We’ve all seen these “Life Hack” posts on Facebook about “Borderline Genius.” Most are lukewarm ideas, but some are just downright stupid. Here are my rebuttals to the REALLY stupid ones that I just read from 41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius. The bold is what was written on the website. My brain hurts from some of the stupid.
#1. Use foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floor.
Really? Foam tiles underneath an air mattress, as pictured, will magically make the air mattress squishier and “more comfortable?” Come on. Buy a mat like the rest of the sensible world.
#3. Also: Mountain Dew + baking soda + peroxide = lantern.
No, it’s a popular and debunked urban legend. Peroxide and Mountain Dew do nothing. If you add baking soda, as suggested, and then cap the bottle, as the picture indicates, you might get an explosive reaction. Stupid and completely not true.
#7. Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder.
Sandpaper won’t ignite a match. Go ahead, try it. The matches pictured have an entirely red head. These are considered “Strike on Box” or safety matches. The head of a safety match is made of sulfur, glass powder, and an oxidizing agent. It needs to combine with another oxidizing agent, which is present on ONLY the striking surface on the box of matches, to ignite. You can always just buy matches that say “Strike anywhere” because they have the oxidizing agent built right in and they can be struck anywhere. Get it? The sandpaper MIGHT work with strike anywhere matches, which usually have a white tip, but sandpaper is generally much too rough and will usually just rip the head of the match off.
* EDIT * Apparently someone got to them before I did. They added “Be sure to buy strike-anywhere matches.”
#14. Make travel coffee bags out of coffee filters and dental floss. Really? In the name of convenience, you’re going to use an entire coffee filter (which can make almost a gallon of coffee) and some dental floss to make a 12 ounce cup of coffee? And then what? Oh, right, you’re going to throw the filter away. Really? That’s stupid and horribly wasteful. Why not use a moka pot to make some strong, tasty coffee? The filter is reusable, and the coffee is WAY better.
#15. Need your coffee? Bring a few of these. The picture is of a few packets of instant coffee.These are stupid. You’re going to go camping and appreciate the wilderness and outdoors but you need your joe, so you’re going to bring single use, plastic-based, disposable crappy coffee? Gosh, you must really love nature. They don’t even taste good! Why not whip up a batch of Swedish Egg Coffee while you’re camping? EVERYTHING used in that recipe is biodegradable! Don’t be stupid.
#21. Pack a mini first-aid kit into an old prescription bottle or Altoids tin. Right. Golly. A pill-bottle sized first aid kit. I bet a few band-aids and some ointment would be super helpful in ANY first aid emergency. “You just hold on Jim, you might have nicked an artery, but don’t you worry! I have an emergency first-aid kit in my old Valium bottle! Gosh, you just hang on buddy, I got this.”
#23. Put a battery-powered votive candle into an empty peanut butter container to make portable lanterns. ARRRRGHHH. This is the first lesson of camping. Don’t keep food containers in your tent. Even if you’ve washed them. Even if you’ve bleached them. DON’T KEEP FOOD IN YOUR DAMN TENT. You DO know that nothing will attract bears like the scent of peanut butter, right? Wait, you know what? Please. Do this. Put this in your tent. Let’s let natural selection play a hand.
#24. Make a portable washing machine with a plunger and a bucket. You’re camping and you’re concerned because your clothes are dirty? Play in a freaking lake. They’ll clean right up.
#26. Doritos are great for kindling if you can’t find any. Yeah, I bet you totally can’t find ANY kindling ANYWHERE. If you need to burn Doritos because you’re too stupid to start a fire any other way, then go back home. You don’t belong outdoors.
#27. Make pocket-sized oil lamps out of travel-size or hotel toiletry shampoo bottles. Are you stupid? You DO know that oil melts plastic, right? Just like heat. Yes. Heat MELTS plastic. Heat that comes from flames. When the plastic melts, the oil starts to leak out. And oil will burn with or without a wick. People doing stupid crap like making flame “lamps” are the reason that we have building fires. Don’t do this.
#34. If you’re going to be hiking, use this biodegradable trail-marking tape. If you go hiking and you’re so stupid that you need to tie orange tape around a tree to follow a PATH back to where you started, then you shouldn’t be camping. If you tie this to a tree while you’re hiking, I will come and take a dump in your tent. A nice, greasy dump.
#36. Use a bucket and a milk crate as an emergency toilet. How is that in any way an emergency toilet? You can’t shit in a hole? THAT’S an emergency toilet. A bucket, a toilet seat, and a milk crate is hardly a response to an emergency. Instead, it’s a poorly planned disaster. What are you going to do with the bucket when it’s time to leave? Are you going to empty it into a trash can? Will you dig a 12″ deep hole 500 feet from a trail, empty it, fill it with water, stir it, and then mark it with a stick so nobody else digs there? Didn’t think so. Poop in the bathroom like everybody else. You’re not a special snowflake because you think they smell bad.