Explore America's Campgrounds
No matter where you're camping, it's the little tricks that allow you to fully enjoy nature's best views. Get ready to enjoy cozy meals by the campfire and fight off pesky bugs in the wilderness with these smart DIYs.
Start a Fire With Chips
Add tortilla chips to your outdoor adventure shoppg list because these crispy treats will do more than just satiate your nacho craving -- they'll be your fire starter standby. Thanks to the oil used in frying these snacks, all you have to do is light a chip with a match or lighter and place it onto a pile of chips. Once they're burning, you can add light, dry wood on top to catch fire. If you're up for a bit of pre-campsite prep work, check out this DIY fire starter.
Burn Herbs to Deal With Mosquitoes
Burning sage, cedar or mugwort in your campfire is a natural way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Pick up a few bundles at your local grocery store or forage for them as you trek to the campsite (only if you're confident about spotting them from imposters). If you do end up with a bite, use deodorant to soothe the itching. Just be sure it's antiperspirant because the aluminum chlorohydrate is what does the trick.
Prepare for Rain With Beeswax
If the forecast is on the rainy side, prep your shoes before you leave by rubbing them with a beeswax block to make them water-resistant. After you've covered the entire surface, blow dry your shoes to let the wax set in. Also, be sure to check the compatibility of the shoe's materials and beeswax. We suggest avoiding delicate fabrics like suede and opting for footwear made of soft leather or canvas.
Stay Hydrated With Sangria
OK, sangria isn't exactly hydrating, but it's definitely a refreshing treat after a long day of activities in the sun. Before you leave for camp, cut up a few apples, oranges and mangoes, and toss them in a large mason jar with your favorite white wine and a small bottle of club soda. This is one of those drinks that gets better the longer it sits, which is why it's the perfect pre-trip concoction. If you're camping in an area with a chilly body of water, use a few rocks to hold the mason jar in place by the shore. This is an easy way to keep your drinks cold on warm summer days.
Light Your Space With a Headlamp and a Gallon of Water
Forego the pricey lantern and try this makeshift version instead. With an inexpensive headlamp and a gallon of water, you can easily create ambient lighting. Just slip your headlamp over the water container with the light facing inward (remember to bring extra batteries).
Get Your Caffeine Fix With Mini Coffee Bags
You'll find a camp-style French press or pour-over coffee in most outdoor equipment stores, but you can skip the hassle (and the extra bucks) by creating mini coffee bags at home. Place your favorite grounds in the center of a coffee filter, gather the top, tie with a rubber band and simply throw them in a sealable bag to take with you. When you're ready for some caffeine in the morning, place one pouch in a mug of hot water and let it steep like tea. The longer you leave it in, the stronger it gets.
Cook Breakfast With Orange Peels
One of the most fun breakfasts to make over a campfire is blueberry muffins cooked in orange peels (yes, muffins count as a meal). Prep the mix at home according to package's instructions and spoon the batter into one half of a gutted orange peel. Place the other hollow half on top and wrap it in heavy duty foil (or 2-3 layers of regular foil). To cook, toss the foiled oranges straight into the campfire, rotating them every now and then for about 10 minutes. When done, the batter will have cooked and expanded into an incredibly moist muffin with a hint of orange.
Sydney Halle is a content creator and marketing/public relations professional specializing in the outdoor and active lifestyle industries. She's a native Marylander living in Portland, Ore., and can be found on the Pacific Northwest area's many trails, rivers, beaches and mountains throughout the year.