Top 10 ingenious camping ideas

Some of us like “roughing it” in the outdoors, but having small conveniences can make the experience of camping in the back woods a lot more pleasurable, and safer too.

As summer comes to a close and you’re planning that last excursion, check out these top 10 camping ideas.
  1. Make an easy fire starter. Take a cardboard egg carton, fill each compartment with a quick-light charcoal briquette, and close it. Light it on fire. 
  2. Don’t touch! Familiarize yourself with poisonous plants in your area. Look online and print photos to keep in your backpack. Some common varieties are Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. Consider purchasing an identification book that also can help you identify native wildflowers, trees, and birds to make your camping experience educational too.
  3. Make a natural tick repellant. Mix one part tea tree oil and two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on the bottom of pant legs. 
  4. Freeze jugs of water. Not only will they keep your perishables fresh in a cooler but, as they gradually melt, you’ll have refreshing cold water to drink. 
  5. Make a lantern. Strap a head lamp to a jug of water to illuminate your tent. Make sure the lamp is facing inward - it will shine brightly. 
  6. Use solar lights. Inexpensive solar-powered lights placed near tent stakes, like those used to edge a garden path, can help you avoid tripping. 
  7. Check firewood regulations. Many areas restrict wood from outside a certain range. This is in an effort to minimize the threat of invasive species, like the Emerald Ash Borer, which are devastating many hardwood forests. Always check the DNR website prior to heading out. 
  8. Bring an area rug. It works great on the bottom of your tent to keep sand and debris at bay. 
  9. Make a match container. Place matches in an airtight plastic container to keep matches dry, and tape a piece of medium grit sandpaper to the outside as a striking surface. 
  10. Dress in layers. Always dress one layer warmer than you think you’ll need. Avoid wearing cotton, as it retains moisture. Also, bring a waterproof jacket and pants. 
Perhaps the best advice for any camper is to remember that heading to the outdoors is meant to refuel and refresh our souls. Reconnect with nature and your family, and build memories to last a lifetime.

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