People sitting near a fire pit in front of an RV, with a purple square and the words "10 cool camping ideas to try"

10 Cool Camping Ideas to Try

When you hear “camping ideas,” what comes to mind? It could be a lot of things — different places to camp, different styles of camping (RVing versus backpacking versus car camping, for example), recipes, the best new gear, camping apps, or dozens of other things.

Here at Harvest Hosts, we think of all of those things when we think about camping ideas. And when we think of “cool” camping ideas, although that could still mean hundreds of different things, we think of tips and hacks that are a bit outside the box. Ideas that not everyone is doing, concepts that are new and maybe even a bit out there, and things that elicit “whoa!” or of course, “cool!”
So without further ado, we bring you 10 fresh and cool camping ideas. Be sure to comment at the end of this article and let us know which ones you’ve tried, which ones you’d like to try, and which ideas we missed. Happy experimenting!

1. Campfire Pizza Rolls

Pizza definitely isn’t traditional camp food, but who says it can’t be? This camping hack is perfect for the first night of camping, when you need something quick while you get everything situated.

Grab a refrigerated pizza (ideally from your store’s deli section, not frozen) and let it come up to room temperature on your drive. When you’re ready to eat, carefully roll the pizza up into a log, then slice it into individual pieces. Wrap them in foil and stick each one on the campfire for about 30 minutes until they’re melty and delicious!

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2. Have a Scavenger Hunt

This is a super fun, unique camping idea whether your group has children or it’s all adults. Putting together a campsite scavenger hunt is a totally free form of entertainment, and it requires everyone to think outside the box. Include items both found in nature and in camp, such as leaves or berries from a specific tree and s’mores roasting sticks.

Photo by The Backcountry Kitchen

3. Tic Tac Spice Containers

Not only is this one of the most clever food-related camping ideas, it’s also one of the simplest. Take empty Tic Tac boxes (and who doesn’t enjoy classic Tic Tacs, anyway?!) and fill them with various seasonings or cooking oils. This eliminates needing to pack bulky containers, and you can even throw them all in a ziplock bag or plastic container.

4. Light the Night

We’ve all been there: you have to go across camp when it’s pitch-black, either to use the restroom or to retrieve something. Inevitably, you stub your toe, trip, or nearly fall. Using dollar store glow sticks or solar stake lights around your campsite can solve this problem!

Place them strategically at the corners of your RV, in a perimeter around your dining area, or even in a path to the bathroom. Just be sure they “charge” before it gets dark!

Photo by Solo Stove

5. BYOF (Bring Your Own Fire)

There’s nothing quite like sitting around a campfire on chilly evenings. However, that’s sometimes easier said than done. At some campsites, the fire pit is so far away it’s inconvenient and others may not have fire pits at all.

That’s exactly why bringing your own personal fire pit is one of the best camping ideas. Solo Stove’s Ranger 2.0 model is fairly compact and lightweight (about 15 pounds, plus it comes with a carrying case to make transport even easier), while BioLite’s FirePit+ burns both wood and charcoal, and even comes with a Bluetooth app!

Personal fire pits are a bit pricey, but you’ll forget all about the price tag when you’re enjoying the campfire just outside your door!

6. Switch to Reusable

Being green (i.e., more environmentally-friendly) is in, which is why this simple, practical switch is one of the best cool camping ideas. Single-use plastic and paper goods for camping, such as utensils, plates, and cups are convenient, but they’re terrible for nature.

Make the switch to a stainless-steel water bottle and add some reusable utensils, plates, and bowls to your gear arsenal. We absolutely love this all-in-one mess kit from UCO.

Photo credit: The Many Little Joys

7. Campfire Eclairs

Instead of traditional s’mores on your next camping trip, try campfire eclairs (sometimes also called Woof’ems). And to the purists out there: we love classic, gooey s’mores just as much as anyone, so don’t come for us! Remember, this article is on fun, cool camping ideas!

All you need is refrigerated crescent roll dough, vanilla pudding or whipped cream, and chocolate frosting or Nutella. This camping food feels fancy but is incredibly easy, not to mention tasty!

8. Water Bottles = DIY Personal Heaters

Evenings can get mighty chilly at camp, sometimes even when you’re snuggled up inside your RV. For especially cold nights or when you don’t want to run your heater, fill up water bottles with hot water (classic Nalgene bottles work great) just before bed. Tuck one or two of them in your bedding and you’ll be warm for hours!

Photo credit: Winnebago

9. Movie Night, Camp-style

Movies and camping may not initially seem like they go together, but hold that thought. With a fairly affordable projector and a large surface (the side of your RV or tent wall works great!), you can create a movie night everyone will love. Be sure to download whatever you want to watch ahead of time on a USB flash drive or SD card. Ahh, technology.

10. Join Harvest Hosts

Pardon the shameless plug, but in all seriousness, joining Harvest Hosts really is one of the coolest camping ideas! It lets you meet new people, visit areas you may not have otherwise, and support awesome small businesses. Plus, instead of camping in an RV park, you have the opportunity to sleep in vineyards, at breweries or golf courses, on farms, and so many other unique spots. What could be cooler than that?!

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