TrulyCozy

a simple lifestyle blog

DIY Camping Essentials

As you may remember from my #FridayFavorites post, I just got back from a weekend of camping fun at Fisherman’s Bend Campground in Mill City (just east of Salem, OR).

dog hair #REPRESENT

dog hair, don’t care. #ew

I cannot stress just how cool this campsite was.
Our little section boasted a super clean bathroom, showers, multiple labeled recycling receptacles, two volleyball courts, a nice play structure, a river within walking distance, a huge pavilion with gorgeous varnished wooden tables, our own private pavilion with an electrical outlet and multiple large fire pits.

Okay, so it was a little like glamping with all the amenities.
quidditch-world-cup-tentSUE ME.

Turns out, you can DIY some pretty useful stuff when you’re “roughing it”.
These camping essentials are simple and efficient, which allow you to save time and money when preparing for and enjoying your camping excursion.

DIY-Camping-Essentials-TrulyCozyBlog
Peppermint essential oil as mosquito repellent.
I’m telling you, this stuff works wonders. Due to my sweet disposition, I’m sure, the mosquitoes can’t get enough of me. I just use a small amount of coconut oil (as the carrier oil) and some peppermint essential oil, give myself a good coating and I’m good to go. I’ve tried a variety of bug repellents and this has been my favorite because it is so easy and effective.

Tea Tree essential oil for burns.
Camp stoves mixed with metal pots can be a dangerous combination.
human-torch-hand-on-fireWhen it comes to burns, after the initial neutralization of the burn with a cold compress, using a burn cream can help prevent infection. You’ll find that the active ingredient in many all-natural burn creams is melaleuca oil, also known as tea tree oil. Tea Tree oil is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral, which make it ideal to use in the healing process of a burn.

Petroleum jelly to start a fire.
A friend of ours demonstrated the flammability of petroleum jelly when he dropped some globs of it on some kindling and ignited a roaring fire for all of us within seconds. This is great because its just one ingredient unlike the fire starters I see on Pinterest which require multiple components and pre-preparation. To compare, we tried to start a fire with the lint fire starters that a different member of the group had brought which ended up taking much longer to get a good fire going than just using the petroleum jelly.

Freeze water in plastic bottles/jugs to use in a cooler.
I did not expect this trick to work as well as it did, honestly. Not only did it keep the melted, icy water contained so I didn’t have puddle making the things in our cooler soggy, but once it melted, we could drink the ice water inside which was much more refreshing than the water we could get out of the spigot on our campsite. BONUS: you save money here by not having to buy bags of ice, which was especially great for us because we had a huge cooler, but not much we needed to put in it, so it would’ve taken many bags of ice to fill. We used large soda bottles and a milk jug to freeze our water, but if you were worried about the frozen bottles being too bulky, you could fill multiple smaller bottles and place them strategically throughout.

Yoga mat as a sleeping pad.
I don’t know what it is about sleeping directly on the hard ground, but come morning my hips are always sore and achy. Yoga mats are a lightweight solution to give just enough cushion to be comfortable without having to lug around a bulky air mattress.

camping-jubileeBring on the nature!

Do you have any simple DIY camping tips and tricks you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, cheers!

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14 comments on “DIY Camping Essentials

  1. Pech
    July 20, 2015

    Ok seriously how does your hair look so fantastic, I’m staring at your fabulous hair on that first photo… If camping would involve bathroom facilities and showers that is the only way I would ever consider it, so right on with glamping.

    Like

    • Truly Cozy
      July 27, 2015

      You’re too kind! (not pictured above: a heap of curly, matted hair on the back of my head.) 😉

      Like

  2. What a great tip with the petroleum jelly! I would have never thought of that! And I agree with Pech – You make camping look beautiful!

    Like

    • Truly Cozy
      July 27, 2015

      Thank you, Erin! Yeah, that petroleum jelly was a total life-saver 🙂

      Like

  3. Renée ♥
    July 20, 2015

    We’ve never camped at Fisherman’s Bend, but we will definitely check it out now! Unfortunately, I share your mosquito attracting qualities. I often tell people when we are camping to just stand by me and they won’t ever get bitten. (It’s true!) I really like the idea of using essential oils to repel them – I’ve never been too keen on spraying who-knows-what on myself. Will have to give it a try. Great tips, Danielle.

    Like

    • Truly Cozy
      July 27, 2015

      I do sometimes feel like the group’s citronella candle. Sigh. Let me know if you try out the essential oils! They rule! 🙂

      Like

  4. Marlynn Jayme Schotland
    July 20, 2015

    Awesome tips! I’m an Oregon girl who was done with the roughing it kind of camping in my 20’s, so bring on glamping, I say. And, we actually just saw that Harry Potter scene because we watched Goblet of Fire last night again. What timing! You do make camping look great.

    Like

    • Truly Cozy
      July 27, 2015

      Thanks, Marlynn! Maybe I skipped the formative years of “roughing it” experiences, but I do enjoy having a clean bathroom even in the wilderness. #noshame 🙂

      Like

  5. The Person Next to You
    July 20, 2015

    These are great tips! My camping days are over, but I wish I had these life hacks when I used to do it! 🙂

    Like

  6. Melinda
    July 20, 2015

    Great tips! I had never heard that about petroleum jelly!

    Like

    • Truly Cozy
      July 27, 2015

      Me either before this trip! What a life-saver it was 🙂

      Like

  7. Jen
    July 20, 2015

    I didn’t know about petroleum jelly either! We did adopt the used-pretzel-jar-with-lid and a large tupperware as ice holders for the cooler, they kept everything dry and colder than a bag of ice would have. We tend to go a bit more rugged usually but this sounds like an awesome spot!

    Like

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