22 Camping Hacks and Tips from REI Experts


Editor’s Word: This text was initially revealed in 2015; it was up to date on Jan. 23, 2022, with member-sourced outside hacks.

After generations of sleeping exterior, you have a tendency to choose up a couple of tenting hacks. Since 1938, REI Co-op Members and staffers have been creating and tuning professional ideas to assist make the outside a bit of extra enjoyable.

These might not change your life, however they simply would possibly save a while or impress your pals.

1. Make your individual firestarter.

At residence, coat cotton balls closely in petroleum jelly and put them in a small plastic bag, says Trent Doerner, a member since 2019. This gives an almost waterproof methodology to start out a campfire. Doerner makes use of the additional jelly to appease blisters or chapped lips whereas on the path.

2. Make extra firestarters.

Take an empty (paper) egg carton and fill every particular person cup with shredded paper, dryer lint or sawdust. Soften candle wax and pour the wax into every cup. Separate the cups and nest the home made firestarter to kick begin your subsequent campfire.

3. Wrap tape round your trekking poles.

Additional duct tape or Tenacious Tape™ restore tape turns out to be useful for a number of makes use of within the outside. Use it to patch a gap in your puffy jacket or sleeping pad, or make emergency repairs to your tent. To avoid wasting area in your pack, wrap the tape round a water bottle or trekking pole. (Learn extra outside hacks for duct tape.)

Photograph credit score: Brooke Jackson.

4. Gentle up your bear canister.

Phil Reed, an REI Co-op member since 1979, discovered a straightforward trick for finding his bear-resistant meals canister on very early path departures. Reflective decals on the container hold them shiny sufficient to identify together with his headlamp within the pre-dawn darkness.

Photograph credit score: Brooke Jackson.

5. And your headlamp.

Reed additionally affixes glow-in-the-dark tape on the band of his headlamp so he can at all times simply discover it.

Photograph credit score: Brooke Jackson

6. Parachute twine has many makes use of.

Paracord can serve many makes use of within the wilderness, together with changing damaged boot laces. (For a classy approach to carry it in your wrist, try this tutorial to make your individual paracord survival bracelet.)

Photograph credit score: Brooke Jackson

7. Make your individual lantern.

Place your headlamp in an empty Nalgene, the clip the bottle to the loop in your tent ceiling to light up your shelter in your subsequent in a single day journey.

lit headlamp in Nalgene water bottle

8. Stuff sacks make good pillows.

Pillows are for plutocrats. Tough it such as you imply it by stuffing some garments in your stuff sack and utilizing that as a pillow.

Camping Hacks

9. Heat your sleeping bag with a Nalgene.

Some folks had been born with chilly toes. To manage whereas tenting, fill your Nalgene or one other water bottle with scorching water and throw it within the backside of your sleeping bag earlier than bedtime.Camping Hacks

10. Pack the underside of your sleeping bag with dry garments.

If snuggling as much as a bottle of scorching water goes towards your higher judgment, attempt some dry garments as an alternative. They are going to take in any moisture within the backside of your sleeping bag and hold your toes heat.Camping Hacks

11. Line your pack with a heavy-duty rubbish bag.

Use rubbish can science to assist hold your stuff dry. Line your backpack with a plastic rubbish bag and fill ‘er up.Camping Hacks

12. Use silica gel packs in your cookware.

Save these little silica gel packs and retailer them together with your cookware to assist stop rust. All it takes is one rusty pan for everybody to start out calling you “Rusty” and also you simply by no means come again from that.Camping Hacks

13. Dry your sneakers with crumpled garments.

There’s no use crying over moist sneakers. Take away your insoles and stuff a dry shirt or some newspaper in your boots in a single day to dry them out. For those who’re nonetheless feeling emotional, write some poetry.Camping Hacks

14. Create a grab-and-go package.

Hold a small bag on prepared so you possibly can shortly seize it when you ever need to enterprise away out of your base camp. Fill it with necessities like an area blanket, multi-tool or first-aid package.

A backpacker holding an emergency kit

15. Use that package for different actions, too.

Now that you simply’ve arrange a ready-to-go bag, it’s simple to take it with you while you change actions. Tuck it in a motorcycle bag, a dry bag or one other pack for fast entry to necessities.

16. Hold one pair of your socks protected.

Be taught to like sacred socks. Sacred socks are clear, dry socks that stay in your sleeping bag for sleeping functions solely. It’s a gorgeous factor.

Camping Hacks

17. Hand sanitizer works as fireplace starter.

Use hand sanitizer to start out a germ-free fireplace in a pinch.Camping Hacks

18. Cling your garments up with bread tags.

Begin stockpiling your bread tags. They make good clothespins and weigh subsequent to nothing.Camping Outdoor Hack

19. Make a brand new grommet out of a rock.

Lose a grommet? Twist a rock in the identical nook to make a brand new anchor level. Title your tarp assistant “Rocky,” or one thing extra unique like “Granite” when you have the geological cred to tug that off.

Camping Outdoor Hack

20. In a pinch, use candle wax as a zipper lubricant.

Candle wax (from a really un-lit candle) can add zip again to a zipper. (Clear it off and use an actual lube at residence, although.)

camping outdoor hack

21. Hold your down sleeping bag fluffy by drying it with tennis balls.

When drying a down-filled sleeping bag, embrace a couple of tennis balls to protect loft. (Be taught extra on the right way to wash a sleeping bag.)Camping Outdoor Hack

22. Depart a set of unpolluted garments within the automobile.

It’s nearly up there with a scorching bathe: a spare change of garments ready for you while you come off the path.

A set of clothes and a pair of shoes in a car
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