Any way that camping can be made easier and more efficient is music to our ears, and people are starting to get pretty creative with their own hacks. Some of them are such obvious solutions to age-old camping gripes that we think you’re going to start seeing hacks more often on your camping trips. Creativity is key, but many of this kind of stuff won’t cost you a dollar and is easy to do at home. Here are three of our favorite camping hacks to get your creative juices flowing.
Single Serving Toothpaste Buttons
This toothpaste hack makes so much sense and is so easy to do, it’s amazing you don’t see it more often amongst your friends on camping trips. It involves one tube of toothpaste (paste, not gel), aluminum foil or parchment paper, and time. Simply lay your surface flat, and squeeze out dollops of toothpaste into evenly spaced rows. Place somewhere that will not be disturbed, such as a high shelf or top of your refrigerator. The time they take to completely set depends on temperature and humidity, but about 24-48 hours should do it. Dust the buttons with baking soda, and place into a watertight container. When you want to brush your teeth at camp, simply pop in your mouth, take a little swig of water and chew, and brush away! Never worry about dropping the toothpaste tube in the dirt or the gummy mess around the cap again!
Mosquito Bite Relief
What do lemons, aspirin, banana peels, peppermint toothpaste, bar soap, and salt all have in common? They are all nature’s mosquito bite itch relievers! You’re pretty much guaranteed to have one or all of these items on any camping trip, which is why we think it’s one of the better camping hacks out there. Each works as a topical application for mosquito bites: rub lemons, dry bar soap, peppermint toothpaste, and inside of banana peel directly onto skin, wet the area before rubbing in salt, and crush aspirin with a little water to make a paste to apply to the swelling. Reapply as necessary.
Flying Insect Trap
There are few things more torturous than being relentlessly harassed by any of the number of flying insects that inhabit the areas we like to camp, especially the venomous ones. Swatting at wasps, bees, and yellowjackets in the same manner you would a fly may get you stung — which will definitely be worse than them buzzing around your head, at least for a little while. Make a simple trap with an empty 2-liter soda bottle, duct tape, and something sugary: Cut the top of the bottle off just below where it begins to taper, turn the top upside down, and place it into the bottom half. Secure the edges with duct tape (or any strong tape), and pour in a sugary liquid — this can be as simple as sugar dissolved into water. Place the trap away from the main areas of camp, on a table or other raised surface. This method is highly effective and will catch a surprising number of flying stingers!