With a little ingenuity and some easy-to-find supplies, you can hack your next camping experience for a more convenient outdoor adventure
A scholarly fellow once said camping is 90 percent preparation; the rest depends on how well you deal with ghost stories, bug bites and eating beef jerky for three days in a row.
Of course, OnStar* is all about helping you be prepared and connecting you to the right people. That’s why we teamed up with camping expert Perry Keydel to share camping tricks and tips for your next outdoor adventure.
Tent Not Required
We’ve got tips and tricks for taking a camper on vacation too.
Hack #1: Sharp thinking
Need to start a campfire? You can use a handheld pencil sharpener to turn thin twigs into tiny shavings, which are perfect for tinder. You can also sharpen the tip of a stick to use as a marshmallow or hot dog skewer.
Make shavings from twigs
Use shavings to start a campfire
Cook using a sharpened twig
Hack #2: Multi-use milk jug
What can you do with the jug after you finish your gallon of milk?
- Fill it with water. Freeze it to keep the food fresh in your cooler.
- When the ice melts, set a flashlight beside the jug to create a lantern.
- Use it to store clean, refreshing drinking water.
- Cut it in half and use it to scoop up things on your campsite.
Freeze water in a jug for your cooler
Use a flashlight to turn water jug into a lantern
Cut jug in half to make scoop
Hack #3: Duct tape fixes everything
Wrap some duct tape around a water bottle and peel off as needed. Have a blister? What about a tear in your tent? This duct tape trick is way better than carrying a whole roll, and wherever you carry your water bottle, there’s your duct tape.
Duct tape has almost limitless uses when out camping, from first aid to gear repairs and more.
Save space by wrapping some around your water bottle, instead of bringing the whole roll
Hack #4: Spice it up with a straw
Instead of stuffing an assortment of spice bottles in your bag, campers can use a lighter to singe the end of a drinking straw closed and turn it into a super handy spice vial that’s lightweight and easy to pack.
Assemble cooking spices
Singe the end of a straw and fill with spices
Cut spice straws to add a dash of flavor
Hack #5: A culinary loophole with belts
Tie a belt around a tree
Place S-hooks on belt
Hang items from hooks
Hack #6: Coffee made easy
You can’t bring your espresso machine into the woods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some quality coffee. Put the grounds in a coffee filter to create a makeshift tea bag. Then drop it in hot water for your morning fix.
Pour grounds in a coffee filter
Tie it up and steep
Enjoy your morning fix
Hack #7: Quick-make pancakes
Eat like a lumberjack by prepping your pancake batter ahead of time. Pour the mix into a cleaned out ketchup bottle, funnel in some water, shake it up and then squeeze onto the pan for some homemade goodness.
Shake pancake batter in a squeeze bottle.
Pour in pan and cook
Hack #8: Outdoor theater
Take your home theater experience to the outdoors. All you’ll need are a few accessories, a portable projector, a compatible tablet and your available in-vehicle Wi-Fi Hotspot* to stream your favorite movie on the big screen under the stars.
Hang sheet on a line
Anchor sheet with filled jugs
Connect your projector and stream away using the hotspot
Be prepared for the unexpected
The easy-to-use, personalized services from OnStar can enrich your outdoor exploration. Forgot to get directions in advance? Push the blue OnStar button and an Advisor can help you find your way. Spending the day away from your vehicle on hiking trails? Download the OnStar Guardian™ app* to bring key OnStar safety services with you, right on your compatible phone.