Five Essential Camping Tips
(You Probably Didn’t know)
This is the first of what will be many Essential Camping Tips. Our goal is not to provide the typical tips and tricks that can be found all over the net, but instead, provide you with uncommon but useful bits of camping knowledge. Our hope is that even an advanced camper will learn something!
Drive your tent stakes into the ground at a 90° angle.
Yea it surprised us too, but it’s true! Driving the stake in perpendicular to the ground provides the most strength against wind. Don’t believe me?…check this short video out! Stake Pull Demonstration As you’ll see it’s best to go straight into the ground. This one was a TOTAL game changer!
Freeze/Cool everything before packing into your cooler.
This tip has been invaluable for us. It is especially helpful if you have a newer cooler that’s made to hold ice efficiently for days. We have a Yeti, (check out our review here) but this works for any cooler. The day before you leave put anything that can be frozen in the freezer. If it can’t be frozen put it in the fridge. What you're doing is eleminating the need for as much ice to start your trip. When we pack our cooler this way, we usually finish by topping it all off with whatever ice is in our ice maker. This lasts us for around two days, which for weekend warriors means not having to purchase any ice.
If you have a lot of smoke you likely don’t have much fire.
When enjoying a campfire, smoke is inevitable. (As is the smoke following you no matter where you sit!) But if you find that you have large amounts of smoke there’s a good chance you need to stoke or add oxygen to your fire. There are some exceptions, but generally speaking a dry, well built fire will produce very little smoke.
Your tent’s footprint may make things WORSE!
Ok, so this is actually two tips in one. And to clarify you should ALWAYS use a footprint or ground cover under your tent.
Tip A: Never let your footprint extend out beyond the walls of the tent. Any water or dew that rolls down the side of your tent will land on the tarp and get under your tent.
Tip B: To get your tarp the right size, first make big folds to get it close to perfect. Once you’re close, lay it down and put your tent on it. Any areas left exposed beyond the tent wall should be folded under (folded not rolled and under not over) so if water does get between your tent and footprint it’s not stuck there!
Put your sleeping pad inside your sleeping bag.
This is a great tip for cold weather camping outdoors. Any space you can add between yourself and the ground will keep help to keep you warmer. When setting up your sleeping bag, put your pad inside your bag. This creates a warm layer of insulation, takes advantage of your body heat, and will add that extra bit of warmth on a cooler night.