5 Cam Strap Hacks for Your Next Camping Trip

Let me get one thing out of the way before going any further with this post: I love cam straps. I first used cam straps in place of bungee cords a few years ago and have not looked back since. They are just that good. They are perfect for tying things down, rigging white water rafts and canoes, making my backpack more efficient, and more.

Cam straps are so fantastic that I have decided to share some of my favorite camping hacks in this post. My preferred brand is Rollercam, but feel free to use any brand that appeals to you.

As we get started, bear in mind that a cam strap is a webbing strap with a cam buckle. The strap feeds through the buckle and is held in place by a spring-loaded plate with built-in teeth. Camp straps are versatile, strong, and easy to use.

1. Carry Those Bulky Items on Your Roof

Every camping trip involves bulky items that take up a lot of space in the trunk. That is not a problem if your roof has a luggage rack. Throw the coolers, camping stove, and folding chairs up top. Then tie them down with cam straps. You will have a lot more room in your trunk for things like food and clothing.

By the way, you don’t need an industrial-grade luggage rack to make this work. A factory-installed luggage rack is fine. If you have neither, buy yourself an inexpensive luggage bag designed for rooftop transport. It is easily secured with cam straps.

2. Hang a Bear Bag

Experienced campers know that hanging a bear bag from a tree is the best way to protect food against prowling bears in the night. Use a cam strap to cinch the bag closed. Use another one to hoist it high in the air, keeping it out of reach. Just remember to tie the loose end around a high branch so your friendly neighborhood bear cannot reach it.

3. Build a Windbreak

Ten camping is no fun on windy days. If you are out in the wind and your tent isn’t protected, grab a couple of cam straps and make a windbreak. It’s pretty easy. Find some large tree limbs you can use as poles. Bind them together with cam straps. With two sets of poles, you can run a tarp between them and then use the resulting structure to block the wind. Cam straps and stakes can anchor it to the ground.

4. Set Up a Makeshift Clothesline

If you are like me, you don’t pack every piece of clothing you own. You take just what you need to get by for the duration of your trip. But sometimes that means having to wash your clothes and hang them up to dry. No need for an extra bundle of rope that takes up space in your backpack. Instead, grab the cam straps you used to tie cargo to your roof and use them as a makeshift clothesline.

5. Improvise a Compression Strap

A compression strap makes carrying backpacks and duffle bags easier by transferring some of a load to your hips. If your existing compression strap breaks or your backpack/duffle bag doesn’t have one, you can improvise the strap with a cam strap.

My list is hardly complete. I have so many cam strap camping hacks that I could write several more posts. The important thing to know is this: cam straps are incredibly versatile. If you are still using ropes and bungee cords, the best tip I could offer is to give cam straps a try.

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