Camping DIYs and hacks

First off I want to apologize that this blog is two days late. I know some of you have said things about my consistency and how I haven’t been making my Mondays posts any more. I am sorry for that. Now that summer is here and my summer classes have started I am very limited on time. This blog isn’t just something I throw together Monday morning to post there is actually planning and time involved. It takes me at least an hour to just write the post let alone actually do the DIY and perfect it for all of you. Also I hope all of you keep in mind that I am a normal person just like  you and I do not get paid to do this blog. I do it because I like to share my creations with all of you. Unfortunately because my schedule is crazy with summer classes I haven’t had time to visit my parents let alone write a blog. That means I sometimes have to put my blog on the back burner for a bit and I hate that just as much as you all do. I am currently working on changing the day I post to later in the week so it gives me more time. When I work through all those details I will make another post letting you all know what is happening. I also plan to do some of the DIYs I promised in the past once I find a few minutes of spare time. For now you will have to just work with me. I appreciate all of your support and understanding. I do this for you guys and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. If you have any requests of future DIYs you would like to see, comment or send me an email and I can definitely try to make that happen.

Ok enough of that lets get into the DIY.

It is officially summer and for many of you including my self that means camping. I started RV camping when I was younger with my grandparents. As I got older every year I attended some type of summer camp as well. When I was to old to be a camper I became a camp councilor. When I couldn’t be a councilor any more I started working at a camp grounds as a lifeguard and would stay out there almost every weekend with friends. Sadly that was in my home town and since I have moved away for school my camping has slowed down. The past couple summers I haven’t done much camping and I decided with me graduating soon that needed to change. I am going through a time in my life right now where I want to do as much as possible before I get an adult job and don’t have any free time. So I bought a tent along with about $300 of camping supplies.

I know for many of you just getting into camping that seems like a lot but it really isn’t. If you know me you know I went for the best products possible. For me that means the cheapest product with the best quality. So while I may not have the highest quality or the newest equipment, I have what I need. Due to limited time I can only camp on the weekends and last weekend was my boyfriend and I’s first camping trip of the summer. I am going to be honest it did not go as well as planned. I was a pile of accidents and injuries all weekend. Yes I am very clumsy especially when I am excited. All in all though we had a great trip and plan to go again shortly. Knowing that we would have more than a few camping trips this summer and into the fall I did quite a bit of planning to be ready for all possible camping trips and activities.Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.34.38 PM

Hacks

Going camping is a lot of work especially if their is more than one person. I want to take a moment and applaud all the parents that take their kids camping. I hope one day this will be me but I see now that it is going to mean even more planning. So knowing that you need to plan for camping here are a few hack I do to make camping easier. Keep in mind I am camping in a tent so I have to plan to take everything and that includes the sink.

  1. Make an extensive list. I am a list person and honestly I make a list every day. So when I was planning I made a long detailed list of everything I needed to pack. I also made a separate list of what meals we will eat and the food I need to buy and pack. When it came time to pack, it did not take me long at all. I went off my list and gathered all my supplies into a general are. Once it was in the middle of my living room floor I checked it once off my list. After I had everything, I grabbed my totes and bags. As I packed my items I did a second check on my list. This really helps me and I find the amount of time it takes to make a list in the beginning saved me time packing. I also realized that I did not forget anything for my trip.
  2. Pack using plastic totes. Yep that right. I went to Walmart and picked up two cheep totes. One of them was large and the other was medium size. I used the large to pack all my camping supplies that I would use every time we go camping (cooking supplies, bug spray, sun screen, shower supplies, flash lights, etc.). Then I used the other to pack all the food that didn’t need to go in the cooler. Now I know what your thinking this takes up a lot of space in your car. It might not be as versatile on how you can pack it but it cuts down on all the bags of things you will have. It was really easy for me to look inside my tote and be able to find what I was looking for without having to remember what bag I packed it in. Also my large tote with my camping supplies stays packed. When we got home I washed some of the cooking utensils and put them back into the tote. I secured another list to the lid of the tote so when we go camping again I know exactly what is packed inside and things that possibly need restocked. Then with the food tote I didn’t have to worry about animals getting into our food. I put the lid back on the tote and stuck it in my trunk when we left the campsite and at night.
  3. Buy a portable battery pack. When tent camping there are two types of site. Primitive where there is no electricity. Then other sites that have electricity and sometimes water. I was looking at camp grounds on line and noticed they rip you off for electricity. If your planning on camping and taking a lot of electronics with you then get electricity. We were only camping for three days and two nights. I was looking into ways to charge my phone and found a nice solar powered charger online for about $150 but after thinking about it I knew my car had a charger and I wasn’t going to be on my phone a lot if at all. So I took my portable battery pack and I was good to go. I made sure to turn my phone off at night and used my phone for nothing but a camera during the day and I was fine. I did not want to go without some type of charger though incase of an emergency.
  4. Freeze your liquids. When taking a cooler something that drives me crazy is having to go up in cooler size because my ice packs take up so much space. So about a week before you camp put all your drinks in the freezer. Gallon jugs work best because they take so long to thaw out but water bottles work just as good. We bought a big case of water and put half in the freezer and half in the fridge. When we went to go home on Sunday we still had a couple bottles of water partially frozen.
  5. Pack more than you’ll need. When packing I hate carrying around a lot of extra stuff but for this trip I figured I would rather have something I did’t need than need something I didn’t have. I packed plenty of food and camping supplies but we did have a close encounter with water. In my defense it was hotter than I planned and we took a six mile hike on Saturday. After our hike we couldn’t get enough water and ended up drinking all of our water that day. Thankfully there was a shower house with drinkable water so we took our used water bottles and filled them up for Sunday. Needles to say I will be packing more water next trip and probably freezing more.
  6. Bring your creativity. When camping you will be faced with situations your not used to plus you will have to solve them with supplies you don’t have every day. So be prepared to pull a new trick out of your hat and hope it works. Camping can be stressful and you can come across situations that you cannot plan for. After the trip is over you will look back on it and realize all the stress was worth it.

DIYs

There are many possible DIYs to help with camping. I found the majority of my DIYs on Pinterest. I am not going to explain all of these but I will post pictures for every one.

  1. DIY fire starters. All you need is a toilet paper tube, dryer lint, and new paper. Take you tube and stuff it with lint. Then wrap it with news paper and tuck in the ends to secure the paper. When lighting on fire make sure to untuck the ends to allow oxygen to flow through the tube. Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.07.35 PM
  2. Weekly pill holders are perfect for your small quantity items. You can place a variety of medications into them or even spices. These would also work great for small hair accessories.

    3. Along with medications make sure you pack a first aid kit. These can get a little pricy so I got another very small tote from Walmart and filled it with supplies from the dollar store. We all have that moment when we think we don’t need a first aid kit. I thought this as I was making it and packing it but I needed it a lot this weekend. I ended up cutting the back of my ankle on the door as I was making my final trip out of the house for the weekend. It was a pretty deep cut but I didn’t want to ruin the weekend so pushed through. I used the bandaids, gauze, medical tape, and alcohol wipes this weekend. I probably needed stitches so I was glad I had my first aid kit.Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.08.49 PM

4. Lighters can be glitchy and run out of fluid so I personally recommend using matches. Taking a mason jar and putting sand paper on top makes a perfect water proof match container. Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.09.54 PM

5. Keeping clean while camping is important, especially when it comes to your hands. So take an old laundry soap container clean it and fill it with water. Strap a role of paper towels to the side and pack the soap. This creates the perfect hand washing station and if your water is clean and you run out of drinking water you now have a back up supply. Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.14.55 PM

6. If you don’t want to make the whole hand washing station pack some paper towels and a garden flag holder to create easily assessable paper towels for when your cooking.Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.12.09 PM

7. Worried your eggs will crack. Take an old bottle and pre crack your legs into the bottle. Easily accessible eggs and you don’t have to worry about them braking in your cooler. Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.12.19 PM

7. One thing I learned this weekend was cooking over a fire isn’t the easiest. I tried to cook french toast on my hobo pie iron and the eggs exploded out of the pie iron causing me to burn my arms, legs, and hands. So to have a very short prep time for breakfast all you need to do is take an old condiment container and pre-make some pancake batter in it. When your ready to cook just shake and pour. Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.08.23 PM

I hope you all enjoy these tips and tricks. I know they will come in very handy this summer and I am excited to get to try all of them.

 

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