Pooping is easier without pants, especially when you had to dig a hole first.
Try to poop before sunset. It's way scarier in the dark.
Bring a real shovel. Emergency snow shovels don't do a great job of digging poop holes. (I had a hunch.... so I brought a real shovel).
Ants will mostly leave you alone, even if they have a massive 15-foot across anthill, if you dump a small amount of food on the hill as a ritual offering.
It's difficult to get used again to the idea that you can't just pee anywhere after just peeing anywhere for 4 days.
It's easy to make gourmet meals when camping, because everything tastes gourmet when you're hungry. The hard part is stopping water from the coolers getting into the ziplocks with the food, leaving you with a cooler full of meat-water. Fortunately we had two coolers, and we didn't hit that problem until day 3.
Bacon should always be in infinite supply. It is the fuel on which camps are made.
There are about 40 different valves for air beds, and even if you buy a big pack of them, you'll always be missing the one you need.
Ropes, bungie cords, and tarps can be used creatively to create all kinds of awesome shade (thanks, Darci!).
Unless you're camping out in the literal middle of nowhere, take bottles of water to drink and cook with. Take 5-gallon containers of water for washing/dishes. It's easier.
If you're camping near a town, they will have a city landfill. Dump your trash there when you pack it out, so it's not with you for the trip home, making your car smell like a landfill. ($10, at Crook County landfill this trip).
Bring a bajillion flashlights and camp lights. Buy more every trip.
Totes are great for gear. Amazon Fresh totes they left you for free for no good reason are awesome too.
Don't feel like cooking on your campfire? Bring Duraflame firelogs. Easier to control, but not really for cooking on due to the wax.
Bring tables! If you've got more than 2 people, or more than 2 stoves (we have a grill and a stove), you'll want a nice big long table to use as a prep station. And small camping tables are always useful, even if you just want to play cards.
Bring a box of garbage bags - it makes it so much easier to pack out, and to double bag garbage if you need to avoid the smell.
One can of butane fuel lasts roughly about a day. Bring an extra two cans just in case.
Moths love citronella candles.
Occasionally you might hear ghosts in the middle of the night.
It's always more fun with good friends.
Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.
The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).