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Expert Advice: Camp Like a Scout With These 5 Hacks

Try these tips for a better outdoor adventure this summer

A man and child build a fire outside of their tent in the woods at sunset

During its more than 100-year history, Scouts Canada has taught a lot of us a thing or two about the outdoors. Here are five tried-and-true camping hacks we use that will make your next trip a breeze.

Clean out your dryer for easier campfires

Dryer lint is key to starting a fire quickly and painlessly. While packing for your trip, snag some lint from your dryer to to get your campfire going later. Put it in a plastic bag to keep it dry and squish it into a small packet in your pack. Once lit, the lint burns slowly, allowing the kindling and other medium-size pieces of wood to catch more easily.

Make tidier s’mores using cookies

Traditional s’mores call for a milk chocolate bar, graham crackers and marshmallows, but this can lead to a lot of mess, with hard chocolate snapping, cracker crumbs falling and marshmallow overflowing out the sides and onto your hands. Try bringing chocolate-topped cookies to substitute for the chocolate and the graham crackers—the chocolate on the cookie is also more likely to melt.

Bring baby wipes for quick camp cleanup

Things can get messy at camp, whether you're cutting up food for breakfast or feeling grubby after a hike. Bringing baby wipes means that no matter what happens, it's easy to clean your hands, wipe away sweat and keep yourself fresh throughout the camping trip.

Pack a pillowcase for a good night’s sleep in the woods

We all want the comforts of home while camping, but the pillows we have on our beds take up a lot of space, leaving less room for other essentials in your pack. Instead, bring a pillowcase and stuff the clothes you're not wearing into it. Voila, a no-fuss pillow! Plus, your clothes won't end up strewn all over the tent.

Keep camping gear dry with plastic

The weather experts are forecasting that 2018 will be a hot summer, but also a wet one. To keep everything dry, pack your clothes and sleeping bag in large garbage bags. It’s not glamorous, but if your bag gets wet, your clothes won’t. If you need a backpack to hike into your campsite, you can put a garbage bag into your pack and then add your stuff to create a waterproofed barrier.

Ready to get out into the great outdoors?

Here are six Ontario parks where you’ve got to camp this year. If you’re not confident in the woods yet, find out how Parks Canada makes learning to camp fun and easy.

Image credit: iStock.com/visualspace