The weather’s getting warmer, and many people are going to be grabbing their tents and heading off to a campsite this summer.
As such, it’s important to know some great “hacks” that will make the camping experience more fun and more convenient. This can not only help you when you’re out in the woods, but can also help out a fellow camper if you’re feeling generous.
Incredibly Useful Camping Tricks That Also Work When SHTF
Toilet Paper Hacks
One of the most annoying and infuriating things in a camping situation (and in everyday life) is wet toilet paper. At that point, it’s practically useless.
To prevent this from happening, store the TP roll in a reusable coffee can (large plastic Folgers ones are great, since they have a resealable lid).
However, if the toilet paper stockpile runs out, there are other natural materials that can work well in a pinch. For instance, the mullein plant is one of the best, as it’s incredibly soft with a velvety texture.
If no mullein is available, it’s important to use large, soft leaves to do the job. Test them out by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on an arm or leg. If after about 15 minutes there’s no allergic reaction, they’re likely safe to use.
One of the worst types of fires to use for cooking is those made out of evergreen trees. That’s because they coat the food with a black tar that looks gross and tastes similar to turpentine. Still, many campers/preppers don’t know about this – and suffer the consequences later.
If evergreen is the only available wood for a fire, be sure to cook the food using the radiant heat that’s beside it. Or, cook the food over the hot coals when the fire is mostly out. This will prevent that sickly black tar from getting onto the meal.
No, this isn’t about the controversial substance people can smoke (legally or not). This is about the plants on the ground that can either help or harm you.
Jewel weed can be a great antidote for healing rashes from poison ivy. Conveniently, it typically grows in the same areas as poison ivy, so it’s never too far away when you need it most. To take advantage of its healing properties, crush the leaves and rub them on the skin.
Dandelion root and chicory root can also be very helpful in making a coffee substitute. After all, it’s unlikely a Starbucks will be around if you’re really truly “roughing it.”
Clean the root, crush it (or chop it finely) and then roast it until it’s black (or even burnt). Then brew it with some boiling water, and let it steep. Filter out the root pieces before consuming.
Goldenrod leaves can also make excellent teas.
Finally, for campers and preppers who like to smoke, but have run out of tobacco. Kinnikinnick (otherwise known as Bearberry) makes a great substitute for pipe tobacco.