Camping is a rite of passage for most American families. You get to enjoy both the great outdoors and each other’s company, and feel the satisfaction of total self-reliance all the while.

But while you may well have spent weekends camping since before you could speak, there are always better ways to do things. In fact, you may be surprised at the amount of camping hacks you’ve been missing out on over the journey! Here are 8 of the best.

  1.       Protect the TP

toilet paper roll on white wall for camping

Many of us have experienced the feeling – you go grabbing for the toilet paper while camping, only to find it crumpled up, or worse, wet through. It doesn’t have to be this way. Simply find an appropriately sized plastic jar with a screw on lid (a large peanut butter jar, for example) and cut a slit in the side. It’s then simply a matter of placing the toilet paper inside, and feeding the end through the slit!

  1.       Belt up your cooking utensils

cooking pots and pans in grey and black

Your cooking utensils are some of the bulkiest items you’ll take on your trip, but with the simple combination of a belt and some plastic or metal hooks, you can keep them out of the way and add a bit of class to your campsite! Simply tighten the belt around a tree with the hooks evenly spaced around it. You can then hang up your pots, pans, forks and ladles with ease!

  1.       A bottle of scrambled eggs

eggs in a metal basket with a light feather

Why worry about packing fragile eggs if they’re just going to be scrambled when you eat them anyway? Save yourself the hassle of cracked shells by shaking up eggs in a big plastic bottle. Draw a level on the outside to indicate how much of the mix represents 2 eggs.

  1.       Make your music boom

small car next to a tent in forest people camping

You may not know it, but you probably have a high-end portable speaker packed in your car already! Simply place your phone in a mug or bowl to amplify the sound a surprising amount.

  1.       A DIY lantern

lit up golden lantern with a sunset background

If you’re a seasoned camper you’ve probably already packed a headlamp for late night fun. But did you know that when combined with an empty milk container your headlamp can double as a lantern? Simply cut a hole in the side of the container, and poke the headlamp through!

  1.       Doritos as kindling

 chips laid out in a bowl

If it’s been raining or you’re in an area that is devoid of twigs, getting a fire started can be a tricky business. Never fear – if you’ve got a packet of Doritos, you’ve got ready-made (and delicious) kindling sitting right in your tent!

  1.       Egg carton barbecue

dozen egg carton with black background

For a simple and effective barbecue option, place 12 pieces of charcoal in an empty egg carton. You can light the egg carton with a match, and it will burn long enough for the charcoal to generate some real heat!

  1.       Shave your soap

soap shaving for camping tips

By using a vegetable peeler to shave slices off of your bar of soap, you’ll have created single use portions that make sharing soap a breeze, and that ensure that you won’t lose a whole bar by dropping it in a lake or stream!