The sun is out and festival season is upon us – time to pack the tent and hit the road for a chilled-out camping session. And these 15 genius and easy camping hacks will make sleeping under canvas a breeze. And don’t forget my beginner’s guide to camping!
Easy camping hacks
● A sleeping bag and a camping mat are musts, but a pillow is an extra luxury that’ll will really help you sleep properly. Arrived without one? Try popping your clothes into your sleeping bag’s stuff sack – a good makeshift place to lay your head.
● Buy a pack of children’s foam floor tiles to lay down on the floor of your tent to create a softer, more comfortable tent floor.
● If you don’t fancy sleeping on the floor and you’re packing a big family tent, take a couple of camp beds, or even folding garden recliners to chill on during the day and use as a mattress at night.
Space saving hacks
● The one thing you really don’t want to run out of is toilet roll. On wild camping trips remove the cardboard centre from rolls and flatten the roll to make it easier to pack.
● Get smart about medicines and see what drugs can double up for different maladies. Aspirin can be used to treat bee stings and sunburn as well as to sort out your hangover after one too many campfire whiskies.
● Toiletries can be heavy to pack. Try bringing a tin of single use soap shavings and grab some solid shampoo bars from Lush to cut down on space (and plastic) instead.
● Tin foil is your new best mate, and from baked eggs to bananas, you can cook almost any dish to perfection on a campfire by wrapping it up in it. Buzzfeed has some clever recipe ideas here.
● Get into one-pot meals. Invest in a cast-iron skillet, stick it over the fire and cook up all manner of goodies (some great ideas here – check out those skillet brownies!). Added bonus of less washing up.
● Don’t forget seasoning. Rather than carrying lots of different bottles of herbs and spices with you, mix things like salt and pepper together and take them with you in – you guessed it – little tin foil packets to save on space.
● Don’t let a sudden downpour spoil your Instagram game. Seal your phone in a plastic freezer bag to protect it from rain, sand, dirt and the occasional wine mishap.
● Invest in some wind-up torches or lamps so you don’t have to worry about unreliable batteries or using your car for power.
● Don’t forget a headtorch. Not only are these a god-send when you’re looking for somewhere nettle-free to go to pee, but you can also point a headlamp into a plastic milk bottle full of water to create a makeshift light before bed.
● Dip cotton make-up remover pads in wax to make easy, portable fire starters.
● Try adding some sprigs of sage or lavender to your fire to keep mosquitos at bay.
● Make an easy, light and portable fire-lighting kit out of an egg box, wax and some lint. You’ll find the full tutorial here.