Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

I love camping.  I love cooking when I camp.  I love anything that will make my life easier and more enjoyable.  Enter foodie life hacks.  These make me happy.  But are they all that helpful?

I have seen a ton of list posts about life hacks that, well, are pretty effing useless.  They rarely preform up to desired levels, and most times are more work than actually earning enough money to purchase what they are trying to replace.  I’m all for recycling and upcycling, but seriously folks, the madness needs to stop.  Here’s a detailed list of some of the more popular life hacks exposed.  Do they work, or are they just a waste of time?  Radtastic WIN or Epic FAIL?

The Gallon Jug light

Strap a head lamp to a gallon jug of water to create ambient light.

foodie life hack Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

First off, it says “strap a head lamp to a gallon jug…”  You will need a head lamp.  You should have a head lamp.  This is a GREAT invention.  Hands free directional light!  If you ever go camping, invest in one of these.  As far as using a jug of water to create ambient light, sure go for it.  Make sure the jug is the frosted white, otherwise you’re just a weirdo with a head lamp strapped to a jug.  BTW, the tent itself is pretty reflective, so you could also just hang said head lamp from the top of the tent, facing up…

Decision:  WIN

TIC TAC Spices

Fill TIC TAC containers with spices when you go camping!

foodie life hack2 Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

Let’s break this down.  We are first going to eat a whole helluva lot of tic tacs.  Seriously, to achieve the above photo, you’ll need to consume roughly 500-600 tic tacs.  Then we are going to somehow get the residual smell of mint or orange out of the containers.  Then we fill the containers with spices, presumably using a funnel as the process of putting spices into a tiny tic tac hole would cause anyone to curl up in a ball on the floor and cry.  Have you ever tried to use a funnel with powdered spices?  Then we are going to label them.  Seriously, Ef that shizz cowboy.  Anyone going off trail would not be bringing this assortment of spices, and anyone taking a car has the ability to drive to the dollar store and pick up some spices that (gasp!) already come in small, labeled, plastic containers.

Decision: FAIL

Individual Camping Coffee

Use coffee filters and floss to make your own individual coffee packages.

foodie life hack3 Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

Although it’s a bit of work, this is a pretty good idea in a pinch.  I personally bring a french press travel mug.  I can use it for any drinks, and use the press in the morning for coffee, loose tea, or more beer.

Decision: WIN

Hang pots with a belt

Use a belt to wrap around a tree to hang pots.

foodie life hack4 Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

DO NOT DO THIS.  DO NOT DO THIS.  DO NOT DO THIS.  DO NOT DO THIS.  DO NOT DO THIS.  Think about it for a wee moment.  If you have cooked anything besides boiling water, you are advertising to bears and other critters that there is food here, and are almost guaranteed to get a visitor during the night.  If you are car camping, you should be storing all your food and cooking gear in your car.  If you are camping off trail, you should be using bear proof containers.  Also… if you use your belt, how are you going to get up in the middle of the night to protect your camp from your stupidity of hanging pots and pans without your pants falling down.  At least use a rope for something like this.

Decision: FAIL

Use Doritos to start your fire

Use Doritos as kindling if you can’t find any.

foodie life hack5 Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

This works, but you waste valuable chips in the process.  I recommend spending a few moments to look for the kindling, then enjoying the satisfaction of finding it while eating Doritos.  You can use a hatchet to split smaller strips off larger logs as well…

Decision: WIN

Sippy cup wine glasses

Use convenient non spill plastic glassware when camping.

wine sippy cups Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

Now we’re talking.  Buy these sippy cup wine glasses here or use a real child’s sippy cup.  Personally, I recommend a travel mug.  They’re insulated, so you can use them for drinking anything hot or cold.

Decision: WIN

The Mountain Dew Lantern

Mountain Dew + baking soda + peroxide = lantern

mountain dew lantern Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

This does not even work.  It first made the rounds on Youtube.  Then on Pinterest.  This photo (screenshot from the video) and the creator of this needs to die a horrible, horrible death for shattering all of our collective dreams of making this happen.  Snopes article

Decision: FAIL

Campfire Crescent Rolls

Wrap crescent rolls or dough around a stick to make delicious breads and pastries.

campfire crescent rolls Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

Although cooking things on a stick is nothing new for campers, this is a pretty cook idea for making breads and pastries when camping.

Decision: WIN

Start a fire with a can of Coke and a chocolate bar

By rubbing chocolate on the bottom of a can of coke, you can start a fire using no matches or lighters.

start a fire with can and chocolate Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

In desperate situations, this will work.  Did you try your car’s cigarette lighter first?  Get the survival instructions here.

How to open a can without a can opener

Try this way with nothing…

…Or this way with a spoon…

Or even this way with a knife…

Decision: WIN, WIN, WIN!

Do this to your car

Trick out your trunk for camping or tailgate parties.

 Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?


Decision: WIN

Use Aluminium Foil

Use aluminium foil for… er, everything.

IMG 0953 760x567 Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

IMG 0952 760x567 Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

When I camp, I bring tin foil (aluminium foil).  This is the be all and end all of all camping hacks… a roll of aluminium foil.  You can roast meats and vegetables, make cinnamon apples, use it for a plate or bowl.  Seriously, there is very little you cannot accomplish with some heavy duty tin foil.  Just saying.


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3 thoughts on “Foodie Camping Life Hacks Exposed: WIN or FAIL?

  1. Jos Laflamme

    Interesting (critical) take on some of the hacks here. I had similar thoughts on quite a few of these, but opted to go with more concise explanations into why they were good or bad.

    Despite differences in opinion on some of these hacks, I am glad you tossed the pop-can/chocolate trick. That one gets overlooked far too often by people writing about how to start a fire.


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