10 Camping Hacks

This story was first published on 14 September 2016 and was updated on 8 January 2019 by Leigh Hermon.

We’ve rounded up the most handy little camping hacks from around the Internet that are bound to change your life…

1. Smoking herbs

Throw a bunch of dried sage leaves in your campfire. The smell (and smoke) will ward off mosquitoes and other annoying flying bugs.

Camping tips for beginners

You also might like: 8 Plants that Discourage Mosquitoes

2. Duct tape

Duct tape can be used for any number of camping hacks, from taping up a blister to patching a broken shoe. Wrap some around your water bottle – it acts as insulation and it’s easily accessible when a use for it arises.

3. Hot toddy

A Nalgene (or similar) flask makes for a great bed warmer. Simply fill it with hot water and throw it in the bottom of your sleeping bag before bedtime.

 

You also might like: Camping in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

4. Keep matches dry (and have a fail-proof starter)

Glue sandpaper to the inside of a waterproof container lid or get fancy and put a circle of sandpaper under the lip and on top of the lid of a Consol jar.

Keep matches dry with our camping tips for beginners

5. Let there be light

Truly one of the most ingenious camping hacks – turn any translucent bottle of water into a light by strapping a headlamp to it.

You also might like: Hiking the Tankwa Camino

6. Birthday candle fire lighters

Those ‘magic’ birthday candles that keep re-lighting themselves make great (semi) weatherproof fire-starters.

7. Fire starters

Cotton wool balls dabbed in petroleum jelly make good fire starters.

You also might like: Slackpacking Eden to Addo

8. Tent carpeting

Take an old carpet or an interlocking modular foam mat (available from most toy stores) for tent flooring. A creature comforts camping hack that the whole family will thank you for.

9. Natural tick repellent

Make a natural tick repellent by mixing one part tea tree oil to two parts water in a spray bottle and douse your feet, socks, shoes and trousers.

Make a tick spray with our camping tips for beginners

 

10. Braai bananas

Make a gourmet campfire desert by splitting a banana skin and filling it with whatever you have – think chocolate (chips work best) marshmallows, peanut butter, etc. You can either cook on your braai grid or wrap in foil and steam in the coals.

We recommend you give Jan Braai’s Caramel Flambé Bananas Recipe a try.

Words Jazz Kuschke

Photography Peter Chadwick and Supplied

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