Stop the Itch. You can stop the itch of mosquito and other insect bites using a variety of common things you probably already have on board your RV or in your camping kit. The one that surprised me the most was toothpaste. It needs to be paste, not gel. Just dab some on a bite and, presto! Instant relief from sting and itch. Another dental based solution: Oragel or a similar toothache medication will kill the sting AND numb the bite. Another odd one is automobile starting fluid. Just a quick spray on the affected area quickly takes out the itch and burn in an instant. The active ingredient in many "bite sticks" and anti-itch medications is ammonia. Instead of paying several dollars for a pen-sized stick dispenser, pick up a whole bottle of ammonia at your local dollar store to refill your bite stick or use directly. It can also be used for a number of household cleaning tasks. Another way to kill the itch and burn of bee stings is with a plain old aspirin tablet. Wet the sting and rub the aspirin on it. Baking soda is also a familiar folk remedy that actually works on many insect bites. In a survival situation, plain old mud will help stop the stinging and itching. No mud? Spit in the dirt to make some. Other bodily fluids might be used, but are less appealing.
Some more weird sting/bite remedies. A paste made from meat tenderizer and water will quickly take the "ouch" out of bee stings. As mentioned above, a little bit of ordinary mud will usually ease the itch and swelling of mosquito and other insect bites. It is said the relief is instant.
Don't be a sap. Or at least don't stay sappy once you get that way. Getting sap on your hands is a common problem when camping and handling firewood. Rub it with some mayonnaise and the sap will come right off. It might also work to get sap off tent fabric and window screens. Then all you have to do is find a way to get rid of the mayonnaise (but its not nearly as sticky).
I'm am told that peanut butter will get chewing gum out of your hair. Of course, if you spit it out your gum before you go to bed you probably won't get it in your hair in the first place.
Camp clothespins. Save the plastic clips from bread bags and use them to secure your clothes, towels, etc to your clothesline in camp. They are small and very light weight so they won't take up much room. You can probably get about 50 of them into a 35mm film can.
Waterproof your matches. Some folks suggest dipping stick matches in wax to waterproof them. Others say that over time the wood will still absorb moisture that will be trapped by the wax and render the matches useless, even when they haven't gotten wet. You can also try dipping the tips in fingernail polish. The idea behind both of these suggestions is to try to seal the head of the match against moisture. However, to really be sure your matches will work in wet weather, keep them in a waterproof container -- not just a plastic sandwich bag, but a waterproof match case designed for the purpose. They aren't expensive and don't take up much room. Match cases are usually about 3/4" in diameter and 2 1/2" long. They come in plastic or stainless steel. Both have a rubber O-ring to seal out moisture when the lid is screwed down tight. While you're at it, make sure you stock "strike anywhere" matches for camping. The "strike on box" versions are a little safer around small children, but not very convenient for starting campfires if you don't have the box handy. Be careful where you strike them. Do NOT strike them on the rocks in your fire ring if you have doused your wood with an
accelerant like charcoal starter or gasoline. I've seen people strike matches using their thumbnail while holding the match firmly in the same hand. My grandfather used to do that all the time. While that works, it is also a good way to burn your hand, especially if your fingers are stiff from the cold and you can't move the burning match quickly, which may be a problem if your hands are cold or if you have arthritis -- or if you simply aren't used to doing it. This reminds me of a trick in the movie Lawrence of Arabia where Lawrence holds a burning match between his thumb and finger until it goes out. When a soldier tries to duplicate the trick he quickly burns his fingers, curses, drops the match and tells Lawrence "That hurts! There is some trick to it". Lawrence replies "The trick,by dear fellow, is not minding that it hurts!". Another questionable trick I've seen is striking them on your zipper or even along the leg of your jeans. Seems like a good way to get your pants on fire. When people talk about "hot pants" I don't think that is what they have in mind!
Ordinary cooking oil works well to remove the residue from many adhesive stickers. WD40 is also a pretty good solvent for removing grease and oil from hands and clothes and many other surfaces. My favorite goo remover is a product called "Goo Gone".
When camping, always wear a long-sleeved shirt. It gives you something to wipe your nose on. On the more serious side, it will protect you from sunburn and insect bites and you'll probably be cooler in a loose fitting long-sleeved shirt than in a t-shirt or tank top on hot days. Direct sunlight on skin can be excruciating. Long sleeved, loose fitting clothing allows a shady place for perspiration to evaporate and cool you down.
Laundry (dryer) lint makes good tinder/fire starter. You'll see this suggestion in lots of places. Unfortunately, it is only partially true. Cotton lint (from blue jeans or cotton t-shirts) WILL make good fire starter. Lint from synthetic fabrics WON'T. Synthetic lint tends to melt rather than burn. A sure-fire tinder (pun intended) that works well with matches or even flint and steel is 100% cotton balls. Again, avoid the synthetic "cosmetic puffs". Someone suggested using naval lint as tinder -- just be sure to remove it from your naval before igniting it! I think you'll need a pretty big navel -- or lots of them -- to get enough to be of much use for anything but a fire piston. In a survival situation you might find enough lint in your pockets to serve as tinder, but I'd a lot rather have a couple of cotton balls in my pack or pocket. Navel lint might be useful in a fire piston,which uses only a tiny bit of tinder.
Rubbing the inside of an orange peel on your exposed skin is said to keep mosquitoes away. And it usually smells better than chemical repelants and its free if you already have oranges to eat.
A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes an excellent side dish. A potato baked in the coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck. I can personally attest to the former; I haven't tried the latter but I'm betting it too is true.
A frisbee makes a pretty good make-shift paper plate holder. Plates may not fit quite as securely as they do in holders designed for the purpose, but a frisbee is just about the right size to add much needed support when you have heavy food on a flimsy plate. And you can have fun with it after your meal. Just don't toss it into the fire along with your paper plate. And make sure your dog doesn't try to grab it out of your hand before you finish eating or its "bye-bye" dinner!
To keep batteries from running down if the switch on a flashlight in storage gets bumped and turned on, put one of the batteries in backwards. That keeps the batteries with the flashlight and it won't come on as long as one of the batteries is reversed. Chances are an ordinary incandescent flashlight will still work -- and run down the batteries -- if you put ALL the batteries in backwards. LED lights are often more sensitive to polarity. They usually only work when the batteries are installed with correct polarity within the flashlight.
More or less unrelated question: why is it the people you see in lingerie stores are people you wouldn't want to see in lingerie? Apply that to camping and you may understand another reason to stick with loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants instead of tank tops and shorts!