Camping Hacks For Families

When I go camping, it is the best of times and it is the worst of times. I love getting away with my sons. I love exploring the backyard of the province and getting away from our routine. But I’m not really “good” at camping.

So I need to hack my camping trips. I need easy little ways to get things done and remind myself not to forget anything. I once drove 4 hours to a campsite only to discover I brought the wrong tent poles. When I drove 4 hours back to get them, I discovered they were in the trunk the whole time.

See what I mean? I love the time with my kids, but I need all the help I can to get back out there and love camping. (This article has some great gift ideas for campers)

1. So I have 2 camping buckets with everything in them. One has all the dishes and food, one has all the sleeping bags and tents. Load those two buckets in the trunk and all I need to do is fill up a cooler and change of clothes and I’m good to go. It’s made life easier.

Camping Buckets

Here are some other family camping hacks I’ve found around the web that I use when I’m out with the boys.

2. Before we went for a full blow up mattress, we brought along the foam squares from the playroom. They take up a lot of room in the trunk, so I abandoned it, but if you’ve got the space, they are a cheap and easy way to make sleeping on rocks more comfortable.

foam tiles for camping
via A Little Campy

3. Pre making food items at home is an easy way to get things done. I like to use frozen meat as an ice block in my cooler, and this last trip instead of trying to bring eggs with me just to break and scramble, I cracked them at home and carried them in a container!

scrambled eggs for camping
via Kids Activities Blog

4. This last trip we discovered OFF! Clip-Ons. They’re an easy alternative to bug spray that keep the skeeters away when you’re at camp or lounging in the backyard.

The boys clipped them to their camp chair, and backpacks. They may have believed the benefits to be a little greater than promised – wanting them to keep snakes and birds and flies away – but the OFF! Clip-Ons did do the job of keeping away the mosquitoes. It’s easy. Remove foil and insert disc. Turn on. Clip on. Refill as needed.  (scroll down to see the OFF! Clip-Ons contest!)

OFF! Clip-On and Charlie

5. Now those camping buckets that I bring to hold all my camping gear for each trip also work as easy basins. If you camp with really young kids, you know what a disaster trying to bathe your kids in the camp shower can be. So flip the bucket into a bathtub!

baby bath bucket for camping
via Living on a Latte

6. BuzzFeed’s list of 41 camping hacks has gone viral many times over, and one hack I’ve picked from that list is campfire croissants. Pick up some ready made Pillsbury dough to pack along for camping, wrap the dough around a stick and then roast it over your open campfire for delicious fresh made breakfast treats!

Campfire Crescents

7. Always make sure you have Ziploc bags in the back seat. From storing snacks to collecting toys to acting as impromptu barf bags, these are vital for the long road trips to the campsite.

Ziploc Bags camping hack

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  1. Rebby June 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I had gone to Drumheller in late July a few years ago to go hiking in the hoodoos. I forgot the bug spray. I have NEVER seen mosquitoes so huge in my life! They were truly prehistoric. I came home looking like I’d been attacked by…well a million mosquitoes! I took a bath in calamine lotion. *Scratch Scratch*

  2. Rebby June 30, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    My best family camping hack is to bring pre marinated meat in ziploc bags so that meal prep is quick an easy!

  3. Kris Fruin June 30, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    With our trailer, most stuff is pre-packed, but the tip about eggs may be something we try next trip!

  4. jan July 3, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    rather than buying ice we fill 4 lt milk jugs with water and freeze.

  5. Pingback: Monday Moments with Camping Hacks - My Life Abundant

  6. jan July 4, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    My worst mosquito story seems to happen whenever I am camping as I am the one they come to feast on!

  7. Tracy D July 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Mosquitos love me, they torture me every time I’m outside anywhere! Clip on would save my life!

  8. Phyllis W. July 5, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    I remember when I was a teenager getting so many mosquito bites on my ankles that I couldn’t count them and my ankles swelled all up and mad it hard to walk. All this from just lounging in the backyard. If I had the OFF! Clip-on® Mosquito Repellent back then I could have lounged away without worrying about my ankles getting attacked by mosquitos.

  9. Josh S July 5, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    One time I went camping deep in the woods and the mosquitoes were absolutely horrible. I unfortunately did not have any spray or any other form of repellent. It made for a really long trip.

  10. Josh S July 5, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Best Hack tip I have is keep the matches in a ziploc bag to keep them dry.

  11. maria July 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Playing tennis one night i got huge mosquito bites they were the biggest i have ever seen. the clip on would have saved me!

  12. Amie July 6, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Had a campfire on the weekend and forgot the off! Needless to say everyone was inside

  13. Amie July 6, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Get the little ones to gather kindling during the day so if you start late there is lots and it is a fun chore for them , see who gets more or something

  14. angela m July 6, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    We forgot the bug spray this past weekend at a family BBQ and the mosquitoes were very bad, still scratching the bug bites.

  15. angela m July 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    We put some ice cubes in ziploc bags for the cooler and then can use them also for our drinks.

  16. Courtney July 7, 2015 at 6:43 am

    We freeze bottles of water and use them in the cooler instead of ice!

  17. Glogirl July 7, 2015 at 10:16 am

    My worst mosquito experience is wearing long pants and still finding mosquito bites on my legs. OFF would have helped me!

  18. Glogirl July 7, 2015 at 10:20 am

    A camping hack is to fill and old prescription bottle with bandaids. That way they will stay clean and dry!

  19. Bo Simms July 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

    My worst mosquito experience was camping, no matter what I tried, I got bitten up badly. The clipons on would be great without having to spray chemicals on the body!

  20. Bo Simms July 7, 2015 at 10:41 am

    My best camping hack is to bring baby wipes in lieu of toilet paper, the baby wipes are so useful to be able to freshen up when you can’t shower, and so versatile for washing hands, kid’s faces etc.

  21. Jana L. July 7, 2015 at 10:49 am

    We went hiking in the woods the weekend before I was to attend a wedding. Needless to say I came home with a lot of mosquito bites that swelled quite a bit. It took a lot of apple cider vinegar to help with the redness and swelling. The off clip would have saved me a lot of hassle.

  22. Jana L. July 7, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Freeze water bottles, you can use it as ice packs and have a refreshing drink when it’s melted

  23. KC July 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Was walking though the woods. Had a canoe on my head and had over 2km to go. More mosquitos and black flys than I could shake a stick it. I really could have used an OFF Clip-on!

  24. KC July 7, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    My best family camping hack is to put all your food and smelly things in a canoe and anchoring it a good distance from shore. This should stop any critters or bears from endangering your camp!

  25. Cayley July 7, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    My favourite camping back was born out of necessity. My dad wanted to take my brother and I on an extended camping trip. We were going for 10 days and we camp only with tents and usually near a river for water. No outhouses or anything. I said to my dad that I was not going unless I had some way to have a hot shower or bath because the river is just too cold to wash my hair! So we bought an inflatable dingy and set it in a circle of trees with a tarp around them for privacy. Then we all took turns boiling water for each other’s bath time! It was amazing and felt so luxurious and was easy to take with us. So you have an adult and kid friendly bathtub for the stars for a ceiling! I will always remember that camping trip.

  26. Yuen C July 7, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    I went hiking last week and got a mosquito bite at the crease of my foot and every step I took hurt, ouch!

  27. Yuen C July 7, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    My camping hack is to use a muffin pan to store sauces and food

  28. Erika June 23, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I mix everything for oatmeal portioned in a mason jar with sugar and everything all together an d it just needs to be dumped in boiling water. It’s perfect for cold weather camping!

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