Summertime means getting outside… A LOT. The days are long, with plenty of time to plan what camping food you’ll munch, pull together some cool DIY camping projects and test out that homemade sunscreen. While everyone’s pictures of the great outdoors look effortless on social media, life can get a little bit tricky when you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. But even though you’ve left behind the world of running water and electrical outlets, roughing it doesn’t have to be too rough, especially with these 19 genius ideas we found on Instagram. Scroll down for all the #campinghacks, and you’ll look like a natural in no time.
1. Gourmet S’mores: Buh-bye, graham crackers! Swap out the old standard for chocolate wafers, Girl Scout cookies or snickerdoodles to make an over-the-top campfire treat.
2. DIY Bug Repellent: Once the sun starts setting, the mosquitos start swarming. Preserve your sanity (and your arms!) by making your own mosquito repellent with lemon and lime slices, rosemary sprigs, and cedarwood and lavender essential oils.
3. Baked Eggs: Gather your baked egg recipes, because you’re going to be making a lot of these over the campfire, thanks to this muffin tin hack. Once your firewood has burned down to embers, set the eggs (and all the tasty add-ins) in the muffin tin and let them bake right on the grill.
4. Toilet Paper Roll Hack: The only thing that can make using an outhouse worse is getting stuck with soggy strands of toilet paper. Keep your TP dry in a repurposed coffee container, and hang it from a tree to keep dirt and bugs away.
5. DIY Lawn Games: Whether it’s Yahtzee, bocce ball or dominoes, you’ve gotta remember to pack your favorite camping games. Bring along paint to DIY a Twister board wherever you set up camp and let the good times roll.
6. Dry Tech: Not even a downpour will bring down your Instagram game with this savvy tech hack. Seal your phone in a plastic baggie all weekend long to protect it from rain, sand, dirt and the occasional marshmallow mishap.
7. Sitting Pretty: Last year’s camp chairs looking a little worse for wear? Put your weaving skills to use and spruce up those chair frames with a whole lot of paracord.
8. Mini Eggs: Treat your campers to a sunny-side-up breakfast with this brilliant cooking hack. Make ersatz pans out of tinfoil and put them directly on the grill.
9. DIY Tiki Lamps: Once the sun goes down you have two major things to deal with: lack of light and bugs. Ugh! DIY citronella tiki torches will light up your campsite so you can make merry long after sunset without the threat of blood-sucking mosquitos.
10. Cork Key Floats: If your camping trip involves any sort of boating adventure, make sure your keys don’t go down with the ship. Attach anything that might sink to a wine cork and you’ll have some peace of mind when your canoe tips over.
11. Grilled Pizza: Pizza might not be the first thing you think of when you’re planning your campfire menu, but the dough grills up nicely for a wood-fired-style pie. Keep the pizzas small enough so that you can eat the whole thing in one sitting and you won’t have to worry about cutting it into slices.
12. Camping Bubble Bath: Okay, this one is a little on the silly side, but dry shampoo can only take you so far. A nice soak in a rubber raft full of hot water doesn’t sound like a terrible idea, especially if you remembered the bubble bath.
13. Jar of Matches: Nothing kills a camping buzz like damp matches (no fire = no s’mores!). Make sure yours stay nice and dry in a glass jar. Add the strike strip to the top of the jar for easy access.
14. Spice Jars: You don’t want to bring your entire spice drawer on your camping trip, but sometimes you need more than salt and pepper for your gourmet fireside meals. Pick a few favorites and store them in tiny plastic stacking containers for easy transport. Don’t forget to make labels so you don’t mix up your cinnamon and cayenne.
15. Handy Silverware: Eating scrambled eggs out of a tin cup with no fork is not a good way to greet the day, so remember this handy hack. Attach utensils with paracord to a carabiner and clip it to your backpack and you’ll never lose them again.
16. Pancake Bottle: Save yourself the trouble of bringing eggs and milk and all the other pancake ingredients to the campsite and mix the batter up ahead of time. Store the batter in a squeeze bottle and you’re only seconds away from a perfect pancake breakfast.
17. Warm Laundry: Even if you’re just camping for the weekend, a gal’s gotta have a clean swimsuit, amirite? When the weather refuses to cooperate with your laundry plans, put your car heater to good use to get those towels and swimsuits good and dry.
18. Coffee Hack: Forget the French press? Before you panic and run back to civilization and the nearest coffee store, use a glass bottle to DIY your own cold brew or morning roast. Yes, it might be a little gritty and have a Fireball aftertaste, but that’s all part of the experience.
19. Orange Peel Cinnamon Rolls: Just because you’re going camping doesn’t mean you have to give up baking. Use orange peels as a shield against the intense heat of a direct flame and then use tin foil to bake the cinnamon rolls. Plus, the orange peel gives just a hint of flavor to those gooey, cinnamon treats. Genius!
What genius camping hack would you add to this list? If you’re looking for more fun outdoorsy ideas, make sure you follow us on Pinterest!