Camping Doesn’t Have to Mean Being Uncomfortable or Doing Without…
Although my hubby and I prefer primitive camping out in nature, there are times when we enjoy simply relaxing in a campground, where we have the luxury of running water close at hand. Yeah, we’re still sleeping in a tent, but there is usually a picnic table and fire ring, making it easy to set up camp. We add a couple of camping chairs and we have all the comforts of home.
Here are some of my favorite hacks we use when camping:
Washing Station: One of the first things I set up (after the tent) is a washing station. I’ve created this by cleaning out a large empty laundry detergent jug – use one with a spout. I fill this with water before we leave on our trip. Then I add a small plastic tub that sits under the spout. It’s perfect for quick clean-ups, and washing up pans and dishes after a meal. This can save you lots of trips to campground restrooms and cleaning stations. We also use this when primitive camping for washing up in lieu of a shower. Note: even though I’ve thoroughly removed the residual detergent from the jug, I never use it for potable (drinking) water. This is for washing and clean-ups only!
Keeping Foods Cold: I fill a gallon milk jug (or multiple smaller juice bottles) with water and freeze them the night before our trip. These go into the cooler, instead of loose crushed ice. Just pack the food in and around the frozen jugs of water. The bottles stay frozen longer than loose ice, and as they do melt there is no watery mess to get into food bags. And you have emergency water if needed. This worked really well, even on our trip to Death Valley National Park. Hint: we plan our meals so that the most perishable foods get eaten first, when the cooler is coldest inside, leaving only foods that don’t have to be kept cold, for later snacks, etc.
Speaking of Food: Although we often use the dehydrated meal packs (just add boiling water to the pouch, let set, and viola – instant meal), when you want to cook on a larger scale, a little planning ahead can make food preparation quick and easy. Here’s an easy breakfast: put your eggs in a 16-ounce water bottle – it will hold 8-9 large eggs. – and store in the cooler. Not only do you not have to worry about trying to transport fragile eggs, but these pre-scrambled eggs don’t require a bowl or whisk. Just pour and cook!
For added richness: I always bring a plastic container of powdered milk, to add to the hot water when making instant oatmeal or hot cocoa. Yummy!
Toilet Paper Storage: Personal hygiene is extremely important at all times, whether you backpacking or hanging out at a campground. You shouldn’t count on the campground or public restrooms to have toilet paper on hand. Always bring your own supply. A trick we learned while backpacking is to remove the cardboard tube and flatten the roll. Then we store it in a re-sealable plastic bag. The last thing you want is damp or wet TP—or none!
Enjoy a Bug Free Evening: Most people look forward to a relaxing evening around the campfire when camping—we certainly do. You can enhance that moment by adding a bundle of sage to the campfire or your fire pit. It will help keep away mosquitoes and bugs. You can purchase these sage bundles already made up for you. They are used for Smudging Ceremonies by Native Americans and can usually be found in Natural Health Food Stores or Metaphysical & New Age stores. You might find it interesting to read about it.