Camping Hacks Part One!
Here at Muttonhead, we know a thing or two when it comes to camping and being in the great outdoors. While we already got you covered (no pun intended) clothing wise, we thought we would also share some of our useful tips and tricks to make your camping experience worry free, and maximize your relaxation time. Get your reading glasses on, kids- and listen up!
Before you build your fire, make sure safety always comes first. If you can find big rocks to surround your fire pit with, definitely do it. Always make sure there is someone around to supervise the fire as well; forest fires are a huge no no and fires spread fast so be on your guard. Now that you’ve set your parameters, the way you set up your fire is equally as important. Decide what sort of fire you want to go for. Do you want light, heat, longevity? A little bit of everything perhaps? Make a Teepee fire for sitting around which will give you heat and light. If heat is solely what you’re after, try the Swedish Torch method of setting a vertical log or stump in the middle of the pit and hacking an X at the very top to create a “torch” effect. Need your fire for cooking? Use the “criss cross” method by stacking 3 logs alongside each other and repeat about 2 or three times by stacking the logs alternating ways for a flat top fire.
Turn a chore into a useful hack with collecting dryer lint! Hear us out, you’re probably wondering why we’re talking dryer lint, and truth be told the task does seem a bit gross but saving it is super useful when it comes time for your next camping trip! Simply save the dryer lint and stuff in an empty toilet paper/paper towel roll; instant fire starter! Bonus points if you wrap the entire thing in newspaper like a candy wrapper. Alternatively, If you’re going to be burning your fire for quite a while and ‘go big or go home” is your motto; save those egg cartons too! Throw some match light charcoal in each of the wells and you’ve got a mega starter. It helps to be a hoarder- sometimes.. It’s a hack that helps you clean, recycle, and saves you from one less chore when the last thing you want to do is go around collecting kindle once you’re at your campsite ready to pass out from a long day of hiking.
Putting Your Fire Out:
When it comes time to put out your fire, make sure you are doing it safely and thoroughly. If you know you are going to hit the sac sooner than later, let the fire burn out to ash rather than adding to it. You want your fire to be deprived of as much oxygen as possible, and by using a long stick or shovel to separate any coals from logs will help with that. Slowly pour some water over the fire so you aren’t creating any air pockets that will shoot back at you. Let it fizzle out until the hissing sound stops and throw some sand or dirt on top. You’ve successfully put out your fire, now go and grab that well deserved shut eye.
Campfire cones: Tin foil is a jack of all trades; so useful for sooo many different things. Gotta dye your hair a million colours? Tin foil. Cooking? Tin foil. DIY cat toy? TIN FOIL, FOLKS! For easy meals and snacks around the campfire, roll up some tin foil cones and stuff it with anything you know you’re going to want to cook together. S'mores cones? Dorritos, cheese and salsa? Pop corn kernels with some homemade seasoning? Speaking of Dorritos, another bonus camping hack! Those tasty corn chips make super sweet kindling (they catch fire super fast with that magic, delicious dust coating!) if you forgot to pack your lint bombs but you always remember your food. Priorities? Hells yeah!
While we’re still talking cones, if you’re craving pancakes no matter where you are- have no fear! You can still have them amongst the great outdoors. Just make the boxed batter ahead of time at home, fill ziplock bags or cake piping cones with the batter, twist at the top and clasp shut with a chip bag clamp. Any recycled squeeze type bottle works just as well, so that if you’ve made a huge batch, you can just seal it up again for the next day. Now you can be brunching it up even from the comfort of your sweet, sweet camp site.
You know that greasy feeling you get when you’re too busy being one with nature? Yeah it gets worse after like, the second day of camping- and even though you’ve decided long before your trip that you’re going to throw caution to the wind and just stay grimy, it gets to you. Trust us. We all know it’s super annoying to bring a bar of soap with you and then once it's all soapy, wet and used.. You have no clue what to do with it or where to put it. We got you, dude. Stay clean with this soap hack; use a potato peeler and shave single use chunks off a soap bar, and place them all in a small container or ziplock bag. You’ll use up the whole piece and no mushy bar of soap to deal with after. You are SO welcome.
Let's talk bugs guys; We all hate them, but they are just an inevitability of camping.To keep them at bay- especially pesky mosquitos- always remember your bug spray, and be sure to wrap up some bundles of sage with some twine or jute rope to toss into the fire at night (jute rope is all natural fibers and also aid in keeping your fire going). Bring lint rollers to get rid of sneaky bugs and ticks on your clothes before you get into your tent to call it a night. Nobody likes snorting a bug while you’re trying to grab some shut eye.
To save space pack small items, toiletries or socks inside your shoes. If you’ve got space to spare in your vehicle, bring along some yoga mats to put under your sleeping bags. It adds a little extra cushion and is a good space-keeping marker for other people's sleeping bags. For a mess free packing experience on your way home and back to reality, bring along some disposable shower caps to wrap the bottoms of your dirty flip flops or boots.
While these are only some of our secrets, we hope you enjoyed this little edition of Camping Tips, and expect that you'll benefit quite nicely on your next camping trip! Stay safe out there, folks!
Photos by Alana Patterson