Gus’ Collection of 5-Star Camping Tips
We are never too old, or too experienced to learn something new, so Gus hopes this page will always be “under construction” as he gets new camping tips and “ah-ha” ideas to pass on to you.
#1 Most Important Tip for Camping With Kids – Their Pictures!
Always take recent pictures of your kids with you to camp. Hopefully, you will never need to use them, but if a kid does get lost, having a recent picture is invaluable for showing around the campground, or for searches. And it doesn’t have to be hard-copy prints, it can be a digital camera image. Make it a practice after camp is set up to snap a picture of each kid individually.
#2 Toothache Pain – Be Prepared:
Everyone understands the value of a first-aid kit – but have you ever checked to see if it has what you need for toothache pain? Nothing can ruin a camping outing more than an unrelieved toothache or tooth pain. Make sure yours has at least these two items:
- Tylenol, (or generic), is the most effective OTC pain relief for toothaches
- Ambesol or Oragel immediate topical tooth pain relievers (or generic brands)
★ Related article: 10 Must-have first aid items for camping with kids
#3 Easy Camp Coffee:
Folger’s single-serve coffee bags are an easy way to make a great-tasting cup of coffee with very little effort. Just don’t use more than 6oz. of water per bag, or use 2 bags for mugs. *Gus is a dedicated coffee lover, and would not recommend the Folger’s bags if they weren’t good!
#4 Break your camp eggs on purpose:
Forget about trying to protect fragile eggs on a camping trip – break them into a pourable container at home instead, no worries about crushed egg cartons or cracked eggs, and they will pour out one at a time just like if you cracked them into the pan.
#5 Pre-cool your camp coolers:
Pre-cool your camp coolers before you load them and your food will stay at safe storage temperatures, and your ice will last a lot longer.
#6 Torn or Missing Tarp Grommet:
Get a golf ball-size stone, object, or even a real golf ball, and wrap the tarp cloth around it, clenching it closed underneath the “ball”. Tie your rope or cord tightly around the clenched tarp cloth and it will hold just as securely as the grommet. Stake down as usual and repair the grommet when you get home.
#7 Layout or set up your tent first!
Where you place your tent is the first important campsite decision to make. Most other campsite areas depend on tent placement. Like the; camp kitchen, campfire, dining tarp, and even the latrine.
Also, pack your camping gear so you can get to the tent first.
**Here is a good example of a Safe Campsite Layout
#8 From Camping Checklist to Camping X-list:
You should have your camping checklist in hand as you load your camping gear – and turn those checks you made when you gathered your gear, into “Xs” when you actually load it – instead of remembering to gather it, and then leaving it on the garage floor when you packed to leave.
Related article: Free customizable and printable Master Checklist.
#9 Dress in layers for cold weather – no jeans or cotton:
Most campers know to dress in layers for maximum warmth in cold weather – but what those layers are made of is important too. The layer next to your skin should be made of a “wicking” material – but not cotton and jeans are almost the worst things to wear.
Related article: How to Dress for Winter Camping
#10 Pack and load camping gear in the right order:
Think about what you will need first when you get to camp. These are the things, (like the tent and cooking gear), that should be loaded up last – so it is easy to get to them without having to dig through all the other camping gear.
*Here is a good article about tips for packing and organizing: Top 3 Tips to Get Ready for a Camping Trip
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Here are some handy resources and pieces of camp gear you might be interested in:
Don’t chuckle – think about it first, a Boy Scout Handbook can be one of the most helpful pieces of general camping gear you can have when you are camping with kids!
Helpful to new campers, and it can also be handy and useful to experienced campers.
This handbook contains easy-to-understand answers and how-tos for almost any camping question or situation. Plus, it contains plant and foliage identifications, campsite activity suggestions, woodcraft project suggestions, (with instructions), knot-tying tips and instructions, ( a great fill-in for bad weather situations), survival tips, and primary first aid instructions.
See a selection of available Boy Scout Handbooks
Here are some other samples of camping gear, accessories, and tools, available on Amazon, that will make your outdoor camping trip as fun and enjoyable as you want it to be. You will be surprised at the value when you see how inexpensive they are when you buy them online.
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A note about shopping links and referrals: Most of the product links here are referral links, and Gus does get a few pennies commission, (trust me, it is pennies – no 75% commission ebooks here!), which does not affect your price at all. Plus the links have been researched to provide the cheapest prices available online so you don’t have to spend hours searching through the thousands of possibilities.