Camping Hints & Tips

Please share your Hints & Tips. Email them to WEBMASTER

Critter and bug control

  • Realize that food is the main, if not the only thing that attract critters like skunks, raccoons and even bears, as well as many insects, so keep food spills cleaned up and open boxes and canisters stored in plastic totes or the ice chest.
  • Do not dump bacon grease, bones, peelings and the like on the ground. Instead burn them in your fire pit. Train your crew to pick up dropped food like potato chips or cookie crumbs as these will attract ants, if nothing else.
  • Do not bury trash or food scraps, instead burn them.
  • Rinse out food scraps from empty cans before putting in trash and try to burn flammable trash as you use it.
  • Bugs hate fire, so keep a lively one burning especially at your camp during waking evening hours but also in the daytime if bugs are bad.
  • Position the camp lantern and other light well away from kitchen and gathering areas when you don’t need the light.
  • I’m told black clothing attracts fewer insects.
  • Also ingesting lots of garlic and onion is rumored to discourage biting bugs. ( And maybe some people. 😉
  • Do not use a light while entering or exiting your tent and keep it closed unless you are getting in or out of it. (This will at least keep you bug free while sleeping.)


To avoid exposure to ticks, stay on the trails and avoid grassy, brushy areas. Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be seen. Wear long sleeve shirts and tuck shirts into pants and pant legs into socks. Wear a hat. Do not wear shorts on the trails. Check yourself for ticks or have someone else check for you. Finding and removing a tick early (within 36 hours) is key to the prevention of Lyme disease. If a tick is attached to your skin, grab it with tweezers as close to your skin as possible and pull it straight out. Do not use Vaseline. It will kill the tick and cause more harm. Also do not squeeze the body of the tick, it can cause all the infected material of the tick to enter into your skin. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and use a disinfectant.

You should have any tick bite checked by a doctor, but you should definitely have a doctor check out the bite if a rash of more than one inch wide appears at the site of the bite. This is a sign of Lyme disease. If you have flu-like symptoms up to a month after being bitten by a tick, call your doctor, you could have ehrlichiosis, another serious, potentially fatal, tick-borne disease that can be treated with antibiotics. Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks also.

  Tick Removal

A School Nurse wrote the info below — good enough to share — And it really works!!
I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great,   because it works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.
Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20), the tick will come out on it’s own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I’ve used it (and that was frequently), and it’s much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.
Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can’t see that this would be damaging in any way. I even had my doctor’s wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her back and she couldn’t reach it with tweezers. She used this method and immediately called me back to say, “It worked!”

From Patty Ballarano

  Fire Starting

Don’t throw away that dryer lint! Instead take a Ziploc bag and fill it with the dryer lint. This makes an excellent tinder. It is also helpful to start a fire when the kindling or wood fuel is wet or damp. I always carry a quart bag of dryer lint in my pack for just those occasions. It should be part of everyone’s survival/camping gear.

From Wes Franchi, former Asst. Scoutmaster