Whether you're in it to savor the last of your trail mix stash, hoping for a glimpse of Bigfoot before hibernation, or simply adding more miles to your well-worn hiking boots, we've got you covered. Our passion for the great outdoors runs as deep as a White Oak’s roots, and we've rallied our favorite bunch of campers – friends, family, and even a few bribed coworkers – to spill the beans on a treasure trove of camping hacks before the season ends, each one polished by countless nights of marshmallow roasting, the horror of wet socks, and under-the-moon conversations. Alexa, play “Seven Wonders” by Fleetwood Mac, because we’re going on an end-of-summer adventure!
CHANNEL YOUR INNER HEAT MISER
Convenience is the name of the game; the name of the game is convenience. Starting the campfire, keeping it going, and making sure sparks behave can be a real chore. You're probably used to the traditional method: starting with small sticks and flint at the bottom of a fire pit, and then throwing more logs on it as the night goes on. Effective, classic, but not nearly as convenient as it can be! Here’s a hot tip: learn how to construct an upside-down fire. It's exactly what it sounds like – a flipped version of the traditional fire, instead burning from the top and going down. Grab your largest logs and stack them in layers, back and forth in opposite directions – just like Jenga! Once you’ve reached a good enough height, add tinder and kindling to the top and start your fire. This simple method requires less wood, burns longer, and produces less smoke for a more effective and convenient campfire experience.
Depending on where you set up camp, a real shower, or even a warm one, might not be in the cards. For those of us who aren't ready to embrace our inner wildness when it comes to smells, shower wipes are going to be your best friend. Sometimes these go by different names depending on the company (wilderness wipes, shower sheets, no-rinse bathing wipes, you get the idea), but they all do the same job – keeping you smelling like lilacs! You can find these either online or at your local camping or adventure store – just make sure to pick a brand that's eco-friendly and won't harm the environment when you're done scrubbing!
Speaking of your campsite, give it a good look before you dive into your preparations. Despite this being a good safety tip, it can also influence your packing strategy! If your spot happens to be nestled right under a cluster of Redwoods, for instance, you might not get a lot of sun for your solar-powered gear to soak up. Check AllTrails, view it virtually on Google Earth, or talk to someone who’s been there before. Scout it out, get familiar with where things are, and you'll be all set for a smoother and safer camping experience!
KEEP YOUR COFFEE CLOSE
If you're all about keeping your sanity intact while venturing into the wild, don’t leave your favorite coffee behind! Grab your favorite Steeped Packs before you head out on your adventure for a convenient quality cup of coffee that can easily fit into your daypack. These Packs are brewed similarly to tea; you just need to add hot water and let the coffee do the rest of the work! Crafted and designed by an enthusiastic camper and outdoorsman, Steeped Packs are both compact and fully compostable, lightening the load on your back and lessening the weight on Mother Nature’s shoulders.
DON’T ACTUALLY BRING HOME A BEE
Life-long Memories can be made from many different kinds of moments, but there's something truly magical about the memories that come from genuine laughter and fun. Before you venture out and start earning your wilderness patches, take some time to gather non-screen entertainment for your camp. This could be a deck of cards, a stack of books, or loads of camping songs, group games, or scary stories to recreate the spirit of summer camp bonding. Channel your inner summer camp counselor with games like Snaps, Telephone, or even Cups! You can even weave in some camping songs like "Goin’ on a Bear Hunt," "I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee," "Rock the Boat," or "The Campfire Song Song" to serve as your trip’s soundtrack. When the sun sets and the darkness begins to creep between the trees, let the ghosts roam with some scary stories by the campfire. Make those memories and savor the fun that a good camp adventure can bring!
As you pack away your gear and head back to the daily grind, keep these insights close at hand for your next adventure! Whether it's swapping screens for campfire games or packing eco-friendly essentials, the goal is to make your time outdoors fun, convenient, and smooth. Remember to savor the twists and turns of the trail and keep an eye out for Bigfoot!