Sleeping under the stars and stories round the campfire are just some of the obvious joys of family camping.
But with these genius camping hacks, tips and tricks you’ll get even more out of your next adventure in the great outdoors.
1 Make your own campfire starter kit
Take an empty egg carton, fill it with charcoal brickettes, light the box – boom!
Credit: Sew Many Ways
2 Tile your floor in seconds with soft and comfortable foam play mats
Available cheap on Amazon.
3 Invest in a cheap, collapsible washing up bowl
Under a tenner and folds down to save space. Get one.
4 Strap your headlamp to a milk bottle full of water to create ambient light
Buy a cheap head lamp on Amazon – useful for night trips to the toilet.
5 Make a whistle from an acorn – show the kids how
One of the joys of camping for kids is being about to roam free. Show them how to make an acorn whistle in case they lose their way and need to get your attention. Alternatively buy a cheap whistle to take with you.
6 Cook up a treat – campfire cones
Cornets, tin foil and sweet fillings are all you need for this alternative campfire treat.
7 Those jumbo IKEA blue bags are ideal for throwing all your gear in
Camping equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. Carry it to and from the car in a 40p IKEA bag. Stock up next time you take a trip to the store.
8 Get a set of neon paints – swish them into empty glass jars to create glow-in-the-dark lanterns
Pack of 8 cheap glow paints here.
9 Wet wipes are invaluable
Camping is a (happily) mucky business. Pack some wet wipes – everyone will love you for it.
10 Be inspired by this camping pantry
11 Relax on an inflatable sofa
Bring home comforts to the outdoors – chill out on an inflatable lounger.
12 Think of the dog – take a heavy duty stake to tie a lead to
If pooch is going with you, pick up a £1.99 stake so he or she isn’t tied to a tree far away or upsetting the neighbours.
13 Take this miracle towel – it’s the SIZE OF A COLA CAN!
Titchy when packed, large when unpacked. Soft and as absorbent as a normal bath towel. Buy one.
14 Make DIY croissants over the campfire
Buy croissant pastry in a tube from the supermarket. Wrap it round a trimmed-down stick. Take fun fillings to add and try: choc chips, raisins, cinnamon, jam.
15 Use coffee filter papers and unflavoured dental floss to create individual sacks of ‘proper’ coffee
Avoid the horror of a morning without a decent caffeinated brew. Buy some coffee filter papers, pour in a portion of filter coffee and tie with untreated dental floss to make individual coffee bags you can drop in hot water. Genius!
16 Add atmosphere with these long-lasting bamboo lights
Surround the tent with these re-usable torches.
17 Keep food dry in your coolbox
Add some grill shelves so that the ice and cold drinks at the bottom don’t wet the food on top
18 Tie a belt round a tree and add hooks to make a pot holder
Hang your camping utensils on it
19 Throw rosemary or sage leaves into the campfire to keep midges and mosquitoes away
It’s true – pesky evening insects don’t like the smoke.
20 Cook eggs on foil dishes
Forgotten your saucepan? Here’s a technique for using foil as a makeshift saucepan
21 Keep the kids snug in an inflated animal sleeping bag
They come in penguin, crocodile and owl. Check them out.
22 Get your game plan ready – have some ideas to keep kids entertained
Wink murder is a great easy game to play in groups – fund for kids and adults alike. Learn how to play and find some more ideas.
23 Create a scavenger hunt
This will keep young campers engrossed for ages. More info.
24 You’re all set! But don’t forget the tent
If you’re ready to book your next camping trip but in need of a quality tent, this is our market favourite. The Coleman Coastline is perfect for families, with three bedrooms and space for six. Tough, with large windows and an air vent for hot conditions, it’s a quality product at a decent price. Currently on offer.
Take a look.
Other Travel Needs
Need to buy train tickets?
Our top choice for UK train tickets is Virgin Trains – they search the whole rail network, not just Virgin routes. What’s more, they don’t add booking fees or charge you for using your credit card. Also worth a look is Trainline. They buy up seat allocations in bulk, meaning they can sometimes pass on better discounts than rivals.
Need to buy coach or bus tickets?
If you’re travelling by bus, these days National Express really makes an effort to be family friendly. With booster seats, wifi, air con and power sockets for tablets – as well as bargain prices when compared to train – they’re worth a look. With their £8 Family Coachcard kids go free.
Looking for cheap attraction tickets?
Want to book a fun day out? AttractionTix have cheap theme park tickets for attractions across the world (including Spain, Portugal and France) as well as UK favourites like Legoland, Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. Don’t forget to check our latest vouchers too.
Need to book a flight?
Skyscanner is an excellent flight comparison site. Slick and easy to use, it searches over 1000 different agents and airlines to show you the cheapest prices. You’re then just one click away from booking directly with the airline. Check Skyscanner now.
Need to hire a car?
If you’re looking for cheap car hire, our top pick is comparison site CarRentals. Rated 9/10 on Trustpilot, it is 100% focussed on car hire comparison. It checks over 50 car hire firms to bring you the best offers.
Need an airport taxi or shuttle bus?
Save stress and money – reserve your airport taxi or shuttle bus in advance using Hoppa. This highly popular service takes the worry out of holiday pick ups.
Need airport parking?
We like Holiday Extras. It gives you lots of options and offers a lowest-price guarantee.