18 Easy Tent Camping Hacks You Need to Try on Your Next Trip

1. Practice setting your tent up at home. Got a new tent? Make sure to do a trial run in your garden days before you hit the trail!

Not much of a hack, but is still something worth mentioning. Nothing can be more mortifying than scrambling to pitch your tent for the first time after you’ve finished a long day of hiking and the rain starts bucketing down!

2. Use foam floor tiles. Some would say that sleeping on the ground with nothing more than a sleeping bag is the only way to truly experience camping. Sounds nice.

But after a day of adventure, you’ll also want to lounge around and get a good night’s rest--and obviously, laying on a bag of rocks won’t cut it! For the ultimate camping comfort, cover your tent floor with those jigsaw-like foam floor tiles made for kids. Your back will thank you!

3. Lost a grommet? Pick up a rock instead and twist it in the same corner to make a new anchor point.

4. Pack some noodles. Keep tripping over your tent’s guylines? Avoid smashing through your tent and the inevitable ankle rope burn with one simple and cheap fix: pool noodles!

Cut a slit lengthwise in a pool noodle and slip it over the tie down. Alternatively, you can also run the string or rope through the center of the noodle before you stake it down.

5. If you want to reduce your pack weight, good old fashioned tin foil also works! Wrap a small square of tin foil to make your tent pole lines more visible, especially at night.

6. Lubricate your zippers. Unstick your stuck zippers with an unscented (and very unlit) candle. Simply rub the candle wax to the zipper teeth so it will slide more easily.

7. Binder clips aren’t just for the office. You also come in handy to keep your tent flaps open so they’re not flying everywhere, especially when it’s windy.

8. Weatherproof your cotton canvas tent. New cotton canvas tents need to be weatherproofed so it can give years and years of good service. The process is simple: set up the tent outside when rain is forecast and let the sun dry it out. You will have to repeat the process twice or thrice.

Weathering the tent helps to contract and expand the gaps in the canvas, making it tighter and helping to repel water. To speed up the process, you can sub the rain with your garden hose. Take note that some tents may already have a weatherproof coating and will not need weathering.

9. Seeing dirt tracked inside your tent can drive anyone bonkers. Keep a doormat or a basket outside to keep dirt and debris from entering.

10. Camping with kids? Pack a pool float and use it as your kid’s air mattress. Not only will it guarantee better sleep, but will also add more fun and cut the whining on your trip.

11. And in case your kids are afraid of the dark, take some battery-powered fairy lights! They give out a nice ambient light.

12. Don’t let the heat bother you. Cover your tent with a reflective blanket to make a sunshade. This will help deflect sunlight and minimize the heat that enters your tent.

13. Avoid sleeping in the cold with a plastic trash bag. Put a large plastic trash bag over the lower half of your sleeping bag to keep your insulated during a cold night.

14. Another quick trick is to use reflective windshield covers when the temperature plummets. Simply lay it out over your primary sleeping pad, put the sleeping bag on top of it, the crawl inside the sleeping bag. The sunshade will reflect your body heat back to you, keeping you warm.

15. Got a little hole or tear in your tent? Duct tape doctor to the rescue! Get two equal size strips to cover the hole--place one piece on the inside and another on the outside to make a pretty strong patch.

16. Did we mention duct tape is a real quick fix hero for tent camping? You can actually make a faux rope out of a long strip of duct tape in case you need to secure your tent or have to tie something down.

17. Keep your dirty clothes in your stuff sack. We all wish we could bring our comfiest pillow while camping. You can try to get some semblance of a pillow by keeping your dirty clothes in your stuff sack. Just make sure you don’t pack the really dirty and smelly ones!

18. Deal with tree sap on your tent with an ice cube. Rub it on the area. Once the sap is hard and crackly, gently scrape it off. If that doesn’t work, get a sponge and soak it with mineral oil, then scrub away. Once the sap breaks away from the fabric, clean it with hot water.

Final Thoughts

Tent camping doesn’t always have to mean roughing it. With these hacks, you can still be one with nature while also feeling well-rested, clean, and comfortable! Don’t forget to grab our tasty campfire recipes to go along your next camping trip.

Got a favorite hack that makes tent camping better? Don’t forget to share in the comments below!

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