This is a good thread! When we go camping, just about every thing we do is a trick, tip or custom!
Here's some of ours (though most seasoned campers know all my tricks and tips);
1. Before you go camping, pre-measure pancake or waffle mix in recycled plastic containers. Use the kind of mix that requires water only to be added. That way, you just have to add water to the container and shake it up to use it.
2. Bring some wooden shims to help level off your Coleman stove stand. Cooking is always easier on a level surface.
3. Wipe some dish soap on the outside of your percolator or pots before using them on a fire or a stove. Makes cleanup a snap! Not necessary on cast iron.
4. Dollar store dog chains make great lantern hangers.
5. A bungee cord makes a great paper towel roll holder on your picnic table, folding table or up in the corner of your EZ Up canopy.
6. A set of white LED string lights (battery operated) makes a perfect light inside your cabin tent. These LED string lights are readily available right now because all the Christmas lights are out on display and for sale. They are under seven bucks and last a whole trip or more on battery power.
7. Dollar store foot powder (mentholated) keeps critters off your picnic table, when you can't use firearms.
Sprinkle it on the benches, or sparsely on the table top. Field tested, kept annoying squirrels off our table.
8. LED headlights have become one of my "must have" items when camping. Having hands free lighting for many tasks has proven to be an essential accessory. Get one for every family member. Still cheap at Wal-Mart. Great stocking stuffers for kids.
9. Rubbing some wax, oil, graphite or silicone lube on tent zippers will renew many old zippers that don't work properly, keep good zippers working smoothly and quiet some zippers. Remember to lube those tent zippers!
10. Small spring clamps are good to add to your camping box. They are good for several uses including hanging towels to dry, hanging privacy blinds on your EZ Up canopy, hanging string lights in your tent, holding tent doors open, etc.
11. Propane bottle torch. I always bring a propane torch when car camping now. So much easier and more dependable than matches or BBQ lighters. Great for stoves, lanterns, campfires and trimming rope. Tip; pack it in your suitcase stove.
12. In hot weather, freeze your milk (or a quart at least) and your water bottles (or a gallon) before you leave and put them in your camp cooler. Stays colder and keeps your food in the cooler colder as well.
13. Refill your one pound propane bottles. Invest in a Mac Coupler or similar refilling device. Saves a fortune on those increasingly expensive mini propane tanks. Also, check at campground recycling stations for once used propane bottles. Seems so silly to throw out those metal one pound propane tanks. You'll feel good about keeping those out of the landfills!
14. Store salt and pepper in a 35mm film container (if you still have one around!). They are the perfect size for a camping trip.
15. A used coffee can makes a good, waterproof container for a box of wooden strike anywhere matches.
16. Dollar store paper towel roll holders can be mounted beneath many plastic folding tables, giving easy access to paper towels and protecting the paper towels from the elements at the same time.
I fit one under my 6' fold in half table and one under my 2' x 4' fold in half table.
I actually got a two pack of paper towel roll holders for a buck at my local dollar (and more) store. Great deal!
I did not want to mount the holder on the edge of the table because it would interfere with the storage and transport of the table.
Next, I want devise a way to mount a bottle opener on a folding table (not just by using a tether!).
Gary Coleman, I am. I.C.C.C. #1035 Gettysburg Camping Trip, June 9-14, 2020, at Artillery Ridge Campground.