*Get a Co-Z-Go and bring your comfort with you where-ever you go!
*Use 'trick' birthday candles for lighting fires. Great when there's some wind or it's a little damp out. No need to struggle using all of your matches in one sitting - get that candle in on your kindling, sit back and enjoy.
*Bring some Orajel for bug bites! Did you get eaten alive during your kids tournament this last weekend? You can't get un-bitten but you can do something about those itchy bites - this hack cuts down on the skin irritation (and the whining!).
*Keep a 'Sideline Umbrella' in your car – Mary Poppins had it right; block the sun, wind and rain. How many ‘perfect days’ have you had while out at a game or tournament? Yep, we haven't either – bring that umbrella!
*Combat those smelly shoes from your winning game, awesome hike or whatever 'that' was last night with dryer sheets! Pop one into each shoe to eliminate unwanted odors.
*Mesh laundry bags – pack them with the kid’s uniforms, equipment, supplies etc and after you’re done put those soiled clothes right back in the bags for easy clean up.
*Use frozen juice boxes and juice pouches as ice packs. You might be thinking ‘yeah, of course’ – but you rarely do it. Fewer ice packs = more room for your grown up beverages.
*Manage your snacks via....tackle box? Don't overlook the wonders that a tackle box can do for you in the snack area. Don't take 18 bags and jars to the camp site or game, fill up an inexpensive tackle box with your favorite snacks and off you go! Even better - make a snack box for each person going - and never again listen to complaints that someone 'took the last one'.
* Sunburn? Fill a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and water (even mixture) and spray that sunburn. The vinegar has antiseptic properties, calms inflammation and can minimize some of that painful itching.
*Athletes Foot happens, but don’t just treat your feet – treat your socks as well. Add about a cup of white vinegar to your wash to knock out any nasty little fungal stuff still hanging around.
*Playing cards! Around the picnic table, at the campsite, in between tournaments games - simple, fun, cheap and easy to pack!
Label your coolers! How many times do you see people just tear through every cooler in sight looking for a drink or a snack? Only leave the cooler open or ransack what you carefully packed? Especially with kids around – it takes just a minute to label a cooler ‘kids drinks’ or ‘adult drinks’ and save yourself some headaches.
*Sponge ice packs - - great and cost effective way to have ice packs on hand for all the bumps and bruises that happen outdoors. Wet a kitchen sponge, squeeze out the water, put in a sandwich bag and freeze, drop them in your cooler when you’re packing before the big game. So easy and so useful.
THE socks. Not ‘a pair’ of socks, not ‘extra’ socks, ‘THE’ socks. This is the pair of socks that you stash in your sleeping bag or inside your pillowcase in your camper. THE socks are for sleeping – only! We like warm feet as much as we like warm butts :) Make THE socks a part of your packing list and you’ll be such the happy camper!
* We like this one because it allows us to sit more. Start your fire with a pre-packed egg carton with a dozen charcoal briquettes inside. It takes like, a minute or two to prep this at home. Then when it’s time to spark that fire, light this carton and you are good to go. No more walking all – the – way – over – there to pick up sticks for kindling.
Pocket your batteries – those batteries aren’t dead, they’re just chilly. Put them in your pockets to warm up then try them again.
* An old one but a good one - Taco in a Bag - - add your favorite taco toppings to a snack size bag of your favorite chips and you've got a fantastic snack. Our favorite touch - give that back a smash or two to get smaller chip bits - it helps get more in your mouth at one time :)
*Un-stick your grill with an onion. Cut an onion in half and rub the cut side on the heated grill grates. We have no idea why it works, but our steaks didn't stick to the grill!
*Raise your condiment covered hand if you can never find your napkins or paper towels? Use a bungee cord as an instant roller/holder for your paper towels. Bungee cord through the paper towel tube, hang from your tent, canopy, table, chairs etc. Brilliant? Maybe! Our idea? Nope - we stole this little gem - credit to the folks that figured that one out!
*Hey cold weather grillers! Ignoring the weather and still grilling? Big pieces of meat (chickens, ribs) need a lot more time on the grill. A rule of thumb: for every 5 degrees under 45, add 20 minutes to your cook time per pound.
* Ok, not 'outdoor' but it's on the way there. Windshield fogging up? Keep a sock filled with clean kitty litter on your dashboard to stop that glass from fogging up while you're driving. Sure, that's kind of weird, but hey, if it works.......
*Great for any outdoor activity – pill bottle first aid kits! Take your old prescription pill bottles (remove the labels of course) and put in some Band-Aids and a small tube of antibacterial cream. Pack it anywhere and always be ready for scrapes and scratches.
*Peanut Butter Jars! Who doesn’t love PB (sorry for the folks with allergies). Wash out your empty plastic peanut butter jars and use them to store all the little odds and ends you take camping, to games or tailgating! Stop losing stuff!
*We all know this one (but rarely do any of us do it) – travel packs of baby/hand wipes in every bag, tub, container and duffel. Sure, you’ve got 1 stash, but, how often do you need more? Really cheap – get the store brand travel size packs and put them everywhere, your ‘future you’ will thank you.
* I can’t believe I never thought of this – traveling anywhere in the cold weather? Cover your car mirrors with plastic bags (like sandwich or quart bags) when you’re parked – no snow and ice on those when you head out for your winter fun!
* Keep ants away from your back deck or tent with – cucumber peels? Really! Place cucumber peels, bay leaves or mint tea bags around the area to keep ants away! Who knew?
* January entry - with the Super Bowl in mind – this is great for your party and your next camping trip. Keep everyone happy with …… too many sauces. Put out a protein or two and then way too many sauces so folks can customize. Left over bottles will keep till you need them again and you’re a genius for making everyone happy. Hot sauce, wing sauce, ketchup, different mustard's, ranch (and the multiple variations) – head down the dressing aisle in your supermarket and you’re done!
*The duct tape water bottle. Nope, not made of duct tape – wrap strips of duct tape about your favorite water bottle so you always have some with you, camping, games, tailgating, hiking. Why? Because it’s duct tape – you always need duct tape.
More to come..........