The DIY Camping Trip: 14 Projects and Hacks for Your Next Camp-out

Kid-Made Fire Starter

Kid-Made Fire Starter

For something that’s supposed to get you back to nature, you can actually buy a butt-load of new crap just for camping. You don’t need most of that crap, of course, but hey. Sixteen-person party tents and inflatable air beds and cast iron novelty cookware–what else are you going to put on your wedding registry?

You can still have lots of little gimmicky gadgets to make camping more fun and convenient without buying them from Eddie Bauer, though. Check out this list of some of my favorite DIY camping hacks, because why pay for something if you can just make it with junk that you dug out of your recycling?

1. bandanna bowl coversBandannas look especially nice, but you can make these out of any stash cotton fabric.

2. bed sheet hammockJust because you don’t have a hammock doesn’t mean that you can’t have a hammock!

3. calamine lotionI used to have no idea what was in this stuff, much less how to make it myself!

4. egg carton fire startersThese are so easy to make, consist of trash, and work better than anything you could dream of buying.

5. firewood slingThis makes the job of gathering sticks for the fire SO much easier.

6. five-gallon bucket camp seatThese things can get heavy fast, which is why we Girl Scouts stick to sit-upons, but if you’re car camping, they offer a handy seat that doubles as storage.

7. hobo stoveMy kid made one of these at Girl Scout camp.

8. Mason jar match dispenserYou can do anything with a Mason jar.

9. pie iron carrying bag I know you don’t really need special roasting sticks or pie irons, but they sure are fun. At least you’ll be able to keep them all together and contained with this upcycled bag.

10. scavenger hunt. Kids of all ages will love this fun activity! Set them to it while you sit back and drink your camping cocktail.

11. scrap fabric teepeeNow, I wouldn’t actually GO camping with this, but backyard camping should be a golden memory for every person who had a backyard as a kid, and this teepee would be a pretty magical backyard camping abode.

12. soap pouchThis makes it so easy to have your soap at hand for showers or just washing up.

13. solar ovenWhy wait until nighttime to have your s’mores?

14. walking stick I don’t know why, but a decorated walking stick seriously makes hiking more fun.

What are YOUR favorite things to DIY for camping trips?

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