S’mores by the fire, the sound of crickets chirping, the sight of sparkling stars overhead… there are many things about the outdoors to appreciate when you’re on a camping trip with the family. However, every now and then, Mother Nature or other unexpected circumstances may throw in a surprise or two. As you plan an outdoor family vacation, you might want to consider bringing a few of these usual, but useful items along.
- Dryer Sheets. Dryer sheets can be used for repelling insects. When bugs start to become an issue, place a few dryer sheets under your bed, in the tops of your socks, or the back of your collars. You may look a little funny, but outdoor activities such as fishing and boating are much more enjoyable when the mosquitoes and no-see-ums aren’t pestering you.
- Medicated Powder. Sprinkle some in your socks and boots to help prevent blisters or sprinkle all over your body at night before jumping into a sleeping bag to prevent sand or dirt from sticking to your skin. Also helps ease the itch of bug bites.
- Headlamp. You might look like a miner, but a headlamp will help you bait a hook on the fishing pier after sundown or light your way down that dark path back from the bathhouse. A headlamp is always a wise piece of camping gear to have. Be sure to pack a back up set of batteries.
- Binder Clips. Binder clips aren’t only useful for holding papers together at the office. They are great at keeping tablecloths in place, re-sealing open potato chip bags, hanging privacy curtains, and for hanging soggy clothes from a line to dry.
- Empty Paper Towel Tube. Use empty paper towel tubes for transporting and storing recycled plastic grocery bags to use for collecting campsite trash, dirty laundry, keeping firewood dry or teaching kids to pick up litter as they hike.
- 5-Gallon Bucket. Can be used for a spare seat, portable potty, garbage can, step stool, camping sink or firewood storage container.
- Pool Noodles. Can be used as a bed rail protector to keep the kids from bumping into the metal bed rails when staying in a cabin or camper. They can also be used to protect bikes, fishing rods or other items from rubbing up against each other in the car and becoming damaged while on the way to your camping spot.
What other unusual things do you bring camping or fishing? If you’ve found a unique use for a household item while in the outdoors, share your helpful tips with others in the TakeMeFishing.org forums.