17 Functional DIY Camping Hacks to Make Your Outdoor Experience Less Expensive Today

Whether you are camping in your RV or simply roughing it out inside a tent, you’ll most definitely run into a few unavoidable inconveniences. Camping calls for sacrificing of most of your domestic amenities but the activity doesn’t necessarily have to be a punishment if you can make good use of practical camping hacks and tips, and use a quiet generator which is small enough and compact to take it with you easily. In the 21st century, camping shouldn’t be treated like a journey back into the days of the cavemen. Neither does it have to be an expensive activity with all your modern living amenities shipped to your remote camp site. So how do you make your outdoor experience fun and exciting without breaking the bank?

From years of spending life in the wild, we have compiled a collection of tips and tricks to overcome most of the shortcomings you’d probably ran into while camping. So much has been written about camping hacks but you’ll agree most of the hacks are either too absurd or impractical. Take the example of the popular hack that tells you to burn your stock of Doritos when you don’t have kindling to light a fire. Such advice is simply impractical because most people would never sacrifice food for warmth when there are better and simpler solutions to the kindling problem.

You’ll find our collection of simple DIY camping hacks extremely useful in making your outdoors experience less expensive and more enjoyable. So without much ado, here are 17 practical DIY camping tricks and tips to make your outdoor living easier.

1. Simple cooking tricks in the wild: easy omelets and popcorns

Food preparation is crucial while camping but there are easier ways of going about it. Want to make an easy omelet while camping?

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Simply mix eggs, vegetables, cheese, and everything else you need in your omelet in a Ziploc bag.
  2. Crush the mixture in your hands and boil it for around 11 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pour out your tasty fresh omelet.

You can also make home-grade popcorns using a beer can. Here is how to do it:

  1. Pour the popcorn kernels about a quarter-way full in a beer can
  2. Add some oil and place the can close to the campfire.
  3. Wait until the pops slow down to just a few per second.
  4. Cut out the top of the can and pour out the hot popcorns.

2. Carry your scrambled eggs in a bottle

Still on matters food, avoid the messy task of making scrambled eggs in the unfamiliar wild. Prepare the mix at home before you leave.

Simple steps:

  1. Crack the eggs and add everything you need in your omelet
  2. Fill the mix in a plastic bottle
  3. Use a marker pen to label the bottle so you can tell the quantity of eggs in the bottle.
  4. Mark the bottle every time you pour a single serving.

3. Portable pancakes to save time and expenses

You can imagine the mess and hassle of making pancakes in the wild. Why not just prepare the pancake mix before you leave home.

Simple steps:

  1. Prepare your pancake butter at home
  2. Save the butter in plastic bags tied at the end
  3. Freeze the portable pancake packs
  4. When you want to cook one, simply snip the tip of the plastic bag and pour out the butter.

4. Save a surprise snack for your future tired self

It feels good to suddenly run into a Snack-Bar, cookie, or similar snack while roughing it out in the wild. Here’s how you can send to your future bug-bitten tired self a surprise gift:

  1. Buy your favorite snack from the store
  2. Hide it inside your car where you are least likely to find it
  3. If you run into the snack while at the camp remember that it should only be eaten on the last day of the camp.

5. Create Water Jug Lanterns for Ambient Light after Sunset

Good lighting is just about the most important thing you need after sunset. You can easily create a DIY lantern using a translucent jar or water jug.

Simple steps:

  1. Find a new water jug or any clean jar
  2. Paint the inside of the jug or jar with non-toxic glowing paint for ambient lighting.
  3. Enjoy the nice yet eerie atmosphere for telling scary campfire stories.

6. Matches are precious; waterproof them with nail polish and store in a Mason jar

Things can really get wet out there and leave everything damp including your precious matches. Here is how to waterproof matches:

  1. Look for nail polish. Men can always borrow some from their girlfriends or spouses, no need to buy.
  2. Dip each matchstick into the nail polish to make it water proof
  3. To ensure the matches are dry at all times, store them in a Mason jar.
  4. Go ahead and create a Mason jar matchbox by attaching a circular piece of sandpaper on top of the jar lid which can be used to strike the matches.

7. Save matches with quick firestarters

If you are like most campers, you’ll burn through a million matches before the camping is over. Save matches by creating simple firestarters.

Simple steps:

  1. Take a cotton ball and coat it with Vaseline
  2. Wrap it in aluminum foil.
  3. When you want to start a fire, simply cut a small hole in the foil
  4. Pluck out a small piece of cotton, twist it to form a small wick, and light it. The small cotton ball should burn for about 10 minutes before it goes out.

8. Dry clothes keep your sleeping bag warm on cold nights

Not everyone loves snuggling up beside a bottle of hot water to keep warm on cold camping nights. Here is how to use dry clothes instead:

  1. Line up your dry clothes inside the sleeping bag
  2. The clothes will soak up all the cold moisture in your sleeping bag
  3. Enjoy your warm and comfy sleep on a cold night.

9. Use silica gel packs to avoid rust in cookware

Rust is more prevalent outdoors. A rusty pan is the last thing you need in a camping trip.

Simple steps:

  1. Get little silica gel packs
  2. Throw a few silica gel packs where you store your cookware. Storing your cookware with silica gel packs helps to prevent rusting.

10. Frisbees make great plates in the wild

Don’t carry along your fancy chinaware to the campsite. It is not only expensive but ruins the camping mood. Instead eat from something out of ordinary to make the food super-exciting.

Simple steps:

  1. Get a few Frisbees and clean them thoroughly
  2. Use them as camping plates

If you forget to pack plates in your next camping trip, eat from the flying plastic discs and the food will taste extraordinary.

11. A repurposed plastic coffee can keeps your toilet paper safe and dry

The wet damp outdoor conditions can potentially mess up your entire stock of toilet paper. Here is how to avoid the extra cost of replenishing your TP supply using an empty plastic coffee can.

  1. Get an empty plastic coffee can
  2. Cut a vertical slit on the side of the can to pull through the paper
  3. Place the roll of TP in the can

The container not only saves your toilet paper from being crushed but prevents damage when the TP accidentally comes into contact with water. It will keep the TP safe and dry in wet and damp conditions.

12. Use simple ceramic mugs for music speakers

Soft music helps to commune with nature at a higher level. However, you don’t need to buy speakers to achieve the ambience created by music outdoors.

Simple steps:

  1. Place your smartphone or iPod inside a simple ceramic mug
  2. Play your favorite music

Enjoy reasonably good resonance from the device.

13. Single use soap slices help to conserve soap

It really does suck to drop a whole new bar of soap in the river or lake. It will be as good as gone if you can’t dive to the bottom of the lake to find it. Here is how to avoid such losses:

  1. Get a bar of soap and a vegetable peeler
  2. Peel the soap into small single-use slices

This will help to conserve and even avoid loss of your soap supply while camping.

14. Use candle wax to avoid stuck tent and jacket zippers

A stuck tent zipper in the morning when you urgently need to get out and relieve yourself can be a daybreak nightmare. Simple steps to avoid stuck zippers:

  1. Get a clean unlit candle
  2. Apply wax from the candle along the entire length of the zipper
  3. Run the zipper up and down to ensure it works perfectly
  4. Make sure to use a clean un-lit candle.

15. Clothes in a sack make the best outdoor pillow

Who carries a pillow when roughing it in the wild? However, you don’t need to suffer neck cramps when you can easily create a makeshift pillow at the campsite:

Simple steps:

  1. Get your stuff sack and a few clothes
  2. Stuff the clothes inside your stuff sack
  3. Enjoy the comforts of a cozy makeshift pillow

That’s what camping is all about, making the best of what you have.

16. Keep mice at bay with Irish Spring Soap

One thing you’ll admit when you go camping is the fact that you have invaded mice and other pests’ territory. They probably have the right to kick you out this time, unlike at your clean home. Here is how to keep them out:

  1. Find a few bars Irish Spring soap
  2. Place a bar of the soap inside your tent or trailer where you expect the mice to show up

The smell of Irish Spring soap will keep away the mice.

17. Drive pesky mosquitoes away with sage

In most cases, mosquitoes are the bane of camping experience. Here is a way of keeping the pesky fun-killers away:

  1. Get a small portion of sage
  2. Add it to your campfire

The smell of burning sage will keep mosquitoes away.Sage can also be used to season food by adding it to burning coal.


The tips and camping hacks we have discussed above may not be life-changing but will save you money and make your camping experience less challenging. Try them and watch your fellow campers turn green with envy.