There's no denying this has been an unusual summer! So many of us had to cancel vacation plans, but have turned to camping as a way to get outdoors and make the most of summer.
One of the year's biggest camping weekends - Labor Day weekend - is coming up soon. In case you're planning one last trip, will continue camping as long as possible into the fall or plan to go next summer, here are some camping hacks to help make your next trip easier, save space when packing and keep you feeling comfortable!
The Cusa TEA-m put together this list of our favorite camping tips to share with you. They are general tips as well as specific favorites from Jim (founder), Robin (Marketing Director) and Amanda (Marketing and Service Coordinator).
- Make a DIY firestarter. Take a 2oz wax paper cup and fill it ¾ full with dryer lint. Drip candle wax on top of the lint until it is fully covered. When you are camping, place the firestarter in the middle of small twigs and light it. It will burn for 10 minutes, and you can slowly add more twigs and sticks until the fire is roaring.
- Let gravity do the work with a gravity-fed water filter. Jim says, "For years, I used to backpack with the “pump” style of water filter and would spend hours by the cold river side pumping to get enough water. Then I discovered gravity filters where you fill a 4L bag and just hang it from a tree/rock and let gravity do the work." See his favorite here.
- Harness the sun to charge your electronics with a solar charger. Another favorite find of Jim's. "I love this little solar charger because it can fully charge my phone/headlamp in a few hours of hanging from my backpack. And then at night it helps light up the inside of my tent as a lantern. Dual purpose!" See the charger here.
- Heat up your sleeping bag on a cold night! Just heat up water and pour it into a Nalgene water bottle. Seal the bottle tightly and place it in your sleeping bag 20 minutes before bedtime. By the time you roll into bed, your bag will already be warm. No more shivering on those cold nights!
- Make late-night bathroom trips less disruptive with a soft tent light. Robin uses a soft green and blue string tent light to avoid those late-night shocks when someone needs to use the bathroom one more time. She says, "This light is bright enough to see everything in the tent, but soft enough when you need to turn it on late at night to avoid having to adjust your eyes. Mine is green and blue, so it also gives my tent a party feel." See her favorite here.
- Save space when packing food by making an all-purpose seasoning. Says Robin, "I love cooking over the campfire when car-camping. I used to pack individual containers of salt, pepper, garlic powder and any other spices I typically cook with, but they take up too much space. Now I take a homemade all-purpose blend in a single container to use on everything."
- Use tic-tac boxes to store spices. If you're packing an all-purpose blend or want to keep spices separate, tic-tac boxes are small, lightweight and durable, and are a great way to store small portions of ingredients like spices.
- Line your bag with a garbage bag to keep contents dry. Says Amanda, "Many hiking and camping backpacks come with waterproof covers. But, if you don’t have this, you can use a garbage bag. Garbage bags are great for protecting your equipment and clothing when it rains. Plus, they’re lightweight and easy to carry."
- Burn sage in your campfire to help repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can be a pest, especially when it’s damp or you’re deep in the woods. Sage is a great way to naturally repel mosquitoes when sitting around a campfire. Just take a handle of sage and throw it into the fire - it's that easy!
- Melt and seal straw sections to store spices and other small ingredients. When you’re camping, you don’t want to be stuck carrying around an entire tube of toothpaste or a huge bottle of lotion. Instead, pour what you need into plastic straws. Then seal the end of the straw with a flame. This will create a single-use container so you don’t have to carry around large toiletry items.
- Dry your shoes overnight. We all know how uncomfortable it can be when it rains. Keeping your shoes dry is probably the most important. Your body temperature is affected by the temperature of your feet. So, if your shoes are wet, take out the insoles and stuff dirty clothes or newspaper into them before going to bed. This will help soak up the water and moisture allowing your shoes to dry quickly.
- Keep one pair of your socks safe. Socks are a necessity, especially when camping. Always keep an extra pair of socks in your bag or at your campsite.
Of course, we recommend packing some Cusa Tea & Coffee on your trip, too. It's the perfect item for backpacking, camping or just a day trip outdoors. You don't need hot water, and our single-serving packaging is durable enough to handle any conditions - they won't let moisture get in, even if your entire bag gets wet, and you can literally stomp on them without breaking them. Trust us - that's what we designed them for!