21 Camping Hacks with Ziploc Bags
With summer having arrived, so has our outdoor agenda. We are spending more time outside for soccer and baseball games, trips to the beach and the cottage and enjoying some barbequing and picnicking trips. How can we make these excursions easier? There’s so much to pack and organize that sometimes we get a little overwhelmed by all the things we need to have.
On a recent sojourn, we came up with some serious life hacks for Ziploc bags. Almost everyone has a box of them in their kitchen drawer, but we bet you had no idea how many uses they have, especially for camping and travel.
You can thank us later…after you stock up on Ziploc bags.
1. Protect your valuables (money, bank cards, map, camp directions, garbage dump pass) while riding water rides, standing in the rain or pitching your tent…in the rain.
2. Ice an injury. Ziploc bags make for an excellent cold compress.
3. Remove chewing gum or candle wax from a towel, car seat, sleeping bag or clothes. Gently rub the gum or wax with a Ziploc bag filled with ice cubes until the substance hardens. Once the gum or wax hardens, shatter it with a hammer and pick up the chips. Carefully peel off any frozen wax with a spatula.
4. Before your trip, create a homemade first aid kit and store it in a Ziploc bag.
5. Make fudge: 1 lb. bag icing sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons butter, 3 ounce package of cream cheese, 2 1 gallon Ziploc bags. Combine all ingredients into one of the bags and seal it up. Place the filled bag into the other bag. Pass it around to all of the campers so that they can squish the contents until it is all mixed thoroughly then enjoy with a spoon.
6. If you don’t have a funnel on hand, cut a hole in the corner of a Ziploc bag.
7. Want to stay organized while camping? Pack 1 set of clothes for each day in its own large Ziploc bag. This way, you have your shorts, shirt, underwear, and socks all in one Ziploc bag, which saves on packing space.
8. Refrigerate pre-marinated meats inside a Ziploc bag and pack for cooking on the grill or fire.
9. Save on packing space by using your vacuum cleaner to suck all of the air out of your Ziploc bags. This allows you to store pillows, blankets, and sweaters at 1/2 to 1/10 of their original size.
10. You can also store markers and pens in a Ziploc bag. This way, the kids can easily open and close the bags when needed in the car, in the tent, anywhere.
11. Store your napkins in a Ziploc bag to prevent them from flying away.
12. Use Ziploc bags to store toothpaste, shampoo, and makeup. If anything spills or leaks, everything else is protected.
13. Make pancakes: pack pancake mix in a Ziplock bag. Add water or milk to mix when you’re making breakfast and ask a wee helper to shake it for you. Cook and serve.
14. Keep wet wipes in a Ziploc baggie in the glove box, back pack, trunk, jacket pocket, cooler and back seat. You’re always ready for messy hands and spills.
15. Souvenir Protector: Pack fragile souvenirs in your suitcase, surrounded by two or three Ziplocs filled with air – or you can use the ones with socks/underwear to help protect the souvenirs too. Kids will also want to bring home non-fragile-to-you items like rocks, leaves, pressed flowers and other wild and natural paraphernalia.
16. Camera Poncho: A large-sized Ziploc is a great way to protect your camera in the rain. Cut a hole just barely big enough for your lens to stick through and put the camera and lens inside the bag – use a rubber band to hold it tight to the end of the lens. Operate the camera with your hand inside the bag.
17. Travel Hamper: Take several XL Ziplocs to keep your dirty clothes zipped up tight and away from the clean ones.
18. Make a coffee kit with your favorite coffee or tea, including filters, sugar, creamer, etc. You can’t go without coffee, even in the wild.
19. Keep pre-shredded cheese in a Ziplock bag for quick toasted cheese sammies on the campfire.
20. Make ice cream: 1/2 Cup of milk, 1/4 Cup of half and half, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, 2 cups of ice, 2 sandwich size Ziploc bags, 1 gallon size Ziploc bag. Put one of the small bags inside the other one and then add the sugar, milk, half and half and the vanilla extract into the inside bag then seal both bags after removing as much air as possible. Put the small bags into the large one and add the salt and the ice and seal. Let the littles shake the bag around for 5 to 10 minutes. The ice cream will be soft and ready to serve.
21. And of course, you can always use Ziploc bags for their traditional use of packing sandwiches and snacks.
Remember: help save the environment and recycle your bags—easy to wash and set out to dry, you can use them over and over.
What’s your favourite life hack using Ziploc bags?
When the Ziploc bag was invented in 1954, it was intended to be used as a pencil bag. It took a 5th Grader, in a National Science Fair, to demonstrate that the Ziploc bags could be used to store food. Today the Ziploc bags have numerous of uses from home organization, to hobbies and crafts, and of course the kitchen.