As spring rolls into summer, we’ve got camping on our minds. Your first trip into the woods this year will be better if you go prepared. Here are a dozen clever camping hacks to be safer, more comfortable, fight off pests, and just have more fun. There’s no harm in a few luxuries even when you head out to rough it.

1. Let there be light at night! Paint the inside of a jar with a non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paint for a super easy DIY lantern. Or – bonus tip – strap a head lamp to a gallon jug of water to fill your tent with ambient light.

2. Lay down a mat of lightweight foam tiles – easy to pack and carry – for a more comfortable tent floor.

3. Watch out for ticks that can carry Lyme disease.Fill a spray bottle with one part tea tree oil and two parts water and spray the solution on shoes, socks and pant cuffs.

4. Speaking of camping pests, add bundles of sage to your campfire to ward off mosquitoes.

5. When hiking, use biodegradable trail marking tape along your way for an easy way to find your way back to the campsite.

6. Dip cotton cosmetic pads in wax and pack them along for a fire-starter.

7. Got ants? Show them some grit. Dry grits sprinkled on their path will send them scurrying away.

8. Portable eggs: crack eight eggs into a water bottle for easy carrying. They’re already scrambled!

9. Use duct tape to close a wound. If you can’t get medical help, duct tape strips applied along the length of a laceration make a good DIY substitute for stitches until you can get treatment.

10. Cut a straw into pieces and pack with antibiotic ointment and toothpaste (don’t mix them up!) for easy single-use packets.

11. Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder. And be sure to have strike-anywhere matches inside.

12. Got an itch from bug bites or activity scratches? A swipe of deodorant calms the irritation. 

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