Camping Hacks That You Actually Need

Last updated on September 7th, 2021 at 08:24 am. Originally published on June 2nd, 2015

Basic survival skills are necessary for any sort of camping. What happens if you become stranded overnight and and need to build a shelter, or make a fire without matches? Could you do it?

Admittedly, you may not need to know how to build a shelter in your everyday life, but if you’re stuck out in the woods it may be the skill that helps you survive. Building a fire from scratch is unnecessary if you have matches, but if they get soaking wet, you will be glad you have the knowledge.

The word ‘hack’ is today synonymous with making things easier. Camping hacks are clever solutions to problems encountered while camping.

So without further ado, here are a few camping hacks that you need to know.

Building a Shelter

The basic concept of how to build a shelter such as an A-frame shelter or a lean-to is fairly basic. A bit of research and some practice is all you need. There are lots of online tutorials such as this one that illustrates 6 easy steps to building a shelter. Practice at home and get the kids involved. Also, don’t forget to always bring a tarp along on a camping trip. In a pinch it can make a simple and effective shelter.

Debris Hut


Being able to start a fire from scratch can save your life out in the wilderness. A fire will dry you out if you get rained on, and provide you a way to cook. Don’t assume that you will always have access to a lighter or matches. Simple fire starters can be made at home before hitting the road.

Make a fire

A penny stove is also a great camping hack. A penny stove can be created by punching a few holes on the top of a cat food container. A small pot of water can be boiled quickly on a penny stove using minimal fuel. Pack one of these in your bag.


Camping is about survival and how can you survive out in the wilderness without a cup of coffee? Some campers make coffee bags while at home to carry on their trips. You, however, do not need to because I am going to teach you how to make coffee like a cowboy. You will need:

  • 3/4 cup Ground coffee
  • Small pan
  • Quart of water

Bring the water to the boil over the campfire. Add the ground coffee to the pot then return it on the fire till it starts to boil. Take it off the fire, and let it steep for about 5 minutes while covered. After 5 minutes, the ground coffee will settle at the bottom and just like that you have a “better than Starbucks” coffee ready to drink.


Another necessary camping hack involves entertainment, and I’m not talking about the iPhone, ipad and laptop that you brought camping with you! Get in tune with nature and whittle a willow whistle for your entertainment. Do you have a sharp knife? It’s all you need. Check out this video to learn how.

The last and final camping trip tip I have for you is to simply have fun. Keep an open mind and have a great experience.

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