Top 43 Camping Hacks for Your Next Holiday
Family holidays make for great memories, but they also can be a lot of work. So, we decided to put together a list of the best camping hacks out there to save you time and effort on your next camping excursion to Broken Head Holiday Park. Try out a few so you can just relax and enjoy your family time.
1. More than just for the pool
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Many, many articles suggest using your common foam pool noodles to cover awning struts, sharp edges and anything else you might bump into at night or just walking around your campsite. Most are bright colours so they’ll even stand out in the dim evening light, saving you from at least one stubbed toe!
2. Save space—square not round
Even though lots of food items might come in circular containers, opt for transferring food to square containers for camping. Square-shaped containers stack up in chilly bins and storage spaces better and won’t roll around or knock into each other while driving.
3. Forget about broken eggs
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Never again will you head to your motorhome’s fridge or the cooler at your campsite only to find your eggs broke in transit. Plan ahead—and save time!—by placing the number of eggs you need for your holiday in plastic water bottles. Generally you can count on a half litre water bottle holding about eight to nine eggs.
4. Buy a couple of shoe storage organisers
These handy hanging shoe organisers make multiple camping hacks. Cut one up for organising items around your bed in the motorhome or hang a mesh one in the shower for storage of everything from shampoo to shaving cream. Another use for these handy organisers is hanging one outside your motorhome or around your campsite to provide a place to hang various kitchen necessities.
5. Always carry some TP
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Don’t find yourself on a hike without some toilet paper—you never know when nature might call. A couple of camping hacks for bringing along the TP is carry it along with other hiking tools (a lighter, Swiss army knife, etc.) in an Altoids tin. Or if you’re already taking along a backpack, then pack the toilet paper, but make it more compact by removing the cardboard tube.
6. Need a light?
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Forgot the lantern? Run out of batteries? Take an empty milk or water jug, then strap your headlamp around it. This will easily light up your whole tent for the evening. This is one of those perfect camping hacks to get you through an evening if you just need to buy more batteries the next day or to use throughout a holiday instead of a traditional lantern.
7. One-time cleanse
Save space and figuring out where to store the half used bar of soap by making one-time soap bars. Take a bar of soap and using a vegetable peeler, make small pieces of soap that you can grab each time you take a shower or even just for washing your face at the end of the day. Think of it like a detergent or dishwasher pod!
8. Don’t smell … and get rid of the itch
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Mosquito bites just come with camping—as much you might like to avoid them completely, most likely you are going to get at least a few over the course of a camping holiday. Everyone has different methods of taking the itch away from making an “X” across it with your nail, to applying a lemon slice. However, this camping hack allows you get to get double duty. You’ll already be packing deodorant, but did you know that you could also rub it on a mosquito bite to quell the itch?
9. Line your drawers
This isn’t so much as a camping hack, but more of just common practice—line the drawers and cabinets of your motorhome with non-slip liners. Keeps things from rattling and crashing into each other while on the road.
10. Keep the wine safe
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It’s probably a safe assumption that most camping holidays involve bringing along some alcohol even on family holiday (or maybe especially?!). In addition to the beer supply, you might want to have a few bottles of vino for another option.
To keep the bottles from rattling around or, worse, bang into each other and breaking, cover the bottles with cheap mesh sleeves.
11. Double the clothes space
This camping hack might be something you use at home if you’re short on closet space. Take the tabs off of soft drink or beer cans and slip them over a hanger, this gives you a way to support another hanger. Your RV most likely has little closet space so this way you’ll automatically double the hanging options for your family to store clothes.
12. Not just for the shower
Before you leave on your next holiday, head to the store and collect a couple of those shower caddies with suction cups. These handy devices can suction to the windows and be a great place to store kids’ activity accessories (such as markers, pencils, pens), snacks that won’t melt or various other holiday items (like hair accessories or ear phones).
13. Coffee in a bag
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Bringing along the coffee maker for making coffee at the campsite might seem like a waste of space. But if you’ve gotta have your morning flat white, then what are you to do? While it’s fun to go out try local coffee spots, you might want your first cup at the campsite or to sip a cup in the evening.
Use this camping hack to easily have one cup. Scoop coffee grounds into a filter, and then tie it up with dental floss. Drop it in hot water like a tea bag and just let it steep as you would tea. And in a few minutes, you’ll have your cup of coffee!
14. Can you turn it up?
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So you’re on that family holiday, it’s the end of the day and the kids are looking to relax before bedtime. They want to watch a movie on the iPad, so they crowd around it, all trying to hear the same movie. Next time this happens try out this camping hack and see if it makes everyone happy.
Grab a plastic cup from your supplies (or if you don’t bring these types of cups when camping, make sure you do this time), and cut a hole in the side to fit the corner of the tablet with a speaker. Then sit back and, literally, listen as the sound amplifies.
15. Never buy bags of ice again
This camping hack isn’t such a new idea or even something just for camping. Avoid buying bags of ice to fill the cooler by freezing water bottles. The great thing about cooling your cooler items this way is that as they unfreeze, the water bottles become beverages!
Then you start all over with new water bottles each time. Tip: Pick ones that don’t have paper labels or remove them before freezing to avoid soggy paper during the unfreezing process.
16. Night lights
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Keep yourself or any other members of your family from tripping when they want to climb up into the motorhome during the evening or to head to bed with this camping hack. Add glow-in-the-dark tape (which you can find online at places like this) and make sure you don’t fall.
17. Season storage (and other food “accessories”)
Don’t pack up tons of seasonings, salt and pepper while you’re on holiday. Or worse, don’t plan to purchase any of them you need when you get to your destination. Rather than dragging all the big bottles and cartons of herbs to add some extra taste to your meats and other foods, fill up empty Tic Tac cases with the seasonings (and make sure to label them so you remember which is which!). Or do the same with stackable pill containers.
18. Extra warmth
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If you and your family opt for a holiday in your RV during the winter months, then this camping hack will be right up your alley. Purchase several rolls of bubble wrap, cut it up to fit the various windows of your motorhome.
Spray the windows with a light mist of water, then press the bubble side of the wrap onto the damp windows. While it will obscure the view, the light will still come in and, most importantly, keep the cold out.
19. Keep insects at bay
Pack some lemons for your holiday to utilise this camping hack. When you’re out at your campsite, cut up the lemons and squeeze the juice out. Then rub it on exposed skin to keep ants, fleas and moths away or put a cut up lemon in a dish.
Although it won’t discourage mozzies, other insects dislike lemon juice and lemon peel. For a natural mozzie repellent try lemon eucalyptus oil or lemongrass oil which are safe to use on the whole family.
20. Rubbish pick up made easy
Every campsite collects rubbish—whether it’s wrappers, empty food containers (or leftovers of a meal) or even tissues from blowing your nose. But not everyone wants to track off to find the main rubbish bin.
So instead, buy one of those laundry baskets that folds down (or up for that matter!) when you’re not using it. Put it up at your campsite, place a rubbish bag in it and, ta-da, you’ve got yourself a rubbish bin!
21. Add some comfort to your tent
Finally, if you have young kids in your family, there’s a chance you already have these set up somewhere in your house. If not, then consider buying a set of the foam floor tiles and using those on the floor of the tent to make it more comfortable to sit in the tent while also adding some extra comfort under your mattresses.
22. Follow the rules
Campsites have rules and regulations that campers must adhere to. These ensure your safety and a comfortable, fun stay. Find out what these rules are before checking into the campsite.
Some campsites have rules against bringing pets, about particular hours, barbecue policies, and campground fires. If you are a pet parent, find out if the campsite is pet-friendly or not.
The majority of campers forget to check these things and this can result in penalties, stress, and disappointment.
Other good-to-know suggestions are usually included in the booking information or the campsite FAQs. Such rules include camping etiquette. For instance, it’s an unwritten rule that you don’t become annoying to other campers such as by playing loud music.
23. Take a sleeping mat
A comfortable sleeping mat is one of the essential items in your survival kit while camping. There’s nothing as frustrating as having grumpy campers because of a lack of a good night’s sleep.
After a long day of activities, all you’ll want to do at night is get some sleep. An uncomfortable sleeping bag on the bare ground sheet will cause backaches and poor sleep. To make the floor of your tent comfortable, use foam pads.
24. Be prepared for anything
No matter how much you plan and prepare for a camping trip, unforeseen things can still happen. It’s vital that you prepare for anything.
Pack enough warm and cool clothing and don’t forget sunblock. Pack layer-friendly clothing suitable for changeable weather without taking up too much space. Don’t forget to pack hats, socks, and extra shoes too.
If it’s winter be prepared rain so take spare bedding and clothing in plastic bags.
25. Hand wash station
It’s impossible to easily access a sink and keep germs at bay while camping. You can, however, create a hand wash post and avoid the hassle of running to the bathhouse. This post should be placed at a central place in your campsite and be easily accessible.
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated; just something that will get the job done. Use a small table or log and on it place a plastic basin, a bottle of water and a bottle of liquid soap. Add a hand towel if you like.
26. First Aid Kit
Part of being prepared for anything on your camping holiday includes packing a first aid kit. You don’t have to carry the whole kit but do take a mini kit containing the essentials. You can use a tackle box for the necessary items.
Some of the essential items to pack include Band-Aids, ibuprofen/painkillers, water purification tablets, antiseptic wipes, wound dressings, allergy pills, scissors, and burn ointment.
This kit can mean the difference between life and death if an accident or injury occurs. It’s especially necessary if you’re camping with children.
27. Camping Cones
Just because you’re away form home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dessert. Campfire cones are a popular camping hack. They’re easy to make and are kid-friendly.
Fill cones with chocolate chips, marshmallows, sweet treats, and a variety of sliced fruits such as bananas and berries. Then wrap them in foil and put them on the BBQ for 5 to 10 minutes. When the filling is melty and warm, remove the cones from the coals and serve immediately.
28. Packets of Silica Gel
The majority of us don’t know what to do with those silica gels we find in the products we buy but they are useful items. They are good at sapping moisture, especially for items that rust easily.
Traditionally, when camping you dry your cast iron cookware in the sun. But with the unpredictable weather conditions during camping, this can be impossible. Use these packets inside your cast iron pots and pans to suck up moisture. This will keep them dry and keep them away from rust. Failing that, use scrunched-up newspaper balls.
29. Camping activities
Apart from the usual camping activities like hiking, swimming, and bike riding, camping can become boring, especially if you bring kids. You may all be stuck inside your tents because of weather conditions.
Get creative and pack things that you can do for fun. Pack crayons, journals, art books, and reading books. Binoculars for spotting birds and paper towels for pressing leaves and flowers are also good options.
Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you throw personal hygiene out of the window. Keep your environment clean and take care of yourself by packing essential items.
Wet wipes will come in handy, particularly for emergency ‘showers’. They are especially useful if you have kids.
Bring rubbish bags and ensure that you leave the campsite clean. A roll or two of extra toilet paper is always a good idea.
31. Fresh food
Aside from packing smoked and dried food items and canned food which can be kept for longer, bring along some fresh foods as well. Yes, keeping food fresh can be an uphill task while camping because most fresh fruit and vegetables only stay fresh for a day or two, if not refrigerated.
However, under-ripe bananas, oranges, and yellow cling peaches keep well. Vegetables like under-ripe tomatoes, butternut squash, potatoes, and onions will store well too.
To keep your meat fresh for more days in the cooler, ask your butcher to vacuum-pack it. Alternatively, you can freeze the meat before going on the trip. Keep all your non-perishables like sugar and coffee in airtight containers to keep the bugs out.
32. Milk substitutes
Packing fresh milk and keeping it fresh for longer periods can be messy and take up too much space in the cooler. You can opt for milk substitutes which don’t require refrigeration. This includes almond, rice, and soy milks. If you’re bringing children along, there are a variety of flavours to choose from. Alternatively, take along boxes of ultra-pasteurized (long-life) milk. Another option is powdered or canned milk.
33. Solar chargers
A camping holiday is a time for you to have fun, bond, and make memories with your family and friends. This is the perfect time for you to disconnect from your devices and reconnect with nature.
However, you may want to have your phone on for emergency calls, playing music, and taking pictures. Other essential items like GPS devices, flashlights, and lanterns use batteries too. That’s where solar chargers come in very useful.
A solar charger will work with your iPhone and other devices. It will also save you from using your car battery for charging. Alternatively, you can pack extra charged batteries and power banks.
Nothing beats breakfast on a camping holiday like pancakes. However, preparing the mixture from scratch outdoors can be messy. One of the camping hacks for having pancakes is preparing the dry mixture before travelling.
Fill a mason jar with the pre-measured dry ingredients. When you are ready to make the pancakes, simply add eggs and water to the premade mixture and give the jar a shake. Your batter is now ready to cook.
35. Ziplock plastic bags
Ziplock plastic bags have numerous uses when camping. You can use them to pack food items, snacks, leftovers, wet clothes, soap, fun items for children, and so much more. The best part is they don’t take up too much space as they pack flat.
36. Soap and pots
Scrubbing pots clean while camping isn’t a walk in the forest plus it’s time-consuming. Make the job pleasant and easier by packing kitchen gloves to protect your hands, detergent, and a scourer or two.
Also, before cooking, coat the sides and bottom of your cookware with a layer of soap. The soap helps keep the soot from sticking to the outside of your pots as you cook. After cooking, rinse off the soap from outside effortlessly.
37. BBQ quesadillas
There’s something smoky and delicious about food cooked over a BBQ that gets you begging for more. Somehow everything tastes better when eaten outdoors with loved ones. BBQ quesadillas are no different. Load up your wraps with your favourite camping-friendly stuffings like beans, avocado, jarred salsa and cheese, roll them up inside a piece of foil, and cook them over the grill.
38. Plastic bucket
A bucket can be used for various functions, from washing dishes to collecting kindling, for kids to play with, and as an ice bucket for drinks.
A camping holiday is incomplete without s’mores! Get creative in ways of making them so that you can have fun while at it. Instead of using the traditional digestive biscuits, try Oreos, pieces of chocolate, marshmallows, and caramel spread.
40. Shower caps
As you engage in camping activities, your shoes might become a mess with dirt and mud. Storing them and cleaning them while on holiday can be challenging. To keep your camping site organised and clean, put the shoes into a shower cap.
This will protect your clothes and other items from being covered in mud. Also, since they stretch and can hold large-sized shoes, they are better than shoe covers.
When it comes to general packing, here are some camping hacks:
- Instead of packing pillows, fill the pillowcases with clothes.
- Pack the Eski to the brim to aid with keeping it cool.
- Use Ziplock plastic bags for packing. They pack flat taking little space.
Staying hydrated while on your holiday is important for your comfort and even your survival. Instead of ice cubes, which melt fast and get messy, freeze water bottles filled with water instead. You’ll need to freeze them a few days before you travel.
The bottles will also help with keeping your food cold as they’ll act as ice packs. Also, as they slowly melt, you can stay hydrated with refreshing iced water.
43. Reconnect with friends and nature
We live in a world where social media, devices and apps have become a part of our lives. We are addicted to our digital world so much that we struggle to disconnect from it.
A camping holiday allows you and your friends to switch off, disconnect, and reconnect with nature and one another. This is an opportunity for you to enjoy the fresh air, appreciate the beauty of nature, listen to stories, and be present in every moment.
Put these camping hacks to the test at Broken Head
Come stay at the Broken Head Holiday Park where you can not only check out the best camping hacks we’ve compiled for you, but also spend your family holiday in a fun-filled area like Byron Bay.
We want you to be able test out these camping hacks and tricks at either our powered or non powered campsites. Simply book, and be ready for an excellent camping holiday that includes not only fun memories, but lots of saved time and effort.