One of the most annoying things while camping is the presence of insects, bugs and pests. Dealing with them can be tricky unless you know what will really work. Try these camping hacks next time you go camping to help you repel mosquitoes and drive away the ants.
Camping Hacks for Bugs
I discovered this hack while researching plants that help repel mosquitoes. I always have a very extreme reaction to mosquito bites and I’m constantly on the hunt for ways to keep them out of my life. Burning a bundle of sage leaves will actually repel mosquitoes and keep them away from your campsite. So bring some sage along with you and toss it in your campfire to ensure a bite free evening.
Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil
Another great mosquito repellent hack is to use Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil. It works wonders and really does repel those pesky mosquitoes. Plus you won’t smell like traditional bug sprays.
Other oils and lotions sometimes work too, but this one is the absolute best and I always keep some in my camping kit.
Soak a cotton ball with liquid hand soap and apply it to the tick. After a few minutes, the tick will release easily from the skin.
You can either pre-soak the cotton balls at home and store in ziploc baggies, or just bring all the ingredients with you and soak them once a tick happens to appear.
Ticks can carry lyme disease, so you might want to have the tick tested if you were exposed to it for a long period of time. After removing it, you can simply place it back in the ziploc bag until you get home.
Use Grits to Repel Ants
Now this little hack is useful not only for camping, but for any outdoor activity like picnics, kids soccer games, backyard barbecues. Simply sprinkle Instant Grits anywhere you see ants… they will flee immediately.
The theory here is that ants basically do not like “new” or strange things being added to their environment. Add some dry grits and they get annoyed and tend to leave.
Fill Ziploc Bags with Water
Keep flies away by hanging bags of water around your campsite. Just fill a Ziploc style sandwich bag with water and hang it up. Flies will avoid the area completely.
I’m sure you have probably seen this technique at restaurants or food trucks that have outdoor eating areas. Most of the Mexican restaurants where I live that have patio seating, have these little baggies hanging around… but no flies!
Place Mothballs around your tent and campsite to ward off most snakes. I heard somewhere that you can use the plastic lid of water bottles to put the mothballs in so they don’t go rolling around.
I have to say that I have personally never tried this hack, and from what I understand there are some people that say this works and others who say it doesn’t. Recently we’ve had about 3 different snakes hanging out near our back door, so I may try this and report back. Stay tuned for an update.
Leave a comment if you’ve ever tried any of these camping hacks or if you have other hacks that I didn’t mention here. I would love to hear about your hacking successes.
Posted in Camping Hacks, Camping Tips, Uncategorized and tagged Bug Free Camping, Camping Hacks, How to get rid of bugs, repel mosquitoes and bugs while camping by Elizabeth with 3 comments.
Camping in cold weather can be invigorating and fun. I personally enjoy escaping the heat of summer and jumping in to fall and winter. I mean what’s better than a chilly night around the campfire?
As the temperature starts to drop and the cold starts slowly creeping in , we begin thinking about getting outside and enjoying all that nature has to offer. There are less bugs and frankly less people out in the the cold weather, which makes camping a great activity. Winter camping can be cold, but it does not have to be miserable. As long as you are prepared with the correct winter camping gear and tricks, you will have an extremely enjoyable time.
While winter camping in Texas (or elsewhere in the country), can seem extreme at times, it shouldn’t deter you from enjoying the outdoors. Here are a few cold weather camping tips to help you stay warm, dry and comfortable on your winter camping trip.
Place your boots or boot liners in the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep them warm. There is nothing worse than waking up and having to put on frozen boots. Your body heat will help keep them at an ideal temperature throughout the night.
The need to urinate during the night is always a nuisance, but when the weather turns cold, it is even more brutal. If you have to pee, it’s best to go ahead and let it out. The best thing is to have a well-marked pee bottle handy so you don’t have to venture out into the cold weather to relieve yourself. There are even funnel devices for women that are a lifesaver in these situations.
Dress for the Weather
Layers are your best friend in the winter camping season. Layer up in order to stay warm but also have the option of discarding clothing if you begin to sweat throughout the day. Polyester thermal underwear is a great option or breathable fleece. Try to avoid cotton socks… the best thing is wool or polyester. Pack a scarf or neck gaiter to keep your core warm.
Good Sleeping Pad
Try to choose a closed cell foam pad or a sleeping pad with an R value of 4 or more. Believe it or not, a good sleeping pad placed under your sleeping bag will keep you several degrees warmer.
Warm up Batteries Before Use
In colder weather, batteries tend to not work as well. Try warming them up in your hands or sleeping bag before using them. Sometimes what you think is a bad battery is really just a cold battery.
Before you do anything else at the campsite, you should start a fire. When it’s cold outside, you tend to get cold before you realize it and if you don’t already have a fire going, you will have to endure the freezing temps while waiting to get it started. However, if you start a fire right away, you can take small breaks and warm up as you set up your camp. Work smarter, not harder.
Winter camping always requires a fire, so be sure that your outerwear/jackets are fireproof. Stray embers can ignite a jacket or piece of clothing and completely ruin your camping trip. Wool is a great fabric to use.
30% of your body heat escapes through your head, so while camping in the winter, you will want to cover your head with a good quality winter cap. This will ultimately keep you warmer and keep more of your body heat in.
Extra Hats and Gloves
It’s always a good idea to have a few extra necessities. This includes gloves and hats. When it’s cold outside, and you are cooking or fishing or playing in the snow, hats and gloves can become wet. Having an extra pair will keep you warm while you wait for the wet ones to dry out.
Vaseline is a great way to keep your exposed skin protected. Here in Texas, there are only a few places that get that extreme, but it’s still a great trick. Simply rub vaseline on exposed skin like the ears, nose and hands. This will protect against windburn and frostbite.
Bring Extra Fuel for Cooking
Whether you are camping in summer or camping in winter, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to bring a little extra fuel for cooking. But in winter, cooking times actually take longer because of the cold weather. Having extra fuel will ensure that you can cook every single meal you have planned.
Use Wooden or Plastic Utensils/Not Metal
Metal cooking utensils will actually make your food cooler and thus increase the cooking time. Not to mention the fact that metal gets cold to the touch and is super unpleasant when you are trying to keep warm. Try using wooden or plastic as much as possible.
Clothes in Sleeping Bag
When you retire for the night, place your clothes for the next day in your sleeping bag with you. This will keep them toasty warm and will make it easier to get ready for the next day. There is nothing worse than waking up and having to put on freezing cold clothes. Make it easy on yourself.
Hot Water Bottle
Heat up water and put it in a heat-proof water bottle or in a traditional water bottle. Place this in the sleeping bag with you to stay warm while you sleep. It worked in the old days before electricity or heated homes, so it’ll work for you.
The best tip for camping in cold weather is to stay dry. The minute you get wet, you are in a world of hurt. Choose waterproof clothing and moisture wicking fabric. If you start to sweat, change out your clothes for dry ones as soon as possible, especially before going to bed.
It is suggested that you consume at least 4,500 calories for winter backpacking. So even if you are simply camping (not hiking or backpacking) you will want to increase your calories. This will help you keep warm.
During the day, go for a walk around the campgrounds or do more chores around camp in order to stay warm. The more you move, the more you will warm up.
Before going to sleep for the night, try doing jumping jacks, jogging in place, or a few pushups to warm up a bit. Just make sure you don’t start sweating, which could lead to wet clothes and ultimately make you colder.
Camping in the winter can be a great experience if you are prepared and know how to stay warm and dry. Take the time to pack extra clothes, gloves, and fuel. When you are comfortable, you will enjoy the scenery and beauty that nature has to offer in the winter.
Comment down below if you have other tips or tricks that have helped you make the most of camping in colder weather.
Posted in Camping Tips, Tent Camping, Uncategorized and tagged Camping Hacks, Cold Weather Camping, How to camp in cold weather, Winter Camping tips by Elizabeth with no comments yet.