Well, at least the creative thinking behind these camping tricks will train you to think on your toes in desperate situations. Here are 3 unusual camping tricks that will make your outdoors experience better.
I'm a hula hooper, so I have a light up hula hoop. It's battery operated and the batteries are rechargeable, not to mention that the thing gives off a lot of light. We hung 3 bungee cords from the top of our canopy and hooked it to my hula hoop, so that it hung horizontally and poof! We had a chandelier, of sorts, that lit up our canopy at night.
Even if you don't have a hoop, I'm sure your kids have a similar light up something or other. Use it to bring light to your campsite after the sun goes down. A bunch of glow sticks will also do the trick (although they aren't as bright).
QUICK SIDE NOTE: See the blue twinkle lights also in the photo? Those are solar-powered string lights. They work well for lighting up the canopy at night without using batteries. Just make sure that the little panel that soaks up the solar energy is actually out facing the sun during the day. Otherwise, the lights don't shine that bright or at all.
Now, were it an actual zombie apocalypse, the solar-powered twinkle lights would still work. However, I'm guessing that they aren't going to be in the list of things you grab during an emergency and carry around with you while avoiding/slaying the undead. So, for light at night, let's go with fire and/or captured lightning bugs in water bottles.
Use a paper towel roll that is about 3/4 used as an oven mitt. Huh? Here's what happened...
We had a pan to cook our eggs in, but we needed to close the grill cover in order for the other food to cook more quickly. The grill cover was closed with the pan inside, and what happened? When we opened it and Jonathan grabbed the handle of the pan to stir the eggs, he yelled.
Yeah, the handle was piping hot. Of course...but who thinks to bring an oven mitt camping? Well, we will from now on but that didn't help the current situation. Jonathan folded up a paper towel and tried to grab the handle, but that didn't cut it either.
I yelled over, "Use the paper towel roll." He said, "I did." I said, "No. Not a paper towel...the paper towel ROLL." He looked at me with a blank face.
I went over, grabbed the paper towel roll that had maybe a 1/4 of the paper towels still on it, put the handle of the pan in the cardboard part, squeezed the paper towels around it and picked up the pan. It worked. It worked well, so that's what we did for the rest of the trip.
During the zombie apocalypse, I'm again going to assume something...that you won't be leisurely cooking eggs in a pan on a grill. However, if you do have a pan, it can also double as a zombie head smasher so there's that.
You can never have enough tarps when you're camping. When we attend music festivals, we use tarps all over our campsite.
One time we used a cut-up tarp as a gutter between canopies, so the rain wouldn't fall between them. There are hundreds of ways to use tarps when you're outdoors, so always have at least one extra just in case.
As for the zombie apocalypse, have you seen The Walking Dead? They use tarps all of the time. They sleep on them, they use them as shelters, to catch rain water and even as blankets. If the world ends, one of the things I'd like to have on me at all times is a tarp.