The sound of a tent zipping, the smell of a fire and the clear view of the stars. Summer means it’s time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Camping is a great way to truly enjoy the beauty of summer. But camping isn’t all s’mores and fireside stories, there’s always packing struggles, pesky bugs and trying to plan food. Here are some hacks and tips to help you camp like a pro.

Camping Hack #1: Gallon Jugs of Water as Ice Packs

Bringing ice camping can be difficult. It tends to melt quickly, leaving you with a watery mess. Not to mention any food stored in the cooler will also end up soaked and soggy.

Try freezing gallon jugs of water and using them as ice packs for a 2-for-1 special! They’re built with room for the water to expand so they won’t crack when frozen. As the ice warms and turns into water, you have fresh drinking water without having to haul extra and give up valuable cooler space for a pack of water bottles.

Camping Hack #2: Burn Sage to Repel Mosquitoes

Camping can be ruined by pesky mosquitoes.  Try burning bundles of sage with your fire. If you want a longer-lasting effect, let the sage smolder and smoke just outside of the fire. Sage is a natural repellant, helping save you from slathering yourself with bug repellent all night long.

Remember that mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so have your sage ready at those times. 

Camping Hack #3: Crack Eggs Ahead of Time

There’s nothing like a nice breakfast made over an open fire. Bringing fresh eggs is a risky choice, but not with this veteran camping tip: Instead of bringing whole eggs, crack your eggs before and store them in empty water bottles.

If you’re planning on scrambled eggs, you can whip the eggs together and then store them in a bottle. You could even add milk, cheese or any seasonings you’d prefer. If you are wanting fried eggs, find a water bottle with a slightly bigger opening so you can gently crack the eggs into it.

Camping Hack #4: Pack a Pair of Sleeping Socks

Wet feet are a terrible feeling! If you prefer to sleep in socks, or are camping on a chilly night, pack an extra pair of socks just to sleep in. Putting on fresh, dry socks will help you feel more comfortable. Changing your socks also helps your body differentiate between the busy day, and the restful night.

Putting clean socks into a sleeping bag will also help keep out any dust, dirt, bark, splinters, pine needles and whatever else from getting into your bag.

Camping Hack #5: Peel Strips of Soap

Being outside with the elements can leave you feeling grimy and dirty. If you have the chance to shower, or just need to be able to wash your hands, packing soap can be difficult.

Use a vegetable peeler to slice strips of soap. Keep them in a single baggie and then just pull one out as you need it.

Whether you’re camping just overnight or much longer, these camping tips will help you save room, be prepared, and possibly impress the friends or family you’re camping with!