We’ve all envisaged a military-style camping operation, only to watch the ‘glamping’ ground descend quickly into a sandy, muddy, disorganised mess. However, with the right camping hacks, your clean and clutter-free plot can be the envy of the campsite. Keep your tent shipshape, and deter unwanted visits from insects and animals, with these easy-to-implement camping tips and tricks.
21 Camping Tips & Tricks for Beginners
1. Choose a tent with a vestibule, and line the ground of the outer section with tarpaulin for a make-shift porch. Implement a ‘no shoes in the tent’ policy, and leave them in the protected porch instead.
2. Bring soft collapsible boxes, one for each camper. These can be used to tidy away possessions and keep belongings from getting mixed up. You can even label the boxes to avoid any confusion.
3. Pitch up near a tree if you can, which will not only provide shade in the sun, but can also be used to hang lanterns or clothes from.
4. Once you’ve got your own personal tree (see above), strap a belt around it and attach simple ‘S’ hooks. This creates a versatile storage solution for hanging everything from wet jumpers, to pots, pans or utensils.
5. Leave the vacuum at home, but do bring a dust pan and brush for an easy fix to those inevitable spills. If you’re camping next to the beach it’ll come in handy for de-sanding the tent floor, too.
6. It sounds obvious, but don’t forget to bring a good cool box. It’ll keep food and drinks in one place, and doubles up as a seat. Freeze large bottles of water and keep them in there – they’ll keep it cool and will act as a water supply once they’ve melted.
7. Take plastic bags and bin bags – lots of them. They’re handy for the obvious, but also for separating wet and dirty clothes.
8. Bring some Persil Handwash with you (in a freezer bag or Tupperware) for washing clothes, or bring a couple of laundry tablets if there are washing machines available at the campsite. Persil Washing Tablets come in individually wrapped sachets, making them extra easy to pack.
9. Bring a pot of infinitely versatile coconut oil. It can be used as skin moisturiser, hair oil, cooking oil and is even said to deter mosquitos.
10. Use the rubber car mats as door mats at the opening of the tent to catch any dirt on its way in.
11. If you’ve opted for reusable crockery, fill a tub with warm water and a few squeezes of good washing up liquid, like Persil, and another tub with clean water. This will encourage your campers to wash up throughout the day, to skip the hassle of doing it all at once and to avoid attracting flies.
12. Bring microfibre towels – they are super lightweight and quick to dry, and can be used as either bath towels, beach towels or tea towels.
13. Don’t leave open food in your tent or around your campsite – always keep it stored away in a sealed freezer box, or in the car to avoid attracting unwanted visitors. Bring sealable sandwich bags for storing leftover food.
14. Avoid mosquitos by pitching up your tent away from water and make sure you keep the fly net of your tent closed, even if the main door is open. Light a campfire and mosquito-repellent candle in the evening to deter mosquitos (if the campsite permits it), and avoid using perfumed toiletries.
15. Bring a roll of duct tape – you really never know when it could come in handy. It can be used to reseal packets, fix tents or tarpaulin, make a rope, strap tent pegs together… the list goes on.
16. Bring a foldable camping cart – it can transport everything from children, to heavy water bottles and camping kit. When it’s not transporting anything, it doubles as useful storage – just remember to shower-proof it with tarpaulin.
17. Don’t underestimate the importance of the humble camping chair. Having somewhere to sit, preferably with a table too, will dramatically improve your camping experience, and there’ll be extra surfaces to keep books, jackets, sunscreen and other items you need to have easy access to.
18. Bring a wind-up or solar-panelled light source in case batteries run out or you don’t have access to a socket.
19. Spice up your cooking without having to bring the whole spice rack by bringing spices in small, reusable plastic containers. Empty Tic Tac packets make particularly useful, easy-to-pack spice dispensers.
20. Bring a roll of kitchen foil – you can cook virtually anything in a little parcel of foil, and it’s easier to pack than heavy pots and pans.
21. Many tents have mesh pockets integrated into the inner tent lining, which are great for storing small items like keys, underwear or toiletries. If your tent doesn’t have this feature then you can always try sewing them in yourself.
Make sure camping is a hassle-free experience with these top camping tips, so you have more time for fun!