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Camping Hacks

Enhance Your Adventure

A scholarly fellow once said camping is 90-percent preparation; the rest depends on how well you deal with ghost stories, bug bites and eating beef jerky for three days in a row.

Of course, OnStar is all about helping you be prepared and connecting you to the right people. That’s why we teamed up with camping expert Perry Keydel to share camping tricks and tips for your next outdoor adventure.


Sharp Thinking

Need to start a campfire? You can use a handheld pencil sharpener to turn thin twigs into tiny shavings, which are perfect for tinder. You can also sharpen the tip of a stick to use as a marshmallow or hot dog skewer.


Make shavings
from twigs


Use shavings
to start a campfire


Cook using
a sharpened twig


Multi-use Milk Jug

What can you do with the jug after you finish your gallon of milk?

  1. Fill it with water. Freeze it to keep the food fresh in your cooler.
  2. When the ice melts, set a flashlight beside the jug to create a lantern.
  3. Use it to store clean, refreshing drinking water.
  4. Cut it in half and use it to scoop up things on your campsite.

Freeze water in a jug
for your cooler


Use a flashlight to turn
water jug into a lantern


Cut jug in half
to make a scoop


Duct Tape Fixes Everything

Wrap some duct tape around a water bottle and peel off as needed. Have a blister? What about a tear in your tent? This duct tape trick is way better than carrying a whole roll, and wherever you carry your water bottle, there’s your duct tape.


Wrap some duct tape around
your water bottle for use anywhere


Spice It Up with a Straw

Instead of stuffing an assortment of spice bottles in your bag, campers can use a lighter to singe the end of a drinking straw closed and turn it into a super handy spice vial that’s lightweight and easy to pack.


cooking spices


Singe the end of a straw
and fill with spices


Cut spice straws
to add a dash of flavor


A Culinary Loophole with Belts

A clever camper can use a belt and a few S-hooks to hang pots and pans on a tree. Just be sure to hang them facing down or you could attract unwanted critters.


Tie belt around tree


Place S-hooks on belt


Hang items from hooks


Coffee Made Easy

You can’t bring your espresso machine into the woods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some quality coffee. Put the grounds in a coffee filter to create a makeshift tea bag. Then drop it in hot water for your morning fix.


Pour grounds
in a coffee filter


Tie it up and steep


Enjoy your morning fix


Quick-Make Pancakes

Eat like a lumberjack by pouring your pancake batter into a cleaned out ketchup bottle, funnel in some water, shake it up, and then squeeze onto the pan for some homemade goodness.


Shake pancake batter
in a squeeze bottle


Pour in pan and cook


Enjoy pancakes


Outdoor Theater

Take your home theater experience to the outdoors. All you’ll need are a few accessories, a tablet, a portable movie projector, and available OnStar with 4G LTE1 and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot2 to stream your favorite movie on the big screen under the stars.


Hang sheet on a line


Anchor sheet with filled jugs


Stream away with
OnStar with 4G LTE

Perry Keydel

Perry Keydel

Perry Keydel is an avid outdoorsman who has spent months on end living in the woods, where he taught teenagers the necessities for outdoor survival. When Perry isn’t working at an outdoor recreational store in Birmingham, Mich., you can catch him in the woods blazing a new trail. For him, it’s all about getting out there and encouraging campers to connect with nature, from the backcountry to the backyard.

Don't Get Lost

The easy-to-use, personalized services from OnStar can enrich your outdoor exploration. Use your vehicle mobile app3 to send Turn-by-Turn directions4 to your vehicle before heading to a new campsite or fishing hole. Forgot to get directions in advance? Push the blue OnStar button and an Advisor can help you find your way.

1 Visit for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. Services and connectivity may vary by model and conditions. 4G LTE service available in select markets. Some services require data plan.
2 Devices must be WPA2-compliant with active OnStar service and data plan. Wi-Fi devices manufactured prior to 2006 may not be compatible. Please consult your device manufacturer for information regarding the WPA2 security protocol and Wi-Fi device compatibility. Visit for deatails and system limitations.
3 Requires data plan, compatible vehicle and compatible device. Some features require factory-installed remote start, power locks, Tire Pressure Monitoring System or active OnStar service.
4 Requires ABS and Directions & Connections plan. Visit for coverage map. Services vary by model.