29 Useful Camping Hacks and Tips Every Camper Should Know
The Camping & Caravanning Club Logo

29 Useful Camping Hacks and Tips

towel hanging between trees in a campsite

Over the years here at the Club, we’ve learned a few tricks of the trade when it comes to spending time in the great outdoors. Maybe you’ve already picked a few of these up during your camping adventures, or you’re new to camping and looking for ways to make life easier. Either way there is a camping hack for everyone.

1. Dry shoes with newspaper

muddy boots in a row

If you’ve ever had to walk around in shoes that are still wet from the day before, you’ll know how uncomfortable it is. As you are going to bed, take the insoles out of your wet shoes and stuff the shoes with newspaper. By morning they should be nice and dry for another day of adventures.

2. Chill with frozen bottles

Rather than filling your cool box/bag with ice, freeze bottles of water instead. They take a surprisingly long time to thaw out and should keep your food nice and cool. Then, once they thaw, you’ll have plenty of fresh drinking water available.

3. Pad with foam tiles

Foam floor tiles (the type for kids' playrooms) make great padding inside a tent's sleeping area.

4. Maximise space with hanging shoe organisers 

Shoe organisers (the hanging type) can be helpful for keeping things together while you’re away from home. Hang one up in your unit to store anything from clothes to kitchen utensils. As a bonus, they pack down nice and flat for easy transportation too.

5. Stay dry with microfiber towels

When the weather takes a turn for the worst, quick dry microfiber towels can be really helpful. They’ll dry much faster than regular towels and also take up less space.

6. Secure toilet paper with elastic bands

Packing your own toilet roll can be tricky. Sometimes you’ll arrive at site and find it’s unravelled on the journey or just isn’t looking like its pristine self. Avoid this by slipping an elastic band around each roll and popping them in a plastic bag before packing. If you need to save space, you can take out the inner cardboard tubes and pack them flat.

7. Pre-warm clothes in sleeping bag

father and son pitching a tent

If the temperature is a little chilly, getting out of bed in the morning can be tricky. Our advice is to keep your clothes for the next day (or even just one warm item like a jumper) in your sleeping bag with you. That way you’ll have something warm to put on before heading out into the fresh morning air. Also, make sure you layer up!

8. Grease tent zippers with candle

Is your tent zip sticking? Rub an unlit candle over it; it’ll help lubricate any stiff sections. Whilst we’re on the topic of zippers, they can be hard to open with gloves on in the winter. Attach a large keyring to make life easier.

9. Make DIY washing baskets

Small pop-up washing baskets can make great make-shift bins if you put a bag inside.

10. Make soap leaves for shower

Avoid dropping your soap in shared showers by making single use soap leaves. Cut a bar into small pieces and take a few with you instead of the whole bar to the facilities block.

11. Entertain the kids in the wild

boy with mother

Are the kids complaining that they’re bored? Create a checklist of things they can find around the site, such as different leaves, stones and different coloured tents to spot.

12. Use pool noodles for visibility

Pool noodles can be cut into small sections and placed over guy ropes to make them stand out against grass to prevent anyone from tripping.

13. Spice up your life

If you enjoy cooking and take lots of spices along whilst camping, fill a pill box with your favourites to save on space. You can even premix them to save time.

14. Flavouring your dinner

BBQ cooking kebabs

Adding rosemary to the coals on your barbeque is a great way to inject some extra flavour into your supper.

15. Transport eggs in water bottle

One water bottle can hold approximately 8 cracked eggs- no more worry about bumps in the road.

16. Organise items with packing cubes

Losing things when you are on a campsite can be frustrating. You know you’ve got that spare pair of socks somewhere, but you can’t find it in the midst of your rucksack! To solve this, you should try packing things into small bags or buying dedicated packing cubes before putting them into your main bag.

17. Wrap tape around essentials for space

To save on space, you don’t need to take a whole roll of tape with you. Cut as much as you think you’ll need and wrap it around something you know you’ll have with you most of the time, like your water bottle, lighter or pocketknife.

18. Use a keyring to keep an eye on your stuff

 cork keyring attached to key

Stick a cork on your keyring - if you drop your keys in a water source, you’ll be able to fish them out easier.

19.Secure tarp with attached rock

Wrap a small rock in the corner and fasten it in place with a zip tie or piece of string. You’ll be able to secure your ropes using this to extend the life of your tarp for a little longer.

20. Reuse tissue box for bagging

plastic bags

Taking lots of extra plastic bags is a must for keeping wet or dirty clothing separate from everything else. To keep them organised, stuff them into an empty tissue box to make an easy bag dispenser.

21. Avoid cotton clothing in wet weather

Inside of a car with a sat-nav

Avoid cotton clothing in wet weather, it takes a long time to dry and you’ll find it hard to get warm.

22. Prep BBQ pans with soap

Cleaning BBQ

If you’re going to place a pan over a lit barbeque, put a little washing up liquid on the bottom before putting it on the grill. It’ll be much easier to remove the ash and grease. Just make sure you wash your grill before using it again!

23.Shield electronics in bags

Sealable sandwich bags are great for storing any small electronics when the rain starts pouring.

24. Freeze pre-cooked meals in advance

Campers who love being organised will enjoy this hack. Buy, pre-cook and freeze food before you set off camping, then you can leave your food to de-frost during the day and it will be ready to warm up quickly later on.

25. Make a lantern out of a headlamp and a jug of water

When camping, getting the right ambience for the night-time is essential. To make your own lantern, you just need your headlamp and a large cloudy but transparent water bottle (eg a milk bottle). All you must do is strap the headlamp to the side of the jug when it gets dark, the jug of water will then transform into a glowing orb. Pretty magical!

26. Use hot water bottle for warmth 

Hot water bottle

To keep yourself toastie at night, bring a hot water bottle that you can fill with boiling water using a stove or jet boil. Pop it in your sleeping bag half an hour before going to bed. As a result, your sleeping bag will be warm and toastie ready for a perfect night's sleep.

27. Wear anti-insect clothing for protection

If you are camping near water, make sure you invest in some anti-insect clothing which will keep bugs at arm’s length.

28. Carry sporks for compact cutlery


There is nothing more disappointing than dishing up food to find you have not got a fork and knife to eat it with. Make sure you come prepared with plenty of cutlery. Sporks are always super handy, as they double up as both a spoon and fork, which takes up less room in your luggage.

29. Stick reflective tape on essentials

Reflective tape

It can be hard to find stuff in the dark. If you pop some reflective tape onto items you may need in the middle of the night, e.g. toilet rolls or your headlight, they'll be easier to find.

If you're looking for more camping tips and information, visit our advice section.

More holiday inspiration