Homemade Camping Equipment

Homemade Camping EquipmentMany of the essentials of camping can be made at home from inexpensive or recycled supplies. Even if you have little experience making things, you can save money by creating simple alternatives to pricey gear. Unless you are going to be camping in extreme and dangerous conditions, you probably won't even notice a difference in performance between your creations and professional equipment.


There are dozens of designs for homemade stoves that burn wood, alcohol, kerosene and other fuels. The simplest ones are nothing more than metal cans with holes in them. If you want to burn wood, take a coffee can and punch or drill about six holes around it about 1/4 inch from the bottom. Then, make 6 more holes about 1/2 inch from the top. The holes will let enough air in and hot exhaust gasses out to keep the fire going and the can will concentrate the heat and protect the fire from wind and rain. Simply fill a pan with whatever you want to cook and put it on top of your stove. If you prefer to use fuel pellets instead of wood, use an 8-oz. vegetable can instead of a coffee can. See Resources for other do-it-yourself stove designs.

Fire Starters

If you are camping in a heavily forested area, it often makes sense to use wood as fuel for your fire. If it rains, however, a wood fire can be very difficult to start, even in a prepared stove. Carrying your own homemade fire starters will let you get a blaze going even in the wettest conditions. Gather unburned scraps from candles around your house and put them in a coffee can. Put the can in a pot of water and boil the water. This will produce enough heat to melt the wax, while stopping the temperature from getting high enough to burn it. When the wax melts, carefully remove the can using oven mitts or tongs, pour the wax into an empty cardboard egg crate and let it cool. When you want to start a fire, rip off one cup of wax from the crate, put it in your stove and light it. It will burn strongly for 10 to 15 minutes---plenty of time to light a fire. For a longer burning fire starter, add sawdust or lint to the bottom of the egg crates before pouring in the wax.

Survival Blanket Sleeping Bag

You can make a simple sleeping bag out of two reflective survival blankets. Tape the edges of the blankets together, leaving one side open so you can climb in to the bag. To make things more comfortable, take a thin blanket along with you. Wrap yourself in it and climb into the sleeping bag. You will have a shelter that is both warm and comfortable.


Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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