12 Awesome Summer Camping and Backpacking Hacks

Going on a campervan road trip is a blast. Combating mosquitoes, wet feet and eating canned food is definitely not.

That’s where life-saving camping and backpacking hacks come into play. 

Whether you want to protect yourself from mosquitos or bake some muffins on camper fire, you don’t have to look far but your surrounding and easily whip a surprise for your friends and family.

Here is our list of some borderline genius hacks we’ve picked up from experienced campers and hikers along the way.

1. Use sage to repel mosquitoes.

Staying outdoors around a camper fire is great, but it’s also being at the bullseye for camping’s biggest annoyance - mosquitos.

One of nature’s answer is sage, which is not only good for cooking. If you burn a bundle of sage, it can help keep insects away; the pleasant smell of sage is just the plus side.

Since you are probably already surrounded by this little helper, you’ll be able to find a bundle a day.

2. Remove ticks easily with liquid soap and a cotton ball

Ticks are an even more of a threat on camping trips than mosquitos since they bite doesn’t only cause an itch, but they also transfer some nasty diseases.

It’s important to remove them fast and completely, in order to save yourself the trouble of going to a nearby ambulance to get treatment for Lyme disease. Especially if you are traveling with your furry friends, you’ll need a clean way of getting rid of these little pesty creatures.

3. Opt for micro fiber towels

Since you will be on the move the majority of your campervan road trip, it’s that much more important to have travel towels that will dry quickly.

No matter if you will be using these for drying from full showers or after a quick dip in a stream, you’ll need it to dry fast so it doesn’t have to dry in your van. 

Opting for micro fiber towels is ideal for camping for both its quick drying and it’s smaller size than a regular towel.

4. Pack Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil to repel mosquitos


Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil is the plan B for those who do not want to take their chances with sage.

Rubbing this creamy oil regularly is a surprising mosquito repellent, that comes with the plus size of smelling great and keeping your skin hydrated.


5. Combat itchiness with your stick deodorant

Camping near water can get you to experience new levels of mosquito attacks. If you haven’t prepared the stack of repellents mentioned above, you will most likely get bitten.

This itch is hard to scratch away, but luckily, there is a shockingly easy way to battle the urge to go back home.

Simply rub a thin layer of your deodorant on the itch, and it will help sooth the nasty feeling.

6. Prepare toothpaste dots instead of packing a whole tube

The experience backpackers are already familiar with this trick, so it’s time to steal their little secret. 

When traveling light and smart, creating toothpaste drops will save you space and prevent any spilling accidents.

To create toothpaste drops, you first need to pick out a non-gel one. Then, squeeze out tiny dots the size on a piece of tin foil. Leave the drops to dry out for about a week before removing them. Lastly, place the drops into a small ziplock. Before closing the bag, add a pinch of baking soda so they don’t stick together.

When on a trip, just toss one of one of them into your mouth, chew it a little bit and start brushing.

7. Prepare DIY Fire-Starting Pack

Don’t sweat over your fire going down ever again - there is an easy and clean way to take care of your next campfire.

These cotton fire-starting wafers are a borderline simple solution to start a fire, and safe to store in a zip lock bag. All you need is a candle and some cosmetic cotton pads.

Put the candle in a pan, turn up the heat - low and slow. Once the wax has become liquid, use tweezers to soak the cotton pads into it. The cotton pads will quickly absorb liquid wax, as you only need the top coat. Let them cool on a sheet before packing them up!

8. Newspapers to dry your shows

Stepping into a stream or getting caught up in a summer shower is almost expected on any hiking trip.

If you are out in the summer, there will most likely be no health consequences, but you still need your shoes dried up quickly.

The easy way to do it is to stuff them up with old newspapers that will soak up the excess moist. Place them in sun and you should be up and running in no time!

9. Easy travel cups

For many, the best part of a camper van road trip is enjoying the drive, as well as being outside.

As you already have your kitchen packed up with some awesome coolers, you’ll probably want to sip on them during the drive.

To avoid any liquids spilled (especially the sugary ones!), just use plastic wrap and you’re good to go.

10. Ditch the instant coffee

Real coffee lovers will understand this one - you need your quality cup of joe in the mornings, no matter where you are.

As you don’t want to drag your coffee machine with you, this little trick will be borderline genius for you.

Just pour a dose of your coffee in filters and seal them with dental floss. Then, throw a bag in boiling water, and wait for the sweet black nectar to be ready!

11. Use tin foil for cooking

When it comes to cooking on a camping trip, you definitely do not want to use your vacation time on doing the dishes. 

So, the tin foil quickly becomes your best friend. It can be used directly on a campfire to cook many delicious dishes. Be it salty or sweet, the options are numerous.

12. Craft a long-lasting candle out of orange peel

The easiest DIY way to bring some beautiful scents in your van is to use what you already have. After enjoying some juicy oranges, you can create a candle from its skin.

Just make sure to carefully peel them so the center stays. Then, pour some kitchen oil, keeping the center slightly above. Light it and the fruity scent will be spread for hours.

All you need is the hacker mentality

Camping is all about getting crafty and creative in nature.

As you leave the luxury of your home and head out for an adventure, all you need to do is:


You're running a web browser we don't fully support. Please upgrade it for a better experience.
Our site works best with Google Chrome.
How to upgrade the browser