08 Apr 2016
There’s nothing as liberating as roughing it in the wilderness. And for those of you who just load up a tent, grab some firewood, and stroll into the woods, more power to you. But for those of us who prefer a little less “rough” in our roughing it, here are a few tips and tricks to make the great outdoors a little more comfortable.
Keep the bugs away
Mosquitoes are the worst part of any camping trip. The whining, the itching, the constant slapping at yourself when all you wanna do is just sleep… Well, we’ve got your back. There are actually a lot of things you can do to keep the pests to a minimum!
Choose unscented hygiene products. Yup, bugs love all that nice-smelling perfume, vanilla hand soap, and cherry-scented body lotion. Also, make sure you choose a waterproof bug spray, especially since you’ll be relying on it almost exclusively on a long hike or while spending time outdoors with the family, so the last thing you want is to sweat or splash it off your skin. Waterproof is the way to go.
You’re gonna want to choose a campsite that’s generally unappealing to mosquitoes. We’re talking high and dry, my friend. Mosquitoes love a wet environment, so stay away from any boggy, misty or swampy areas.
Invest in a bug net that works for you. James Menta from Eagle’s Nest Outfitters recommends the Guardian Bugnet since it’s pretty lightweight, easy to put together, and comfortable to breathe under. Lastly, bring some fresh sage to throw on the fire. The scent should keep the mosquitoes away for hours.
Bring fresh sage like these smudge sticks to throw into the fire. This old camping trick should help keep your whole site bug-free.
Stay warm and dry
It’s a well-known fact that the campfire is the heart of every campsite. Don’t be left out in the cold because you’re unprepared. Keep a few household items handy so you can start your fire under any circumstances.
If you’re staying at a campground, only use the designated fire ring or fireplace, and if you’re camping in backcountry, make sure you have a fire permit.
Always have dry tinder in your pack to get your fire going on wet days. Dryer lint tucked into empty egg cartons with paraffin wax is a classic fire starter. Vaseline worked into cotton balls is another great lightweight alternative. To keep a fire going, if you have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, squeeze some onto damp wood to keep it burning long enough to dry out. And if you’re really in a pinch, duct tape or Doritos are also highly flammable.
To dry your shoes overnight, stuff them with newspaper or dry clothing. The moisture will be absorbed and you can start fresh in the morning!