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Top 5 Favorite Camping Life Hacks

Life hacks are great little tips and tools to put in place that help us humans to work smarter not harder. Put “camping” in front of those two little words, and you have some of our favorite tips and how to’s to camp like a boss. From starting fires in a pinch to warding off mosquitoes, these are our top 5 must know camping life hacks for any savvy adventurer!

Nachos fire starter

From buzzfeed.

Nacho Fire

Taking delicious tortilla chips with you camping is a good idea all in itself: Crispy, crunchy, and hopefully covered in salt or cheese or something else magical. You can even cook nachos in a cast iron skillet right on your campfire. But did you know, that you can use some of the extra chips to actually get the fire going? Chips are basically pure hydrocarbons which burn, soaked in delicious fat which also burns. You can use a small pile of flaming chips as kindling to build your fire with. Don’t plan to make a bonfire of Doritos though as this could lead to a delicious overdose of aroma you may not be able to recover from.

Sage for the campfire

From Soul Flower Farm

What Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes can be a pain in the ass when you’re out camping, especially if you like to camp near the river or creek. A tent will help you some at night, but these pesky little creatures will do anything to get your tasty blood! Sure, you can soak yourself in DEET  which is a chemical used to repel mosquitoes, but your skin is often left oily and you smell like either a bottle of pine sol or like the pest control guy just came through your campsite. Sage is a common herb often used in cooking or even holistic and ceremonial rituals to cleanse away energy. Grab a few bundles of dried sage – which comes in many varieties – and throw them in your campfire on your next trip. The sage will give off an aroma that you’ll enjoy but those little bloodsuckers can’t stand!

Mason Jar match holder

From Gentlemint

Bomb Proof Matches

This is a favorite of ours here at Watershed as we like things that are waterproof! Matches are great to take camping, but not so great if they’re soaked once you get to your campsite. You can buy waterproof matches, or you can make your own for much cheaper! First, start with strike anywhere wooden matches and dip the striking end in nail polish or wax from a wax candle if you’d prefer. Next, lay the matches out and let them dry before putting them into a waterproof bag or container for your trip. For the wax dipped matches, you’ll need to peel off some of the wax before striking but the nail polish ones will be good to go. Just ensure you do a light coating and shake off excess polish. It’s also a great idea to affix some sandpaper to the inside of a container or surface to have a great place to strike it up!

Use a rock as a grommet

From REI

Grommet Rescue

Camping is always fun when one of your grommets from a tarp or rain fly rips out. Don’t despair! You’re super crafty and can fix this no problem! Grab a small rock or object  and create a new anchor point by wrapping the tarp or fly material around the rock, then tying the guideline around it. Just be careful with the fabric as the rock or object may rub from the inside. This is much better however than having half your shelter flying around in the huge surprise storm that just rolled in. It’s a good idea to keep a couple of golf balls handy while camping as they work beautifully for this without the sharp edges of a rock.


Zippy Zippers

We have all experienced desperately trying to get out of your tent when the call of nature happens and either not being able to find the pull on the zipper door, or worse the zipper getting stuck and not unzipping smoothly. Grab some wide key rings thats most of us have laying around at home and attach them to your zipper pulls on your tent and other equipment. This makes them much easier to locate in the dark or when it’s cold and your little paws are frozen. Also, use a bit of candle wax along your zipper to keep them nice and zippy!

Camping is awesome, but with these life hacks it can be even more so. Don’t forget to waterproof your matches and bring five times the amount of tortilla chips you think you may need!





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