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Camping is one of the great summer pastimes for families that never goes out of style. In many ways, each trip is a learning experience as to how you can do it better (and smarter) next time.
When it comes to the day-to-day, you’ve probably figured out how important things like headlamps, quality cookware, and mattress pads are – but you’d be surprised how many (seemingly) mundane items come in handy!
Before your next trip out into nature, consider packing these nine simple unexpected items to help enjoy the trip more and stress less.
1. Plastic Coffee Container
Repurpose an empty plastic coffee container to create a safe and dry place for your toilet paper. This great camping DIY tool only requires you to cut a quarter inch slit down one side for the toilet paper to come out.
For an extra step, poke a hole through the lid and out the bottom of the coffee can. Then feed a medium length piece of twine through it. Tie the twine into a knot and you now have a loop in which to hang your toilet paper holder!
2. Dryer Lint
While it may seem like a nuisance when pulling it out of your dryer, this wad of cotton is perfect to use for starting a fire. To make a great pre-packed fire starter, take a few wads of dryer lint and push them inside an empty toilet paper roll.
When it’s time to light the fire, have the stuffed toilet paper roll nestled inside of the fire logs and light it. This super easy DIY starter will burn hot long enough to get the fire logs catching.
3. Portable Safe
Keeping a portable safe with you when you are away from home is a great way to keep your valuables locked away and protected. Just make sure that you keep the portable safe in a secure and well-hidden location.
If you like to hunt while camping and own a gun safe at home that is portable, one option is to remove any unnecessary weapons and use it on your trip. This way, you don’t have to spend money on a separate one.
Stock up on this herb (ideally while it’s in branch and leaf form) for those cozy campfire evenings. When added to the fire, the smoke that comes from the sage will chase away any mosquitos.
You don’t need to add it all in at once. Toss in a few branches as needed while you are enjoying the open night sky.
5. Pocket Chainsaw
Super lightweight and portable, the Pocket Chainsaw is a must have when you are out in nature. This tiny yet mighty saw rolls around itself and fits into a round container that is about the same size as chewing tobacco.
To use it, you will carefully unroll the saw then attach a hand pull on each end. Place the saw bit around the limb and use both hands to create a push and pull movement. This will work the saw back and forth while it cuts the limb.
It does take a little more muscle and effort, but it can be super helpful in a pinch when you need to cut something and need the leverage as strength to power through thick limbs.
6. Bread Tags
Those plastic square-like pieces that hold bread closed are a huge benefit to campers. You can use these bread tags as clothespins to hang up wet clothes on a makeshift line. If you’re planning outdoor activities with your family that involve the water, having the ability to easily hang wet clothes to let them dry will be a game-changer!
Clothespins can take up a large amount of space in your bag, while you can carry enough bread tags to work for a large family in just a small snack-sized Ziploc bag.
7. Solar Light
Pick up one or two cheap solar lights for your next camping trip. These no maintenance lights will charge during the day and give off a soft light during the night if you get up to use the restroom or need to find something.
8. Tic Tac Containers
Don’t toss these super useful little plastic containers after you pop the last Tic Tac! You can use the empty containers for spices. Put salt, pepper and some of your favorite at home spices in each container so that you can have them with you while you camp without having to use bulk spice containers.
9. Foam Floor Tiles
Those alphabet kids room foam floor tiles are just what you didn’t know you needed for your next camping trip. Lay these tiles down inside or under your tent to give it an extra cushion and comfortable layer.
These tiles will also be great to save your back from rogue rocks, roots, and uneven ground so you can get a better night’s sleep if you are roughing it in a sleeping bag.
Packing for a camping trip does not have to be stressful, especially when there are several everyday items from home that can be used! For the most part, these items are ones that you’ll likely have around your house, making them easy to bring along on your next camping trip. Try adding these great, unexpected tools and objects to your bag and enjoy a fun adventure with your family and friends in nature!