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6 Camping Hacks for Beginners

Do you also fight with the tent poles when camping? No worries, I have collected 6 camping hacks for beginners that will make you look like you have done this at least 1000 of times before! Following these hacks will help you avoid unpleasant situations like rat holes in the tent, wet clothes and punctured mattresses!

1. Avoid rat holes

Never ever leave food inside your tent! Rats don’t care about your expensive tent and neither your newly bought backpack. If they are hungry enough, they will find your delicious food and eat it! Especially if you are camping in a forest, because then you are literally camping in the middle of their home and they take that as an invitation for dinner. Put your food in closed containers and/or in a bag and hang it in a tree. Try to hang it high so foxes can’t reach the bag either. Bring some rope with you for that purpose.

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Are you camping in a forest? Be aware of mice and rats! Pic from “El Chileno,” Torres del Paine NP

 

2. Wind cover for the stove

On a windy day, it can be challenging to heat up the food, and you will be wasting gas. You can buy these metal wind covers to cover up the stove, but if you have a non-inflatable mattress, you can use this to cover up the stove as well (see picture). It is also safer, so the pot and gas do not fall.

6. hiking hacks for dummies:

 

3. Avoid a punctured mattress

Protect your mattress from puncture. Especially in Patagonia, you will get familiar with the plant Calafate. They have some nasty spines, and they can even puncture bicycle tires. If you have an inflatable mattress, it is recommended to put something underneath to protect the mattress from contact with the spines. It could be the footprint for tents or a big plastic bag. Make sure to clean the ground before putting up the tent in general.

 

4. Avoid open areas

Protect your tent from wind and rain. Put your tent up close to trees, bushes or anything that can cover your tent from wind and rain. If you are camping in a windy area, e.g., in Patagonia, the wind can be very hard on the materials, and in worst case scenario it breaks the material or tent poles. It also takes some of the pressure from heavy rain if you have your tent underneath a tree.

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5. Bring plastic bags for garbage

Bring some plastic back for garbage and toilet paper. I have seen too much toilet paper in the forest, and I understand it’s not nice to carry around, but you should bring a plastic bag with you and when you find a garbage bin you can through it out. We always bring at least 2 bags, one for food garbage and one for toilet paper. Then you also avoid having garbage paper with leftovers in your backpack that attracts rats. For the toilet paper – I am sure you have seen it yourself: people who left toilet paper in nature! I remember one place where I was looking for a “hidden spot” and no kidding; the forest floor was filled with used toilet paper everywhere. Not cool!

 

6. Test the tent ground

Put up the tent, jump inside and lay down as you would lay down when sleeping in the tent. Check if there are any roots that are annoying or if the ground is leaning in the right direction. This is important, so your feet are not more up than the head, so the blood is running towards your head instead of your feet. Then you set the tent with tent plugs and put in the mattress, sleeping bag, etc.

 

Best of luck in your next outdoor adventure! If you have any camping tips, please share them!


 

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6 Comments

  • csaradar February 19, 2017 at 1:55 am

    This was great and made me laugh. I am a hiking dummy too. I did figure out the bag for toilet paper thing though! It is horrible seeing paper in prisitine natural places!

    Reply
    • nanaregalah February 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Its horrible! And when you are in a popular place its even worst! 🙁

      Reply
  • BootsNotRoots February 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    We’re newbie campers as well! 😀 Great tips that I wouldn’t have even thought about (the toilet paper thing was something I just never even considered..). Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Brittany Wittig March 27, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Great list! Along with no food in the tent, we’ve also had bad luck with nice-smelling toiletry products :0 Raccoons love toothpaste!!

    Reply
    • nanaregalah April 4, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Ooohhh!! really? Them bastards! We also realized that mouses like the mate herbs. We think they might use it for their nest.

      Reply

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