The crackle of the fire, smell of pine trees and feel of dirt underfoot-camping is an incredible experience not to be missed. But it also can go wrong. So whether you’re a seasoned camper or just beginning, there’s always something to learn. We’re making it easy with our favorite camping hacks.

1. Make your own lantern

It’s easy! Just strap your headlamp to your water bottle or 4-liter bottle of water with the light facing into the water. It disperses the light!

2. Warm up with a Nalgene

Do you get cold at night? Keep warm by filling up your plastic water bottle with hot water and putting it in the bottom of your sleeping bag at bedtime.

3. Line your pack to keep it dry

Going backpacking in the rain? No problem. Get a heavy-duty garbage bag and line your pack with it. It’ll keep everything dry!

4. Use a stuff sack for a pillow

Not wanting to get a pillow from home dirty, or saving weight during a backpacking trip? It’s easy to make your own pillow. Just stuff some clothing into a stuff sack and snooze the night away.

5. Use candle wax to lubricate your zipper

If your zipper is getting a little worn, just apply a little bit of candle wax from an unlit candle, and voila!

6. Dry your down sleeping bag with tennis balls

If you’re washing your down sleeping bag at home, you’ll want to make sure it comes out of the dryer fluffy. Just throw a tennis ball or two into the dryer, and it will help fluff it up.

7. Make a tripod with trekking poles and a stick

Want an easy solution for taking pictures in the backcountry alone? Take your pictures by making a tripod with two trekking poles and an additional stick. Tie it together with some rope, and you’re ready to snap away.

8. Use condiment squeeze bottles for breakfast

Before you leave your kitchen fill a clean condiment bottle with pre-made pancake mix or scrambled eggs. It’s easy peazy to whip up breakfast when you’re out in the woods!

9. Keep track of your cooler’s temperature

Just mount a thermometer inside with a strip of Velcro, and you’ll always be sure your food is good to eat.

10. Keep your cooler cool without the mess

It’s yucky to have your food floating in melting ice. Just freeze a few jugs of water to put in your cooler instead of ice, and you’ll avoid the problem entirely.

11. Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder

Buy a big box of strike-anywhere matches, place a few in a smaller carrying case and glue on some sandpaper. It makes it easy to start a fire wherever you are.

12. Use lint as a fire starter

It’s super flammable! The next time you’re drying your clothes, store a little in a plastic sandwich bag to take with you on your next camping trip.

13. Use Tic-Tac boxes for spices

They’re small, portable and keep your spices separate. Plus, you get to have minty-fresh breath beforehand!

14. Use a straw for antibiotics ointment and toothpaste

Squeeze your ointment or toothpaste into the straw and seal it up with a lighter afterwards. Cut them up into pieces, and you’ll have single-serving packets.

15. Make coffee bags out of filters and dental floss

Making coffee in the woods can be hard. Make it easier by placing a scoop of coffee grounds into a coffee filter and tying it up with dental floss. When you’re in the woods, use it like you would a teabag.

16. Use a microfiber towel

They’re super absorbent and lightweight, making them ideal for heading out into the great outdoors.

17. Pack extra maps

Want good karma? Print extra paper maps for the people you know you’ll come across asking,” where are we?”

18. Bring paracord and duct tape

Wrap extra duct tape around a trekking pole or water bottle-you will have so many more uses for it than you expect. You’ll also probably need extra cordage too (like for that tripod above). Tie some around a trekking pole and you’ll be ready to make a clothesline, shoelace or bear bag rope.

19. Wash your clothes

If you get stinky in the outdoors, you might want to wash your clothes. Throw a few items in a 4 liter sealable plastic bag, add a couple of drops of biodegradable soap and shake vigorously. Refill it with clean water to rinse.

20. Put clothes and a snack in your car

Reaching your car after your trip is bittersweet. What makes the drive home so much better is a set of clean clothes, comfy shoes and a snack to enjoy.