Camping with a group of grown-ups can be pretty straight-forward, but throw in a few 10 and under campers, and it’s a whole other ball game. Scratching your head to figure out diaper dilemmas, fire proofing, and puzzling sleep situations — does a travel crib fit in a tent? Thankfully with these hacks, your family camping experience can be changed 180 with minimal effort. Fresh air adventures can be just as fun and relaxing when pint-sized explorers tagging along.

1. Make a tent floor instantly crawl-friendly by laying down a set of foam tiles. Your little one’s knees will thank you. 

camping-hack-2Photo and idea credit: A Little Campy

2. Who says grilling is the only mode of cooking at a camp site? Wrap crescent rolls around a barkless Y-shaped stick and cooking it over a fire. Big kids will love to get in on this “baking” action, too. Listen to those tiny tummies rumble with joy.

camping-hack-crescent-rollPhoto and idea credot: Instructables

3. Strap a head lamp to a jug of water to make a lantern that fills your entire tent with soft light, which makes it easier to keep tabs on the little one overnight. Eureka!

milk-jug-lanternPhoto and idea credit: Viral Survival

4. Keep grubby palms clean (and a chunky bar of soap from being dropped in mud and ruined) with single-use soap leaves. You can make them in bulk pre-campout by running a vegetable peeler along a bar of anti-bacterial soap. Bonus: In a pinch, you can also rub one of the soap leaves on a mosquito bite to relieve the itchiness. 

Make-single-use-soap-leaves-from-a-bar-of-soap-and-a-vegetable-peelerPhoto and idea credit: My Honeys Place

5. Who wants to spend their entire camping trip searching for toothpaste, sippy cups, or cooking utensils? Save yourself the hastle by stashing the family’s little camping must-haves in a shoe organizer.

Camping-Organizer-450x600Photo and idea credit: Starling Travel

6. Forget messy bags of ice that melt fast and attract specks of dirt and bugs. Use freeze jugs of water and place them in your cooler with your keep-chilled goods (milk, baby food, string cheese) instead. And as the “ice jugs” melt you can drink the water.  

camping-hack-ice-coolerPhoto and idea credit: Make Happy

7. Got a knack for misplacing your tent stakes? Save your sanity and little one’s threads by cutting off a small piece of corrugated cardboard from the flap of an old box, and sliding each stake into one of the holes. 

camping-hack-tent-stakesPhoto and idea credit: Brian Green

8. Keep TP dry by slipping a roll into an empty and clean coffee can with a lid. It’s so simple—we can’t believe we didn’t think of this first.

toilet-paper-hackPhoto and idea credit: Home Talk

9. Easy water access around camp is just an empty laundry detergent bottle away! Find one with a spigot, and after using the detergent rinse it out completely. Fill it with H2O so that campers can easily wash hands and dishes without wasting a ton of water. 

laundry-detergent-water-dispenserPhoto and idea credit: Great Wild Outdoors

10. Start a fire in a snap with your favorite snack—Doritos! Research shows that the chemicals in the Doritos flavor powder teamed with the oils in the chips creates the perfect combo for combustion. 

doritos-kindling-camping-fire-starterPhoto and idea credit: The Qi Ranger

Did we leave any amazing camping with kids hacks off of this list? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady