If you camp frequently or even just once in a while, here are a few ideas to make your next trip a little easier.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is pack up the car and head into the Adirondack Park to do some camping for a few days several times a year.

Over the years I have picked up a few little tips and tricks to make the process a little easier. Now these won't necessarily change your life, but they may come in handy someday so feel free to give these ideas a look-see and add them to your preparation list for your next trip.

I should note that I generally 'car-camp,' meaning I load up the car and park it on a site in a state park. Some of these may work for backpackers too, feel free to try them out if you have room in your pack.



  • Archie McFly, TSM

    Flannel Pillowcases

    Believe it or not, when camping I always bring flannel pillowcases. The material keeps my pillow dry through the night and well into the morning. If you've ever woke up in the woods covered in dew you know how uncomfortable it can be. Using flannel pillowcases eliminates the moisture around your head, making waking up in the morning a lot less uncomfortable.

  • Archie McFly, TSM

    Use scissors to cut food

    So this one I use at home too. Using a knife to cut or trim the fat off meat is the common way, but using a pair of good scissors (designated only for use with food of course) to cut up that tough steak saves time and makes it easy to get the job done that much quicker. How many times have you torn up your paper plate trying to cut through a piece of chicken or steak on your lap? Try using scissors instead.

  • Archie McFly, TSM

    Recycle bathroom-tissue rolls for use as firestarter logs

    Getting that first fire of the trip started is always fun, but if you also have a tent, kitchen area and other chores to do you're going to want to get that fire started without having to play with it for 20 minutes first. Simply save your used cardboard tissue rolls, add leftover dryer lint and voila! Homemade fire starters. I stuff about three used rolls into each other and then cram as much dryer lint into them as I can. You can also wrap the rolls in newspaper to use as a wick to get them started.


  • Naomi Lynn, TSM

    Put glowsticks in your cooler

    How many times have you had to dig into that ice-cold cooler in the dark for a beer and come up with a cola instead? Instead try adding one or two glowsticks to your cooler at dusk. The sticks illuminate the contents of the cooler making it easier to find that last Saranac beer in an icy sea of bud light and cola.

  • Joe Raedle, Getty images

    Utilize your local dollar store

    Finally, don't forget that most of the disposable items you will need for camping (plates, paper towels, garbage bags) and other things (containers, cooking utensils) can be bought for just $1. You can save a small fortune if you buy just your batteries at a dollar store. 16 AAA batteries are only $2 compared to paying almost 4 times that much for a name brand pack of 8, and they will last at least the duration of your trip.