A Big Ole List of Camping Hacks

We bought a new camper this summer.  This is big for me. We’ve had a small popup that has served as hunting base for about 8 years – but it was frightfully small – and has no bathroom.  That means Carrie had to go in the woods….no likey.BIG OLE LIST OF

But we live in Colorado – in the mountains.  Sitting in our home every weekend seems like we’re wasting or taking things for granted…after all – Colorado is extremely gorgeous!
So our new camper is NOT a popup – and it DOES have a bathroom – a real one with a shower…… oh happy days!  Since Maddie was headed to college this fall – I suspect Todd has been trying to tempt me into a love of the woods and fly fishing.  I’m in love with fly fishing already – I thought the woods would be a harder sell.

We camped a lot this summer – filling nearly every weekend with fun in the woods – and you know what?  I loved it.  We were comfortable, the dogs fit in the camper with us, and I could cook just about anything I wanted.  While camping, I discovered a bunch of hacks to make things more convenient, cleaner, and more fun overall – I thought I’d share my finds here!

Ketchup Bottle for Pancake Batter670px-Make-a-Pancake-Mix-Container-from-Recycled-Ketchup-Bottle-Step-5 – I love this idea, because it doesn’t leak and can float around in the half melted cooler for awhile without making a mess.  This also makes it easy to dispense and you can recycle it for next time – or just throw it away.


eggsScrambled Eggs in a Water Bottle – Take a clean water or creamer bottle and pour in a dozen or so scrambled eggs – use this to add eggs to recipes or scramble them for breakfast.


plastic bagsPlastic Bottle Bag Dispenser – Use a water bottle or juice bottle as a plastic bag dispenser. Cut out a dispenser hole and stuff the bags in the top. This is a way to recycle both grocery bags and water bottles into something useful.


sageDried or Fresh Sage Bundles as Mosquito Repellent – Dry sage bundles are inexpensive (you can buy online) and if you throw one into your campfire – it chases away the mosquitos.  Burn one and smudge your tent or camper if the buggies are bad.


glowstickWater Bottle & Glowstick Tent Stake Markers – Put an activated glow stick in a bottle of water (recycle a used bottle and just use creek/pond water if you can) and place them next to the tent stakes so nobody trips in the dark!


Glow in the Dark Tape on Stairs – Put some glow in the dark tape on the stairs to your camper – this helps you see the step in the dark.

Freeze your Food & Water – If you’re taking a cooler, freeze your food before you leave – it will help you keep your cooler cold.

Rosemary Steaks & Burgers – Instead of marinade or hauling seasonings around – throw some sprigs of fresh rosemary on the fire or coals to cook your steaks with flavor.

RV Packing List – not a hack – but a useful packing list. Many of these things you can just leave in your RV or Camper – but it’s a good “just bought this – what do I need to put in here” list.

firestarterEasy Firestarters – Starting a fire can be a pain – and I’ve got little patience for it.  Luckily I have men who grunt and chest thump about fire- a la Tim the Toolman – so I rarely have to.  But when I do – a cotton ball and a smear of vaseline and you’re off to the races.  Doritos work great too.


11698505_10150542588044964_7918050198004716538_nKeep the Pups under Control – I have 4 dogs, which is crazy in and of itself – but camping with those 4 dogs can become a bit of a nightmare.  Using a trolley system works with 1 or 2 dogs – but with 4 it’s a nightmare of twisted leashes and ropes.  Instead I use retractable leashes and bungee cords.  I pick trees around the campsite (or 4 corners of the bumper) and bungee the retractable leash to the tree – then I hook a dog up to each retractable leash. They can go in multiple directions pretty easily and the leashes retract when they create slack.  This also allows them to find a comfy spot to snooze, get into their crates if they want to, or find some shade if it gets sunny.  Note – NEVER leave your dog alone in a campsite – if you’re bringing them along – bring them everywhere!

Did I miss something? Have a hack you LOVE?  Share it in the comments below!