3-Day Camping Hacks

Last week, we shared some walking hacks for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, and if you thought those were good, wait until you see what tricks are up our sleeves for making your Komen 3-Day camp experience easier and better than you imagined it could be.

1. Everyone’s bags tend to look alike when you go to claim them at camp. Make yours stand out by tying on a colorful scarf or marking it with vibrant duct tape.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks scarf on bag
We might suggest a color other than pink; not that we don’t love pink, but if everyone uses the same color, it kind of defeats the purpose.

2. Pack each day’s clothes (including socks and underwear) in a separate 2 gallon Ziploc bag.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks ziploc bags clothes This makes it easy to find the day’s clothes in the morning darkness of your tent, and gives you a bag to put your dirty clothes in, keeping them separated from everything else in your bag. Pack your lounge wear for camp, PJs and extra undies in bags too, and bring a couple extras.

3. Instead of taking up space in your luggage with a pillow, just bring a pillow case filled with clean clothes you’re going to wear.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks clothes in pillow case

4. A yoga mat makes a great sleeping pad.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks yoga mat sleeping pad It also takes up less room (in your luggage and in your tent) than an air mattress.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks yoga mat luggage

5. Bring single servings of toiletries in straws. This hack takes a bit of work (see the how-to here), but every little bit of luggage space and weight counts!

6. Worried about travel-size shampoos and lotions leaking in your bag? Put some plastic wrap over the opening then screw the cap back on.

7. If you use the 3-Day towel service, instead of pitching your towels into the bin immediately after you use them, take them back to your tent and use one as a doormat.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks towel doormat Save the other to put on the floor of the shower stall tomorrow for a makeshift bath mat. Then put it in the bin.

8. If your feet/legs hurt at the end of your day of walking, you can use your duffle bag as a foot rest to keep your tootsies elevated during the night.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks bag as foot rest (This method works well if you’re sleeping on a flat camp roll or yoga mat…not so well on an air mattress.)

9. 1-inch binder clips are the perfect size to clip around the cross-poles of your tent.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks binder clips for tent Use them to secure the rain flaps open, to fasten a tarp or plastic sheeting over the top, or to attach tent decorations.

10. If you dread the thought of disrobing from your PJs in the cold morning air, get dressed in the next day’s clothes before you go to sleep. You’ll wake up toasty warm, and may even snag 5 extra minutes of shut-eye because you’re already dressed!


Got any good 3-Day camping hacks? Let us know in the comments

(Thank you to first time San Diego walker Kenzie D. for modeling these hacks! Oh, and here’s what happens when you leave your camera unattended with your teenage model… )Komen_3day_camping hacks_teenage silliness


21 thoughts on “3-Day Camping Hacks

  1. Love these hacks! Another one my team uses is to add the thermacare back heatwraps in your sleeping back. Open one up about 1/2 hour before bed and then tuck it in your sleeping bag with you (not necessarily strap it on, just put it in your sleeping bag). This will add some heat to your sleep AND if the morning starts cold, you can wrap it on you and wear for the first few miles of the chilly morning! Then just dispose of at the first (or 2nd 😉 ) pitstop.

  2. Secure your tarp/shower curtain/whatever you bring to cover your tent to your tent with binder clips before putting on your rain fly. It will help keep the cover from flapping loudly in the wind all night.

    Bring an extra tarp to cover your gear so you can leave it outside your tent at night, giving you more room inside for you and your tent mate.

    Remember, the gear and tent team judges the tent decorating contest, so if your tent looks like caused your bag to weigh three tons, (and possibly caused someone to injure themselves lifting it) you’re not likely to be picked no matter how amazing it is. Keep it simple!

  3. Great tip, Alison! I’m a big fan of the hand warmers in the morning, but I hadn’t thought about a heat wrap in my sleeping bag! SO going to try that in Seattle! ~Erin

  4. AH-mazing tips. We may just have to do another hacks post with all the great ideas we’re seeing in comments!

  5. My personal hack…
    I bring a backpacking backpack instead of a duffle bag. It is easier on the legs because I strap it to me and it doesn’t put me off-balance when walking back to the tent and the strap doesn’t dig into the shoulders… 🙂 And, of course, no one else has one! 😉

    I also save hotel toiletries throughout the year to use on the 3-Day. They are small, disposable and easy to carry. 🙂

    Another great hack to help identify your tent at night– get some cheap glow sticks and hang them on your tent! (Or bring some balloons to attach to the top of the tent.) This is a great way to make your tent stand out among the hundreds of others and makes it easier to find your way back at night in the dark!

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  7. An extra pair of shoes makes great toiletrie tote. Seal the items (prefferably small travel size- I always collect the complimentary soaps and lotions when I travel!) and along with toohbrush and toothpaste, they will fit nicely in a sealed ziplock. The shoe provides a modest amount of protection. Roll extra socks into the other shoe.
    Also, being a member of Gear & Tent Crew, the light and simple are GREATLY APPRECIATED. I love the idea of stuffing the sleeping bag with the clean clothes -Day 3 use. I ususally sleep in Day 2 clothes on Friday night. If you are in the DFW area it’s typically cooler Friday and Saturday and rains during the week a few days before the event. Consider bringing a cheap tarp for your ground cover inside or under the tent, and remember to vent the tent at nigt. This will help dispell cold moisture from condesating on the inside of your tent and help keep you drier.
    Mostly, come preapred to have FUN and FELLOWSHIP!!! See you out there!

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  10. I use a light weight motorcycle camping cot when I stay in camp. It keeps me up off the ground and gives me better back support. I also have a low to the ground one that I bought at Cabella,s that I have used. I will be staying in a hotel this year in Seattle as this being the 8th city that I have walked in it has become cheaper to stay there then pay for the extra luggage each way on the plane. This will be my 12th event in 9 years of walking. The binder clips are also great to have on the walk to keep your poncho clipped to your hat in case of rain

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  16. Just completed my 6th 3 Day walk in Philadelphia! Another way to warm up your clothes in the morning is to stuff them into the sleeping bag with you at night before going to bed. 🙂

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