Camping: it can be just as complicated and dirty as it is exciting and eye-opening. For every magical campfire there’s one realization that you forgot the matches! Even after countless trips, we always seem to forget at least one important item on our camping trips.
The Moonlight App helps campers keep things simple by offering tips, tricks, recipes, games, checklists and more. This app has been a life-saver for us — especially when it comes to packing and coming up with new and interesting meals. It’s available in two different formats: a free version and a premium version for only $5.99 per year.
The free version gives you full access to the app and the paid version allows users the ability to add activities and meals to the planner, share checklists with other paid users, assign items, and export action items through email. You can also easily import Reserve America Reservations!
The folks at Moonlight App asked us to share a few of our top camping hacks and we’ve added some tips we’ve learned from using the app as well.
10 Camping Tips & Hacks Every Camper Should Know
1. Make your own pillow with a pillowcase & clothes.
Space is always a problem when camping. Instead of packing an extra pillow, turn your clothes and a pillowcase into a pillow instead! The pillowcase makes a great replacement for an extra bag as well.
2. Make your own lantern with a headlamp.
Whether you need an extra nighttime lantern or just don’t feel like lugging along a heavy one for just one purpose, you can make your own lantern with a large water bottle and a headlamp. Just wrap the head strap around a large, clear plastic bottle with the light facing inward and turn it on!
3. Prep your meals at home.
By prepping your meals before you leave on your trip, you can cut down on cooking time and the resulting mess. If you know you’ll need to cut up ingredients for a meal, try chopping them beforehand. Fan of scrambled eggs? Pre-scramble the whites and yolks and pour the mixture into a plastic bottle or mason jar.
4. Use empty Tic Tac containers for spices.
Camping food doesn’t have to be bland. Common spices such as salt and pepper, or even cinnamon, can be siphoned into these Tic Tac containers. These containers are the perfect size for just a little bit of spice, don’t take up much space, and can be securely sealed to prevent any spillage.
5. Use Doritos as kindling.
Fire won’t start? Not a problem! Skip the expensive fire starter sticks and reach for a bag of Doritos or Fritos instead. These dense, oily corn chips are easy to light on fire and will last for a long time, making them ideal kindling for starting a fire. Plus, they double as an emergency snack if you get cravings.
6. Bring Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap.
Here’s a fun tip from the Moonlight App: replace most of your liquid or foam toiletries with Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Soap! This soap is all natural and can be used as shampoo, body wash, mouthwash, shaving cream, or even dish soap or laundry detergent. Because this soap is free of chemicals and biodegradable, it can be used without fear of harming the environment.
7. Bring microfiber towels.
If you’re carrying your equipment, weight can also be an issue for camping. Microfiber towels are lightweight and more absorbent than normal towels. Not concerned about weight? They’re also quick drying, which means you won’t have to worry about growing mold once they’re packed. Using these in place of paper towels reduces waste, which is also better for the environment!
8. Compact cooking sets are not just for backpackers!
Even if space isn’t an issue, compact cooking sets and mess kits can be a handy thing to bring to a campsite (We use this microdualist cookset). Cooking sets are durable, multipurpose, and easily stack, which makes cleanup and re-packing easier.
9. Use block ice in your cooler.
Want to save money on ice for your cooler? Consider buying a large ice block. Because it has less surface area than individual cubes, it will melt at a much slower pace. If you want cubes to occasionally add to a drink, keeping your ice in the bag until you need a cube will help increase the ice’s lifespan.
10. Plan ahead! Keep a checklist.
Checklists are all-important necessities when it comes to all the packing, unpacking, and repacking that goes on in a camping trip! Preparing a checklist ahead of time and deciding what goes in which bags will make sure you don’t forget those important items like lighters or cookware that can make or break a great camping trip. The Moonlight app makes finding or creating checklists super easy.
Here’s a peek at our camping checklist. Whether we are camping or backpacking, these are the essential items we don’t want to forget!
For more great camping tips and hacks, don’t forget to download the Moonlight app!
This article was written in partnership with the Moonlight App and Active Network. As always, all opinions expressed here are our own.