26 Badass Camping Hacks For Your Next Trip

Ever had to deal with a terrible camping experience because of a single item that you forgot? I know the feeling. That’s why I created this list of badass camping hacks to make every camping experience as memorable and as convenient as possible.



Feature | camping tent | Badass Camping Hacks For Your Next Trip

These badass camping hacks will teach you a thing or two about survival and how to have an enjoyable camping experience!

RELATED: Camping Gears | Camp Like A Genius With These 25 Additions

Badass Camping Hacks You May Use Sooner or Later

1. Craft a “Drinkable Lantern”

This DIY drinkable lantern is one of the badass camping hacks. Turns out, you can easily make an ambient lamp out of a milk jug.

All you need to do is fill the milk jug with potable water and point a headlamp in it. It will create a soft light perfect for reading and writing inside the tent.

2. Camping Lantern

Hanging red lantern | Badass Camping Hacks For Your Next Trip

In today’s culture, if we need something, we buy it. You can learn improvisational skills, though. Thanks to the vastness of today’s resources, it’s never been easier.

Books on the topic of survival abound, but the real boon lies on the World Wide Web. A Google search for “survival tactics” yields 10,600,000 results!

The following improvised lantern how-to was actually passed on to me by a friend some years ago, and it’s one of our badass camping hacks.

3. Silicone Drinking Cups

mature-man-holding-eco-reusable-cup | Camping Hacks

Plastic cups don’t sit well with our environment. They don’t sit well with long travels either because they get crushed by other camping gear. Yet, these break-proof cups are perfect for your camping trip as they are easy to use, wash, and transport.

4. Soap Pouch

Make this out of a washcloth and a bar of soap for convenient campsite scrubbing. Who said you need to be filthy all throughout the camping trip?

5. Cowboy Bed Roll

Bed roll | Badass Camping Hacks For Your Next Trip

The basic idea of a cowboy roll is a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag all rolled up in a big piece of canvas. This makes sleeping on the ground, under the stars comfortable, warm, and weather resistant.

The canvas is a waxed canvas that is not waterproof. If dew falls at night, you will not get soaked. So, the canvas should be a little more than twice as wide as your sleeping pad and a little more than twice as long.

6. Outdoor Toiletry Kit

essential-travel-kit | travel kit

Too often, situations occur when a properly-packed outdoor toiletry kit is truly needed. These times mostly happen when we’re outdoors, far away from the comfort of home. It can also happen during desperate scenarios commonly labeled as emergencies.

In short, everybody knows the uncomfortable and vulnerable feeling of having to use an unfamiliar latrine or simply having to go outside. There is a way to beat such a terrible dilemma, though.

That is by keeping properly prepared outdoor toiletry kits in the car. It is also handy to have a toilet kit even at home and on your go bags in case such an emergency arises.

7. Tin Can Grill

Make your own grill out of a tin can so you don’t need to bring a large grill to make your favorite campfire food. Learn how to make this awesome tin can griller and cook camping food on a budget.

8. Natural Insect Repellant

man-applying-insect-repellent-onto-arm | Camping-Hacks

Sometimes, commercial mosquito and bug repellents are not enough. There are just those bugs that are too stubborn.

Get Mother Nature to help you and throw a bundle of sage in the fire to keep away those annoying bugs. Find out more about these bug-repelling plants right here.

9. Egg Carton Firestarter

firestarter-made-out-of-egg-cartons | start a fire

This is a fun little project for a rainy or cold day, any day. You just need a paper egg carton, wax, and dryer lint.

It takes an hour from start to finish to make and only about 10 minutes of your time. (Your wax will be cooling most of this time).

Making fire starters is pretty cool and I needed some motivation to get my laundry done, anyway. Two birds, one stone, and these light amazingly well, too.

I never knew dryer lint could do that! Be sure to check out my burn test at the end of this post.

10. Frozen Water Jugs for Your Cooler

water-bottles-soft-sided-cooler-ice | camping food

Do you find it difficult to keep your food and water cool all throughout the trip? Use frozen water jugs for longer lasting cold in your cooler.

11. Foam Floor Tiles

top-view-colorful-interlocking-foam-tile | hacks

Sleeping bags can only do so much to provide us with a comfortable sleeping experience outdoors. But when you’re faced with rocky terrain, your sleeping bag will be as comfortable as a bag of rocks.

Don’t sleep on the hard, uncomfortable ground. Put down some of these cheap and easy tiles for ultimate camping comfort. Know more about what else you need to bring for your sleeping needs.

12. Solar Charger

solar-energy | solar energy

You can create this one on your own or buy one off the internet! If you’re interested in the homemade version, find the full instructions here.

13. DIY Toilet Paper Dispenser

Keep your TP clean and rolled up with this DIY idea. You can try can transform your Folgers can into a TP container.

The call of nature is too difficult to resist, so if you need to go, it’s best to be prepared. Here are also some camping toilet hacks you’ll appreciate, for sure.

RELATED: Wilderness Survival | Ways You Can Be Injured In The Wild

14. Cook with Foil

grilled-potatoes-foil-served-on-dark | camping food

One of the biggest challenges when planning your camping meals is keeping food cold in advance. A great way to plan for this is to eat the food that needs to be kept cold first.

Plan a meat-based dinner for the first night and then try to use canned or dry goods for the next day. Try to think outside the box when it comes to refrigerated foods.

15. Know Which Plants to Avoid

selective-focus-shot-poisonous-plant-american | poisonous plants

Poisonous plants are everywhere. They’re in the woods, the forests, and the mountains. In fact, some of them may even be in your garden.

This makes bugging out look like a dangerous proposition when SHTF. However, these plants do not cause harm if you do not eat or touch them.

As you read our guide, you will realize how simple and easy it is to avoid these poisonous plants. Just stick to your regular food and avoid the bitter stuff. Avoid eating seeds and flowers.

16. Make Matches Waterproof

Whether you are getting ready for a weekend camping trip, a natural disaster, or the end of the world, you are going to need something to start a fire with. Waterproof matches are possibly the most important item you should have in your backpack or bug out bag.

17. DIY Outdoor Camp Shower

Just because you’re out in the wild doesn’t mean you’ll have wild hygiene, too. In fact, now more than ever, you have to be concerned about cleanliness and staying fresh as much as possible.

18. Don’t Forget Your Knots

square-knot-nautical-rope | square knot

As any Boy Scout knows, knots aren’t a one-type-fits-all deal. Learn a few and it’ll make your camping (and your life) easier. From fishing to first aid, these knots can go a long way to make or break any camping experience.

19. Stay Organized

team-work-young-bearded-male-tourist | camping tent

You’re dealing with a ton of crap when you’re camping: millions of little things, gloves everywhere, socks lying around, a penknife, you have your boots lying somewhere.

It’s really easy to lose stuff. Having a really well thought-out system to organize your camping gear and know where you put your stuff once you’re inside the tent means you don’t risk losing things.

20. Beer/Soda Can Popcorn

To make popcorn in a beer can, pour some popcorn kernels into an empty beer can (about ¼ of the way full). Then, add some popcorn oil, and place the can on the edge of the fire.

Allow the kernels to do their thing until the pops slow down to more than a couple of seconds apart. Cut the can in half and enjoy!

21. Prioritize Your Sleeping Comfort

hammock-bug-net-rain-tarp-attached Camping| tent

Your choice of shelter is up for debate, be it a big tent, a small tent, hammock, or tarp, but don’t you dare skimp on an A-list sleeping bag and sleeping pad. They are the two most important deciders of your comfort when in the wilderness.

If you want more options, there are other ways of sleeping outdoors without these thingamajigs.

22. Practice Fire Safety with the Kids

cute-little-sisters-roasting-hotdogs-on | campfire

Fire pits get hot to touch almost instantly. Use rocks to surround the fire pit. It makes the pit look great (style points!) and creates a bit of distance between kids and the flame.

Explain the process of fire building to your kids so they understand what you’re doing and how it all works. Giving them an activity like collecting tinder can make them feel included.

Establish a “one poker” rule. Kids will want to poke the fire, but it can be avoided when the poker is in the hands of an adult. Consider what your children are wearing. Some synthetic garments can be dangerous when exposed to an open flame.

It’s important to teach kids about campfire safety and to lead by example, too.

23. Easy-to-Spot Bear Bag

bear-bag-hanging-tree-backcountry-campsite | bearbag

I take a reflective cord for my bear bag. It lights up when your headlamp hits it and makes it easy to find at night or for an early morning departure. Tie your aluminum cup up with your bear bag near the clip so if something tries to get at it, you will hear it.

24. Campfire Pizza

vegan-campfire-pizza | camping

Surprise your family with pizza on your camping trip using pre-made pizza crust from a tube makes it a snap to prepare. Remember, any type of pizza you can make at home, you can make in a Dutch Oven!

So before heading to the campsite, scout for the best campfire recipes you can make outdoors.

25. Duct Tape Around Your Lighter

Duct tape can be a lifesaver, but carrying an entire roll takes up valuable space inside a backpack — and you probably won’t need much tape. Wrap a couple feet around a Bic lighter, so you always have a short supply inside your pocket.

26. Prepare Food at Home

adult-blond-board-brunette-Badass | Camping-Hacks

Because I’ve grown somewhat tired of freeze-dried fare, these days, I often cook something I like at home. Something in the one-pot category and freeze it in plastic, let it thaw in my pack, and warm it up over the old MSR XGK set on low heat.

Learn more clever camping hacks from 5-Minute Crafts:

With these badass camping hacks, you’ll be able to cut down on costs and maximize whatever gear, equipment, or food for the entire camping trip. Yet, all these are just the tip of the iceberg because you can come up with your own badass camping hacks. All have you have to do is let your creative juice flow!

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Do you have some badass camping hacks in mind? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 25, 2019 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. sdf

    February 2, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity for your publish is just cool
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    your feed to keep updated with approaching post. Thanks one million and please continue the rewarding work.

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  15. used_to_be_a_liberal

    June 23, 2017 at 12:30 PM

    Way too much work ! I think that I will stick with an hotel room.

    • Boone Mahoonstuch

      June 28, 2018 at 11:42 PM

      Good. You probably know nothing about survival and don’t care to learn. When tshf please stay away from me and my camp. You will die very quickly due to your own ignorance. Lazy people are one one of the reasons we must be prepared to survive in the wild.

  16. Country_Dog

    June 23, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    I agree with used_to_be_a_liberal. That stuff is for the camper that drives up to their site. I’m a colonial era reenactor. I go to war with less than one-tenth of that stuff in a trek. Learn how to use flint & steel to start a fire and you never worry about matches.

  17. Lisa L. Gove

    June 23, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    wtf. All this CRAP isn’t for REAL campers! try taking it REAL camping. kayak, hiking, atv.

  18. Donald Dyer

    June 23, 2017 at 10:52 PM

    I would avoid the cowboy bedroll, it is not a real one, a real one folds in the middle and snaps together. Measurements of the canvas should be seven feet wide and seventeen ft long. Should be at least 15 oz. canvas and mold residence. When mine was put together with pad, sleeping bad and wool blanket it weighted forty pounds so you do not take it back packing. But it works great on real cold nights and I have slept in mine many a night very comfortable when those around me were freezing.

    • Country_Dog

      June 27, 2017 at 7:18 AM

      Donald, buffalo hide for a covering. I use that at winter camp. Expensive, but can’t be beat and I’ll only buy one. Thanks for the dimensions for the oilcloth. I also use one of them bedrolls I made, with a single heavy wool Hudson’s Bay blanket and a trump line for trekking. I have about 40 feet of hemp rope wrapped around the bedroll for whatever. However, I have to admit, I’m getting a little too old to do that much anymore. Be safe.

  19. Christina

    June 23, 2017 at 11:12 PM

    These are all great ideas! Thanks.

  20. Yoda Dunbar

    June 24, 2017 at 1:33 AM

    Some good ideas, would also include a home made bike wheel trolley, which can be loaded with swags or tents, and many other useful items, don’t forget the path kits for tyres lol
    Saves the back and even can carry a wounded person back to safety

    • Big Daddy

      November 21, 2017 at 9:43 AM

      What the hell is a path kits and tyres?. Oh, you mean PATCH kits for TIRES. No Queen’s english here mate, that stopped a couple hundred years ago. Just on the off chance you didn’t hear. Cheerio!

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  25. Rod Davidson

    February 13, 2018 at 8:01 AM

    Well, what can I say, all of the camping hacks you mentioned in your blog are all badass! I have to say, duct tapes are really the worlds number 1 DIY material for fixing anything 🙂

    I’m also a blogger and I write about emergency preparedness tips regarding wilderness survival. You can check my site here:

    Also, I’ve written articles about winter survival and some essentials when choosing a survival gear. Check it out here: ,


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  35. Don

    January 3, 2019 at 2:30 AM

    Really like the idea of foam floor tiles under the sleeping bag. Thanks, great hack!

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  64. Glen

    November 16, 2021 at 7:44 PM

    I liked the duct tape around your Bic lighter. I will do a couple tomorrow.
    Duct Tape is also a fire starter and can tinder in place.

    I am a firm believer in a canteen with a cup, military style. Maybe with powered drink mix packages or dry soup mix stuffed in there too.

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