5 Practical Ways to Use a Carabiner While Camping [Hacks & Tips]

Just like any piece of equipment in your backpack, a carabiner is an incredibly useful tool in your arsenal while camping or in the outdoors.

So, here are 5 super practical ways I’ve used carabiners while camping!

1. Make-Shift Carabiner Pulley System

Pulley System with Carabiner for Backcountry Camping

The rounded and smooth sides of a carabiner can make a great make-shift pulley. Pulleys offer greater mechanical advantage when used with ropes. And, if implemented correctly, can let you complete things a lot easier.

This can become especially useful when backcountry camping. Large food containers that need to be lifted into a tree can be difficult. However, setting up a simply pulley system can make the process a whole lot easier.

Likewise, a carabiner pulley system can be used to tension ropes for tarps, tents and dry lines. Single and dual carabiners can be used to increase the mechanical advantage, which can help reduce the amount of effort needed to add tension or lift heavier objects.

Check out the YouTube video below showcasing how to implement a carabiner pulley system to lift a large cooler into a tree.

2. Carabiner "Lock" for Food Containers

Food Container Cooler

Camping in areas with a lot of wildlife can be incredibly rewarding. However, food containers tend to attract some nastier woodland critters.

So, food containers, bags and other storage devices are prey for animals such as mice, racoons, and coyotes.

And to keep these creatures from raiding your precious stockpile of marshmallows and graham crackers, it’s best to keep food containers locked up day and night.

A carabiner makes a great artificial lock that animals without opposable thumbs can’t break into. Similarly, a bear box can be “locked” with a carabiner for added security.

3. Quick-Release Connections


Carabiners are specifically designed to be “quick-release”. This makes them perfect for an assortment of camping related equipment, items and tasks that require regular use.

Setup and take down of hammocks, dry lines, a campsite pet leash, tensioning of a tarp can all benefit from the use of carabiners.

They can be quickly and easily clipped off by kids and adults. Then, just as easily clipped back into place when required. It just makes setup and takedown a lot quicker and simpler.

4. Keep Loose Items Organized


Smaller camping equipment tends to get lost in the bottom of packs. And loose tools and gear is not an ideal way of organizing one’s camping equipment.

Well, carabiners can keep all your loose camping equipment together and organized. From keys and small electronics, to pouches and tools, carabiners can keep all these things safely stored together.

And, when you need something, you know exactly where it is and can access it right away.

5. Carabiner Belt Clips for Added Carrying Capacity

Camping Utility Belt Assembled

A great way to increase your carrying capacity is to add a carabiner or two to your belt or pant belt loops.

Now, instead of carrying a water bottle or folding saw in your pocket or in-hand, you can just let it hang.

Personally, I’ve added extra carabiners to my camping utility belt for added connection points. It allows the freedom and flexibility to use my pockets and hands for more useful things.

Best Carabiners for Camping

Besides the 5 ways mentioned above, you can surely find other ways to use carabiners while camping.

However, if you don’t have any on hand or looking for really good options, here are a few carabiners I’ve purchased and used on recent camping trips.

For their low cost, small size, and low weight, they truly enhance my camping experience. Hopefully they can do the same for you!

Climbing Carabiner for Camping

Black Diamond Locking Carabiners - Under $30

When i’m not rock climbing, I repurpose my locking carabiners for all sorts of camping related tasks.

Since these come with dual locking carabiners, I have the option for quick-release on both sides. 

I can also ditch the connection strap and use each carabiner individually!

Twist lock Carabiner for Camping

Black Diamond Screwgate Carabiner - Under $15

The large surface area and rounded edges of this carabiner is why I like to use it for lifting food containers into trees.

The smooth surface preserves the integrity of my ropes, and I can use two of these carabiners to create a make-shift pulley system!

The locking gate ensures deliberate hand use to open the gate. 

Carabiner clips

Favofit Carabiner Clips - Under $12

These simple but highly effective carabiners can be used all around your campsite.

From hanging larger items, to securing tents and tarps, these carabiners are simple to use and incredibly useful.

They’re great for adding more connection points to packs, belts and utility lines around your campsite.

Small locking Carabiner clips

Locking S-Type Carabiner by Nite Ize - Under $10

When it comes to organizing smaller camping items, these locking S-type carabiners are fantastic!

My wife and I use these regularly at home with our keys, secure paracord to our packs, and hang hand sanitizer from our belt loops.

And, because they manually lock and unlock, they’re added security that you won’t end up loosing any items accidentally!



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