Channel lock pliers make good pot holders.
Make an oven by lining a moving box with aluminum foil
and pushing coat hangers through both sides about half
way up the box to form your grill. Put coals in a pan
and put the pan on three stones on the bottom of the
box. Close the doors (lid) and bake away.
Canning rings can be use to cook your eggs in for egg
sandwiches. (Works well for English Muffins or Hamburger
- Nylon rope can be used as shoe laces.
- Use a large zip lock plastic bag, filled with air,
as a pillow.
- Plastic butter tubs make good storage containers for
your camp kitchen. (Not a good idea to use in a backpack).
- A plastic jar or wide-mouth bottle makes a good latrine
for cold weather camping. (You don't have to 'go' very
far from your sleeping bag). Keep it just out side the
An old closed cell foam exercise pad will make a passable
- Plastic bottles can be used for canteens. Make sure
the lid does not leak before using in a backpack.
The pins which hold the backpack and shoulder straps
to the frame can be replaced with a small piece of coat
hanger threaded through the hole and twisted around
Twist ties can be used to hold up another tarp from
your dining fly to form a wind screen.
A small automotive water hose clamp can be used as a
stop for your dining fly's upright poles.
Drill a hole in the bottom of nested poles and put a
screw in to stop inner poles from sliding out.
Short lengths of coat hanger or wire can be threadd
through the holes and springs of the summer camp cots
to replace the missing springs.
Carry several pieces of lumber cut into 2 inch squares
to summer camp and use these to level platform, tent
If for health reasons you must sleep on a cot in cold
weather insulate yourself from the cold air under the
cot with several layers of newspaper.
- Old shower curtains make great ground cloths.
Make a double boiler for melting paraffin from a 1 lb.
coffee can and a 2 lb. coffee can. Bend a coat hanger
so it will support the 1 lb. coffee can inside the 2
lb. can. Pour some water in the 2 lb. can and put the
paraffin in the 1 lb. can.
Waterproof matches by dipping in melted paraffin.
Make fire starters by filling paper condiment cups with
saw dust and pouring paraffin into the cup.
Put matches in corrugated cardboard strips (about every
other hole) and dip into paraffin for fire starters.
Cut off what you need to start a fire.
If your hand warmer came without a bag or the bag has
been lost, replace the bag with a sock.
A length of chain and a piece of coat hanger bent into
an S-shape will allow you to hang your lantern from
a tree limb.
Use a cookie tin as a dutch oven.
Keep batteries in an appropriate size prescription bottle
to insure that they cannot run themselves down by accident.
Prescription bottles make good match safes.
- Prescription bottles or 35mm file containers make
good storage places for small items.
Grills from old ovens can be used for fire grills, refrigerator
shelves cannot be used as they will release toxic
gasses when heated.
A frisbee will add support to paper plates when the
plate is place inside the frisbee.
- Make a camp washing machine from a five gallon bucket
and a toilet plunger.
- Placing a plastic garbage bag over logs in a triangle
will create a wash basin.
- Making a slit in a trash bag large enough to let your
head through will make an emergency poncho.
Laundry lint makes good tinder.
Cutting slivers off scrap lumber and heating in the
oven to dry out the wood will produce some very dry
tinder. Remember to store in plastic bags for your next
trip. Save candle stubs for fire starters or to use
as paraffin to make other fire starters.
- Insulate your backpacking stove from the ground in
cold weather with a 6" X 6" piece of plywood.
Cover the ice in a picnic cooler with foil to help it
last longer. Keep the water in your canteen cooler by
wrapping the canteen in foil.
Use foil ring dividers for frying eggs. Put rings in
the greased pan and drop eggs into each ring.
Find it hard to put patches on straight ? Tape them
in place first with two-sided tape. When you are half-way
done sewing, remove the tape.
Save a handbook that's getting battered looking by putting
on a transparent contact paper cover.
- Run candle stubs along the edge of a saw to help it
When it comes time to pack up at the end of a camp,
a wet toothbrush, face cloth and bar of soap wrapped
in foil won't dampen the other things in your kit.
To prevent night accidents in camp, use phosphorescent
paint to mark the edges of latrines, the top of corner
pegs of tents, etc. [...uhhh... oh, nevermind].
Before starting to sew a tough material like denim or
canvas, stick the needle into a bar of soap. The coating
will help the needle slide more easily through the fabric.
To make sure you don't sew a pocket together while sewing
a badge to the front, slip a jar lid, preferably plastic,
into the pocket, then fearlessly sew away.
- To help shed burrs easily, rub the laces of your hiking
boots with paraffin before hitting the trail.
Keep a dry bar of soap in your sleeping bag to combat
musty odors which develop during damp-season camping.
Waxed milk cartons are an excellent source of emergency
kindling. Cut cartons into slivers, wrap a bundle of
them in plastic and carry them along in your pack.
If a camper has to take medicine, give her a break by
letting her suck on an ice cube to numb her tongue before
swallowing the vile stuff. [The vile vial?]
Ice cubes are handy when you have to remove a splinter
from a hand or foot. Use the ice to numb the area around
the splinter before operating.
- Make your own insect-repelling candle from an ordinary
thick candle. Drill a 1" deep hole near the wick, fill
the whole with citronella and cover it with melted wax.
When handling evergreens or pine cones, you can remove
the sticky sap from their hands easily if you use baking
soda instead of soap to wash.
Water proof matches by dipping them in nail polish.
- To prevent batteries from wearing down if a flashlight
is accidently nudged on while you're traveling, put
the flashlight batteries in backwards.
- Kitchen foil can add extra warmth to your boots. Trace
each foot on a piece of foil and add a 5 cm border.
Place the foil inside your boots, shiny side up so you
benefit from radiant heat.
- The little plastic tags from bread and bun packages
are great for pinning up wet bathing suits and towels
at camp, and they take up a lot less packing space than
- To protect your feet from blisters, smear soap on
the inside of your inner sock at the heel and underneath
the toes. Carry along a bar of soap and, when you feel
your feet become tender, give it a try.
Wear nylon footies next to your feet to help prevent
To keep mosquitoes away rub the inside of an orange
peel on face, arms and legs.
Waxed-paper milk cartons have several lives left in
them after the milk is gone: - make a drinking cup by
cutting off the carton about three inches from the bottom.
- make a water scoop by cutting off the top. - cut a
container into slivers, wrap them in plastic and put
them in your pocket for emergency kindling on a camping
or hiking trip. - make a leak-proof mini-garbage can
by opening up the top of the container and putting in
Discarded roll on deodorant bottles make an excellent
insect repellent applicator because it enables you to
keep 'bug dope' off your hands and out of your eyes.
Snap off the plastic top or snap out the ball, rinse
out the bottle and refill with your favourite liquid
- Make handy fire-starters by filling egg carton cups
with lint from the dryer and pouring melted paraffin
over the lint. Break the cup off to start each fire.
Keep your toilet roll dry by packing it in a coffee
tin with a snap-on lid.
Remember that mosquitoes and biting flies seem to like
dark coloured clothing and the perfumed scents of many
grooming products (soaps, shampoos, colognes, etc.)
Dress so that you won't attract the biters, and try
using unscented grooming aids.
Certain fibers can be damaged by insect repellants.
Don't apply repellants to spandex (from which bathing
suits are made), rayon, or Dynel fabrics. Tent fabrics,
plastic and painted surfaces also can be damaged by
An insect repellant will not keep bees, wasps, or hornets
from stinging you. Your wisest move is one away from
Try using a 35mm film cannister when collecting insect
specimens. A drop of alcohol makes the canister a fine
killing jar. Label the cannister with tape and keep
the specimen in it.
It is easier to cut plastic containers if you soak them
in very hot water immediately before cutting them.
Wrap fishing gear in foil to keep line from tangling
and hooks from rusting. By lining the compartments of
a tackle box with foil, you can prevent rust damage
to plugs and other equipment.
Wrap a wet washcloth in a foil package and put it into
your pack. You'll have a handy 'wet-wipe' for cleaning
hands and face after a satisfying camp meal.
Foil provides good packaging material for a campers
personal toilet articles.
Waterproof matches by dipping them in shellac.
Tor remove musty smell from canteen, put three teaspoons
of baking soda into the canteen with a bit of water.
Swish it around and let sit for an hour, then rinse
out the canteen.
An empty plastic soda bottle, cut off to a convenient
height, will work as a camp bowl. You may want to sandpaper
the cut to smooth the edge.
Make a survival fishing kit out of an empty 35mm film
cannister. Wrap fishing line around a small empty thread
spool. Tie the end to a fishhook, and place in the cannister.
When ready to use, take the spool of line out. Lay the
line across the opening of the cannister and snap the
lid back on for use as a bobber.
Make a fish scaler by nailing metal bottle caps to a
wood block. Scrape against side of fish against direction
Empty 35mm film cannisters make good condiment containers
[salt, pepper, spices, etc.].
To conserve rope, mark each length of rope with a distinctive
colour and make a rule that the rope is never cut.
A rope tied to a bleach bottle with an inch of water
in it will make an effective water rescue throw line.
Save inner cardboard tubes from kitchen and toilet rolls,
stuff with waste paper and use as fire-lighters.
Cut a rubber glove, when discarded, into thin strips
to create varied rubber bands.
Did you know that the egg whites left in empty egg shells
makes good glue ? Use it for scrapbooks, etc.
- When using a bucket for a messy job, line it with
a plastic bag which can be thrown away afterwards.