Camping and backpacking are great ways to relax and get off-the-grid. It’s great to enjoy the remoteness of camping, but the great outdoors don’t have to be difficult or frustrating. There are dozens of hacks camping and backpacking enthusiasts boast. We’ve compiled our favorites here that are guaranteed to add some more peace to your ‘peace and quiet’.
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1. Bring firestarters to avoid toiling with sticks
Starting a fire without aid is just as difficult as it looks in TVs in movies. If you are doing a tough trek during the day, you likely won’t have the daylight time to struggle with building a fire. It can be onerous work. Help yourself out by packing some firestarters. They help keep the fire burning long enough for kindling and wood logs to catch on fire. You may also want to try packing some kerosene. Hand sanitizer, lint, and trick start candles also make for unconventional aids to starting a fire. Bring some along just in case!
2. Pack solar panels to charge your devices
Be sure to bring solar panels or backpacking solar charging devices on your camping and backpacking trip. While they won’t help you get cell phone service in a wooded area, they can help you keep your cell phone, iPad, eBook, and other electronic devices charged to enjoy music, read, or have juice left for navigation on your way out of the campsite.
Backpack mounted charging is convenient for long hikes during the day. Often by the time you reach the campsite, nightfall may be imminent and there won’t be time to charge a solar pack and therefore, no juice to charge your devices. This hack will make it easier to make it through the night.
3. Fill your cooler with frozen water jugs
For a camping trip, space in the cooler runs at a premium. Grabb two gallon sized jugs, freeze them, then add them to your cooler before adding in other necessary food. This kills two birds with one stone. The first is it takes care of your drinking water needs. The second is it takes care of your icing needs. The ice should last a day or two and when it melts you have drinking water ready. You won’t have to expend extra energy carry both packs of ice and drinkable water or have to worry about waterlogged food.
4. Keep your sleeping bag warm and dry easily
If you tend to have cold feet at night, boil some water over your campfire and fill a canteen or used bottle with the warm water. Throw that and some extra, dry clothes, into the bottom of your sleeping bag. Sleeping bags can get a little damp depending on the day’s conditions, and the last thing you want is to shiver through the night. The hot water bottle will warm your feet and the dry clothes will help insulate it.
5. Bring a tripod
Whether a smartphone tripod or a a tripod for a DSLR, you won’t regret bringing one on your trip. Trying to balance your device on a rock is tricky business and you will want a nice group photo, trust me. You can often strap a tripod to the outside of your camping bag, so it’s no extra trouble!