After cooking a meal, fill a pan of water and leave it on the stove/fire, so the water will be warm enough for clean up.
Hang soap in a stocking or sock from a tree to keep it off the ground and clean.
Bring two coolers—one for drinks only and the other for food. This will help keep the food cooler from being opened and closed too many times.
Bring a throw rug or welcome mat to place in front of your tent/camper. Then make sure all campers wipe their feet before they enter.. A small broom and dustpan are a must too.
Always pack duct tape. It’s useful for many things.
Don’t overpack. Pots and pans can be used as mixing bowls to save room, and heavy duty aluminum foil can be used to cook vegetables and meats on or in the fire. (Use fingernail polish to mark foil dinners, as it won’t burn off.)
A crumpled ball of foil makes an excellent scouring pad for pots and pans.
To keep marshmallows from burning dip them in water before holding them over the flame.
Before you go, save clean, empty milk jugs, orange juice bottles, and 2-liter soda bottles. Fill them with water and freeze. They will work for both keeping food cold and for providing water to drink when they melt.
To save time and prep work, create a bin of essential camping items that you can keep packed and ready year-round. Buy an extra set of pots and pans at a garage sale or rummage sale. Make sure the bin is rain and rodent proof.
While it’s best to cook on coals, sometimes you have to cook directly on open flames. For easier cleaning, rub the outside of your pots with dish soap. Allow it to dry and then cook with them. This will make the black soot come off easier in cleaning.
Plastic baggies are another must for camping. They can help keep things like matches and extra batteries clean and dry. Larger sizes can be used to mix cooking ingredients.
Pack cards, board games, and other nonelectric games to help you relax and enjoy your vacation outdoors.