15 top camping hacks

We asked our readers to share some top tips when out camping in a bid to win a R500 Kalahari.com voucher to use in their Big Mama sale.

We've cobbled together the submissions as well as added a few other useful ideas.

If you have some awesome ideas, help your fellow campers out and post them in the comment section below, tweet us at @news24travel, share on Facebook, drop us a line on Google+ or mention us in a comment on an Instagram pic.

1. Flies be gone...

All it takes is cider vinegar, a jar or bowl, dish soap, and plastic wrap. Pour enough vinegar to cover the bottom of the jar or bowl. Add a drop of dish soap. Now cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke a few holes the top. Congratulations to  Helen Humphris Joughin for sending in the winning tip.

2. Don't trip up...

Tie some neon ribbon in pink or yellow around each protruding tent peg. This makes them easier to see, and can prevent tripping. Even better if you can find glow-in-the-dark ribbon.

3. Avid gardeners know how to keep it fresh...

Dig up your lettuce with enough soil, minimally disturb the roots, wrap in wet newspaper, pack in a crate and "plant" it at your campsite to have fresh lettuce every day.

4. Don't blow a fuse...

You can use glad-wrap around your plugs when it rains to keep it from getting wet.

5. Campers unite...

Thorough preparation and planning is key according to this reader who keeps a detailed checklist of all items taken on the trip. The aim is to update it while away, including ideas from other campers or the camping kit they use.

6. Ambient aroma that wards off bugs...

Simply add bundles of sage to a campfire to keep mosquitoes at bay.

7. Alternative reading lamp...

Strapping an ordinary headlamp to a cloudy container with water inside, is a great way of creating an alternative sort of reading lamp. The light is soft enough not to keep your fellow tent-dwellers awake.

8. Mini first aid kits...

While it's important to have a fully stocked first aid kit with you while camping, place a few essentials (e.g. plasters, disinfectant, anti-histamine of sorts, headache tablets) in smaller containers to take on hiking trails or day outings. 

9. Single use soap leaves...

Use a vegetable peeler to shave single-use leaves of soap off a larger block. Keep the leaves in a zip lock bag or a water tight container to keep them fresh and unaffected by moisture.

10. Tea bag firelighters...

Collect used tea bags, let them dry, then soak them in paraffin or saturate them with melted candle wax. Once they have absorbed the paraffin, or the wax has cooled down, seal them in a container and you're good to go.

11. Campfire coffee to go...

Place a scoop of coffee grounds into a coffee filter and tie it up with dental floss. When you want to make coffee - use like you would a tea bag. For best results boil over the fire/gas cooker for a while.

12. Campfire cones as dessert...

Take ice cream cones and fill with a variety of sweets including marshmallows, chocolate, berries and banana. Cover with foil, place on grid and keep a close eye.

13. Foam floor tiles.

Normally found in nurseries and baby rooms, these rubber floor tiles will help insulate your tent and see to a more comfy sleep. Also, they're flat, light and easy to pack.

14. Premix recipes...

Spice up your campsite breakfasts by alternating good old fry up bacon and eggs with something like pancakes or buttermilk waffles prepared before hand and stored in a jar.

15. Microfiber towels...

Light and quick drying, investing in microfiber towels if you're an avid camper is a great idea.

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