Backcountry camping is all about learning what is invaluable and what you can live without. And honestly, the more we venture outdoors, the more we learn that we can always pack lighter and end up leaving unnecessary things back home.
One of the best ways to make sure a camping trip is enjoyable is by reducing the load on our backs, as this means no extra stress if we have to trek a few extra miles to find a suitable campsite. However, there are some essential (and perhaps somewhat random) items that we still want to carry as they can save us from uncomfortable situations.
With that in mind, read on for some products that make great camping hacks.
Switch your tent for a tarp
A great way to reduce weight and save space is to ditch the heavy tent and pack a tarp. Of course, this hack really only works during the summer, and even then you’ll want to double check the weather reports.
Once you’ve reached your campsite, drape the tarp over a frame and tie it down using stakes. If the eyelets are not big enough to push a stake through, then use some rope to tie the tent to the stake, using small rocks on the tarp corners to keep it in place.
Altoid containers make great storage
We’re sure we’re not the only ones guilty of buying Altoids just for the tin (as refreshing as their mints may be). The small metal container can be used to store loads of things, but we always use ours to store fire starting materials or as first aid kits. You can also use them as a camp light, just roll up wax-soaked cardboard and light it on fire.
Baby powder keeps your feet dry
The enemy of all hikers is wet feet. While you can avoid sweaty feet by choosing the right footwear and moisture wicking socks, sometimes wet feet are unavoidable, like when you have to cross a stream. A great way to dry off your wet feet quicker is to use baby powder, as it absorbs moisture. Carry around a small bottle which you can sprinkle on your feet to keep them dry and happy.
Cooking is best over a campfire
Propane-fueled stoves are great for cooking, but it means more weight in your pack, same with liquid fuel cook stoves. Therefore, leave your stove at home and rely solely on nature by making a campfire. However, not just any fire will do, so dig a hole and construct a small tunnel for air flow. This will turn into an excellent camp stove that will never fail you.
Liquid soap and cotton balls remove ticks
One of the worst enemies of campers are ticks, which can carry Lyme disease. If you don’t remove a tick within 24 hours, there is a high chance that Lyme disease will be transmitted into your bloodstream, so check for ticks daily.
But what happens if you find one? Trying to smoke them out or burn them is never a good idea, as the tick can burrow further into your skin. Alternatively, soak a cotton ball in liquid soap and press that against the tick. It may take a few minutes, but the tick will stop burrowing and come out towards the light.
Burning sage keep mosquitoes away
Another colossal nuisance in the backcountry is mosquitoes. If you want to avoid all the chemicals in mosquito repellents, revert back to the olden times and use sage to repel them; just throw some sage into your campfire and watch the mosquitoes dissipate.