20+ insider camping and caravanning hacks
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’s a hack for everyone.
1. 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’re 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. 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 do thaw, you’ll have plenty of fresh drinking water available.
3. Foam floor tiles (the type for kids' play rooms) make great padding inside a tent's sleeping area.
4. 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. 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. 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. 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.
8. 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. Small pop-up washing baskets can make great make-shift bins if you put a bag inside.
10. 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. 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. Pool noodles can be cut into small sections and placed over guy ropes to make them stand out against grass to prevent anyone tripping.
13. 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 pre mix them to save on time.
14. Adding rosemary to the coals on your barbeque is a great way to inject some extra flavour to your supper.
15. One water bottle can hold approximately 8 cracked eggs- no more worried about bumps in the road.
16. Losing things when you’re 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. 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 pocket knife.
18. 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. Broken grommet on your tarp? 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. 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, it takes a long time to dry and you’ll find it hard to get warm.
22. 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. Sealable sandwich bags are great for storing any small electronics when the rain starts pouring.
24. If you’re using a Sat Nav to get to one of our Club Sites, members of the Club can access our POI files which can be entered into your device to ensure you take the correct route to get to site safely.
If you're looking for more camping tips and information, visit our help and advice section.