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It’s easy to remember the essentials when packing for the family camping trip, but there are a few secret items that will not only make your vacation more fun but also much easier.

“These simple tips may not turn you into Survivorman but they will make you look like a campground hero to your friends and family” says Mark Bingeman, of Bingemans Camping Resort in Kitchener.  

1. A bar of regular soap – Other than for the obvious reason, you can also use a regular bar of soap to stop the bottom of your pans from getting burned on an open flame. Just rub the bottom of the pans with the soap before using and after you’re done, any black scorching will come off with no hassle.

2. Pita bread – Pita bread packs much better and stays in better shape than regular sliced bread. You won’t have to worry about how you can keep your sandwich fixings from getting crushed and at the same time, save on space.

3. Cardboard tubes and newspaper – Before going camping save up all of your cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper. Before the big trip stuff them with newspaper to create handy fire starters. Once you’ve stacked your firewood in a fire pit you can light the fire starters and place under the firewood.

4. Garlic – Most people that take garlic to the campground use it just for cooking, however you can finely chop the garlic and mix it with water to create a natural insect repellant. Use a spray bottle to spray the garlic water mixture around your site to help keep insects away in a more natural way. 

5. Glow sticks/bracelets – Glow sticks or glow bracelets are a cheap way to make your campsite safer without ruining the camping ambiance. Glow sticks and bracelets can be wrapped around tent pegs, fallen branches or other objects that you might want to highlight in the dark. You can also use them to light a path to your tents if your fire pit is a little ways away or just give them to the kids as flashy nightlights. Glow sticks are a great subtle light that won’t ruin the fire or block out the stars.

Tips courtesy of Bingemans Camping Resort, Kitchener

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