3 Favorite Camping Tips Plus A Free Camp Recipe Printable!

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Solar powered twinkle lights, propane lanterns & stunning bonfires. The night time portion of camping seems magical at times and it’s actually our favorite part of the camping experience.

Having proper lighting is crucial when camping. We love the high power lighting a propane lantern gives off, or the gorgeous glow of a campfire. (Campfire tip: Use an old dryer barrel as a campfire, it keeps the flames and burning wood contained while allowing sufficient airflow through the holes for a bright burning fire!) But flashlights and headlamps are no doubt essential when venturing into the wonderful world of camping.

Our family much prefers the headlamps over flashlights. They keep your hands free while able to focus at the task at hand. We always had battery powered headlamps from generic to name brand. So we were ecstatic to try a rechargeable headlamp for the first time by Biolite, and we were incredibly impressed!

Biolite Headlamp 200 is a perfect tool for any camper. It gives off a whopping 200 lumens which is significantly brighter than the headlamps we have on hand. I love that the band is soft and comfortable, and the headlamp itself is compact and not bulky. The Biolite Headlamp 200 stayed put and did not bounce around. This came in handy when we ran into a bit of trouble with severe thunderstorms one evening, and needed to do some tent repairs in the middle of the night. It has several lighting functions and easily tilts when needed.

My favorite feature is that the Biolite Headlamp 200 is RECHARGEABLE! That means no more battery waste! It can last 40 hours on low and 3 hours on high. After our second night of using it on high, it was time to recharge. There was no problem hooking it up to our solar charger and getting a full charge using the provided USB cord for the day.

Since Biolite is very bright, the red light function is perfect to use when traveling back and forth between campsites or even trips to the bathroom. It was bright enough to see but dim enough not to blind other campers you may pass. By far one of the most innovative headlamps we have tried and we will definitely be switching out our battery powered headlamps for Biolite.

You can even use your Biolite headlamp to make a DIY camping lantern!! Simply fill a gallon jug (we used an empty milk container) with water, and strap the headlamp around it. It created a soft glow that illuminated our entire tent!

Stay Organized!

Keeping organized while camping not only helps everything function smoothly while outdoors, but helps keep your sanity! We have learned so much over the past 15 years camping together as a family; from making smart investments to being creative with organizing.

Camp kitchens can be the easiest spot on your campsite to have an accident happen, so keeping it organized and clutter free is rather important. Using a simple bin system to store your camp kitchen essentials or even using a camp kitchen organizer can be really helpful when keeping your cooking space clear to avoid mishaps with propane, fire, or even coals.

We love using the simple, yet effective bin system in storing our essential gear. We have used basic plastic totes in the past, but since upgraded to a more rugged tote (Rubbermaid’s Action Packer) that can withstand the elements and even act as seat if needed. It was a great investment on our end and something that not only protects our gear, but helps keep it organized as well.

Campers have gotten incredibly creative with storage ideas from using hanging mesh stuffed animal holders, plastic drawers on wheels, to even creative builds with egg crates. My mother-in-law loves using old tic-tac containers to hold spices, and we love the versatility of carabiners to hang up essentials to keep them in sight yet out of the way.

Do you have fun and innovative ways to keep your camp gear organized?

Have Fun Cooking!

Amp up your s’mores game! What is camping without s’mores? As much as we love our basic Hershey chocolate, graham cracker & marshmallow goodness. Switching out the Hershey bar for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or my husband’s favorite Cookies & Cream Bar, can add a fun twist to an old favorite that the campers will always remember and enjoy.

When it comes to camp food, always think make ahead meals, foil packet meals and non-perishables. We love making walking tacos, foil packet pizza logs and even camp mac and cheese! There are so many amazing camp recipes to try that it really makes camping that much more special with these memorable meals.

You can even look into investing in a ‘shake and roll ice cream maker‘. The campers pass around & shake a special ice cream maker ball while making ‘homemade‘ ice cream right on the campsite. It’s a fun 20 minute activity that ends with a sweet treat everyone would enjoy.

Camp Mac and Cheese

Camp Mac & Cheese

Our favorite camp mac & cheese recipe that does not dry out, freezes well and reheats perfectly in an oven, grill or campfire! It always comes out ooey, gooey with cheesy goodness over a hot campfire or camp stove! Also makes a great meal for the meal preppers out there due to how well it freezes and reheats!
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 Cups Elbow Macaroni
  • 8 ounces Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Set 1/2 cup aside to top your mac & cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Boil your macaroni elbows according to the directions on the box and drain the water once the macaroni's are soft enough.
  • Coat the drained macaroni with 8 oz of Alfredo sauce. I find that this helps keeping the macaroni and cheese from drying out while cooking over a fire and also allows it freeze really well!
  • Mix in the 1/2 cup of Sharp Cheddar, 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese and 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Add your 1/2 cup of whole milk, or what we prefer, 1/2 & 1/2. This helps keep the cheese loose and bubbly when cooking over the fire or camp stove. (I have even added an extra splash of milk in my tins for extra creaminess!) Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Spoon your mixture in your cooking tins that have been sprayed with 'High Heat Cooking Spray'. It can be a large shallow cooking tin, or multiple smaller ones (which I prefer).
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar over top. If you feel an extra splash of milk is needed, now is the time to add.
  • Cover with tin foil and freeze or store in the refrigerator until your Camp Mac until its ready to cook.
  • If cooking immediately the next day over a camp grill or fire, it can take around 5-8 minutes to heat through and become yummy gooey goodness. If frozen, it can take approximately 8-12 minutes to heat through. Just keep peeking under the foil to spot the bubbling cheese.

Notes

Camp Mac and CheeseCamp Mac & Cheese has been such a hit I would have to quadruple the recipe 🙂 There is anywhere from 16-30 family members who join us every year camping, and this has become a camp food staple that everyone looks forward to!

What is your favorite camping tip? Let us know!

Looking for more family activities or travel needs? Check these great reads on BeautyBrite.

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