping this summer because of our new addition, but I’ll definitely be trying dinner if these next year!

  14. These are literally genius! I love camping but dread it at the same time but I definitely think these hacks will make it easier. I so want to go camping now!

  15. Camping has become our new favourite family holiday. As a family of 6, it’s getting harder and more expensive to find other holidays that work. Thankfully my kids and husband LOVE camping! It’s growing on me too! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. Will definitely start incorporating these into our next camping trip!

  16. I love all of these ideas!! I used to go camping when I was younger and was in Girl Scouts. We used to do a lot of these things and I can’t wait to share the fun things with my boys.

  17. I love all the hacks and tips on how to go camping on a budget! This is perfect for when you need a vacation but need a low budget option!

  18. My family and I love camping every year for the Halloween weekend! There are so many fantastic ideas in this post!

  19. My husband and I went camping together for the first time last year so we are newbies. These ideas are so helpful. Thank you!

  20. What a great way to look like the coolest mom at camp… and a little boost to mom’s esteem makes the whole thing FABULOUS!

  21. Me and my family have went on 3 camping trips this summer already and I have used a few of the ideas on here and one of our favorite was the glow in the dark ring toss game and I also got the camping bundle it has made our camping trips wonderful with great memories. We have children ranging from 15 to 25 and they had a blast thanks to your website.

  22. Love the no spend camping idea. We don’t have all the supplies for camping but it gave me an idea for our new house we just moved into

  23. Fun! Not sure we’ll go camping this year with the pandemic, but keeping those ideas in my back pocket. Lots of ideas can also be used for camping at home or in the backyard!

  24. I love these ideas! My partner loves camping and it’s a new hobby for me. Can’t wait to try some of the printables!

  25. We camp all the time and make our fire starters out of candle wax and laundry lint! So easy to save up and everyone has a lot of it (Ps. No wonder household laundry fires are so common!!)

  26. We make fire starters out of candle wax, cupcake liners, and laundry lint! Believe it or not, laundry lint is a GREAT fire starter!

  27. Some great ideas! We did a vacancy to Mesa Verde with our kids o we 20 years ago and I froze all our dinners and we used them as the ice in our coolers then used them up as they thawed! It was great to just have to heat and serve!

  28. These are GREAT ideas!! Thank you! We love camping, we’re going again in 2 weeks. Def gonna try some of these out.

  29. These tips are lifesaving! We are going on a big camping trip next month and I want to try them all!

  30. We’re thinking of going camping this weekend and it would be so much fun to incorporate some of these tips, tricks, and activities! Thanks for sharing them!

  31. My husband I and I have been wanting to go camping for awhile. This looks like so much fun. There are some great ideas here.

  32. So many wonderful ideas. I especially love the fun outdoor crafts you can do with kids. I cant wait to try some these out on our next camping trip.

  33. Wow, I’ve been camping my whole life but I’m so excited to use these new camping recipes! I might just try some out with a backyard campfire…

  34. I LOVE IT!! You covered all the bases I didn’t even think about. Hacks, food, and fun on top of the basics! Thank you!!

  35. I don’t even love camping, but these ideas make it sound much more enjoyable. I want to make some of the recipes just at my own house! 🙂

    1. Hi! So glad you’ve found some ideas you like, however, these aren’t necessarily intended to be printable ideas. You can click on the pink text to be taken to a link that gives more details about each fabulous idea though!

  36. Wow…I want to do each and every thing on this list for our mini one night camping trip! Guess that just means we’ll have to go more! Thanks!