8 Mind-Bogglingly Brilliant Camping Tricks

These camping hacks will make your next trip a wild success!

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Pancakes and hashbrooms good on a camp griddle stove at a campground in rural Wyoming in the summer.
Shutterstock / melissamn

Make an Easy Pancake Breakfast

For an easy and delicious hot breakfast, bring pre-made pancake batter. Mix the batter up at home, then store in disposable pastry bags. (Use our best pancake recipes for ideas!) Throw the bags in your cooler. When you’re hungry, simply cut off the tip of the pastry bag and squeeze onto your campfire griddle. In addition to plastic bags, you’ll also want these convenient camping food containers. 

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Woman hand holding water bottle outdoors
Shutterstock / Oleg GawriloFF

Bring Frozen Water Bottles

Freeze a few gallons of water or small water bottles and place them in your cooler. They will keep your food cold and fresh, without the hassle of melted ice making everything soggy. Then when the water thaws, it can also be used as drinking water! By the way, here are the best (and worst) drinks for hydration.

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Grilled kabobs

Pre-Prep Some Kabobs

The best camping meals are the ones that don’t require much work while you’re there. That’s why easy kabob recipes are perfect. Cut up your meat and vegetables and put them in plastic bags for marinating before you leave home. When you get to camp, all that needs to be done is skewering and grilling!

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Cookware for Camping
Shutterstock / tharamust

Keep Your Camp Kitchen Tidy

To corral all those miscellaneous kitchen items you’ll need while camping, bring a hanging shoe organizer. The individual plastic pouches are perfect for storing utensils, seasonings, trash bags, paper towels and more! Using a hanging organizer frees up table space while keeping everything clean and off the ground. And if it’s your first time camping, get our complete family camping checklist here.

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A man catches running water in his cupped hands outdoors.
Shutterstock / Prixel Creative

Make Your Own Hand Washing Station

We’re not afraid to get a little grimy while we’re roughin’ it in the woods—but clean hands are essential. Prevent the spread of germs by creating a hand washing station. Along with a bottle of hand soap and some paper towels, set up a spouted water jug. This way each person can wash their hands with clean water. Psst! Are you washing your hands incorrectly?

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paper towel in a wicker basket.
Shutterstock / Olga Kovalenko

Stay Fresh & Clean

If a shower isn’t available at your campground, you can stay fresh with DIY body wipes. Cut a paper towel roll in half. Then put warm water and a bit of body wash in a sealable plastic container. Next, put the paper towel roll into the liquid, cut side down. Seal the container and turn it upside down, so the liquid will absorb into the paper towels. Once the paper towels are soaked through, pull out the cardboard tube. Your wipes are ready to use! Just grab one to wipe yourself down before putting on clean camping clothes. And, don’t miss these incredible uses for dryer sheets you can take to your next campout.

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White sage smudge stick (Salvia apiana) in a seashell.
Shutterstock / Jilll Richardson

Repel Mosquitos Naturally

Little known fact: mosquitos do not like sage. Bring a few bundles of this tasty herb, not for your meals, but for the fire. Throw a few bundles in your campfire to keep mosquitoes at bay. Plus, the burning herbs emit an earthy, pleasing aroma. Psst… Here are some s’mores ideas, too.

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Two people lying in tent with a view of mountains.
Shutterstock / DenisKrivoy

Keep Your Tent Dirt-Free

No matter how much you prepare, it always seems like the tent becomes a dirty mess by the time your trip is over! Prevent some of the outside tracking in with a shoe basket. Place it just outside your tent so campers can discard dirty shoes before entering. Your sleeping area will stay cozy and clean.

Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.