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!
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This epic list includes:
- Camping Hacks for Easy Packing – Clever camping hacks for packing and planning.
- Camping Hacks & Supplies – The most important things to bring camping.
- Camping Hacks for Families – Tips for getting that campsite set up 100% stress-free!
- Cheap Camping Ideas – Our favorite camping tricks and cool camping ideas that don’t break the bank.
- Easy Camping Meals – Easy camping meals and tasty outdoor treats.
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)!
1. Roll Your Clothes (Flavorverse) – Save space in your suitcase by rolling your outfits together. This is an especially brilliant idea for kiddos!
2. Family Packing List (Childhood 101) – Check out these tips and a printable list to help you be prepared instead of scared.
3. Personal Packing Lists (Our Handcrafted Life) – Print out one list for your entire family, and watch the stress melt away.
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!
5. Shower Cap Covers (Mom Always Finds Out) – Use this camping hack to keep all of the camping dirt in its place.
6. Packing T.P. (The Family Handyman) – Keep your toilet paper dry with this clever trick!
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!
8. Straws (Mighty Girl) – Pack medicine, spices, cosmetics, etc. in straws and seal the ends with heat.
9. Cooler with Rack (Amazon) – This snazzy cooler will keep your food safe and dry. The included cooling rack is an added bonus!
10. Pack Spices (Amazon) – These containers are perfect for pills, condiments, or spices!
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.
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!
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.
14. Menu Planning (Stuffed Suitcase) – These printables are perfect for helping you organize your camping meals.
15. More Packing Ideas (Family Adventure Project) – Check out all these ideas for packing.
16. Snacks to Pack (Scouting Magazine) – These are some fantastic tips on what to bring and what to leave at home.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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! 🤩⛺️🌲
Wow, it sounds like you had a wonderful adventure! Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing those fantastic tips with us!! 🙂
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!
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!
We camp A LOT, so this list will really come in handy! Thanks!!
You are so welcome! Thanks for the comment!
I’m here for alllllll the bug repellent tips! So many bugs here!
101 ways to make my life easier! Thanks for all the tips!
Yes! Such wonderful tips! Makes me excited for summer!
This makes me so excited for Summer! We are excited to try the recipes listed.
This is a post I come back to year after year!! Thank you!!!!
I think this year we will attempt tent-camping w our 4 kids! I’ll be bookmarking this page :p
I officially need to plan a camping trip now!
Love this!! Such an all-inclusive post. Totally bookmarking now!
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
How fun! I hope they love it!
Camping is one of my families favorite things. This has tons of helpful and fun ideas. Thanks
No problem! Have fun 🙂
So many useful suggestions! Definitely going to bookmark this page!
Yes! Visit it all camping season long, right?!
I’ve been wanting to take the kids camping, now I definitely will have to and try some of these!
Oh, do! They love being out in their wild, natural habitat ;P
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!
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.
This is making me want to plan a camping trip!
Do it!! lol
Wow, I can’t decide what part of this is my favorite! So many amazing ideas! I need to go camping right now!
Yes! Go and enjoy 🙂
Wow, whoever thought of these ideas is brilliant!
Thank heavens for other peoples’ brains! Ha! 🙂
We LOVE camping. Have tried several of these hacks already. Pie irons are our favorite way to cook over the fire!
Ooo thank you! Pie irons is a great idea!
This is great info! We have been thinking of going camping and will be starting from scratch, so this article is so helpful! 🙂
My husband and I live off camping during the summer! This was so useful and fun!
Love that!! Enjoy! XO
My kids are always begging to go camping but it’s not my thing. Maybe we’ll have to compromise with some glamping.
HAHA That seems like a great compromise!!
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.
Love that!! So glad you found some new ones to try! XO
My version of camping is staying in a cabin, this is a great list that I’ll be using next time we go!
YES!! I love cabins too! Enjoy all the ideas!! 😉
Now I want to go camping!!!!
Expecting our 4th boy so I know camping is in my future! Saving this post for when I need it! 👍
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.
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.
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!!
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!
Always looking for things to make camping easier.
We haven’t gone camping for a couple of years but these are great!
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!
Great tips! We’re not really into camping, but maybe someday we will go.
Those camping food ideas make me hungry! Looks delicious!
My sister would love these ideas!
This will be perfect for our next trip! Thanks
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!
I don’t usually like camping but this might just change my mind!
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.
So many things I never thought of!
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!
Yay! I’m so glad it helps!
We are going camping in a couple months. I’m excited to try some of these out!
Enjoy your outdoor adventures 🙂
My family and I love camping every year for the Halloween weekend! There are so many fantastic ideas in this post!
Halloween campout sounds so fun!
My husband and I went camping together for the first time last year so we are newbies. These ideas are so helpful. Thank you!
We hope you have many fun outdoor adventures to come!
I love all of the camping ideas, hacks and recipes. Thank you for sharing!
No problem, thank you!
These ideas will be so great for next year when we start camping again. 🙂
I’m not much of a camper, but the camping foods I do plan on trying!!!!
Who says a tent is required for good food 😉 Have fun!
Love this post and this blog. a ton of awesome ideas.
Thanks so much!
These are amazing. I love the clever fire starters, especially the ones that use up old crayon pieces!
Good tips! Can’t get enough camping!
Thanks, have fun!
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!
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.
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
Thanks for the menu!! It’s a keeping for the next youth group I have to feed.
This almost makes me want to go camping.
Hahah maybe just try out the foods if you’re on the fence 😉
Have tried these they work great
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!
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!
Wow, such fun ideas!!
As a camping novice these are great ideas! I especially love the eggs in a bottle.
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!!)
We make fire starters out of candle wax, cupcake liners, and laundry lint! Believe it or not, laundry lint is a GREAT fire starter!
We LOVE camping and these are such neat ideas!
I love camping! These tips are going to come in so handy!!
Now I need to go camping again! These are brilliant!
Happy birthday. These ideas and has are great.
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!
I always am looking for great camping food recipes. cant wait to try them out!
I’ve never been camping before but this list of ideas makes me want to plan a trip! LOL
Love these ideas. Can’t wait to try them out when we go camping.
These are GREAT ideas!! Thank you! We love camping, we’re going again in 2 weeks. Def gonna try some of these out.
This is speaking my language, Anything to make camping easier and more efficient!
So clever and useful!!!
These tips are lifesaving! We are going on a big camping trip next month and I want to try them all!
I wish I could talk my husband into camping 😂
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!
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.
Totally going to have to try some of these on our fall camping trip!
We aren’t a big camping family, but great ideas for travel or indoor camping!
Totally going to have to try some of these on our camping trip this fall!
Not a big camper, BUT these make me want to!!!
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.
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…
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!!
Great and very useful ideas!! I love the scavenger hunt!!
We love to camp so these are awesome tips! Love the eggs in a bottle trick!
Genius, right? We loved that too!
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! 🙂
Ha ha, right?! Maybe an indoor camping family night is in order.
These camping ideas are awesome! I’d never even heard of a lot of them! I am totally going to use this!
cannot print off any ideas…computer will not let it print
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!
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!
Haha, I think you’re right Billie – definitely go more often!! Glad you found some great ideas!
LOOOOVE these! I can’t wait to use some of them on our next camping trip!!