We can all attest to spending a small fortune getting ready to head outdoors for the weekend. There are some tricks, as taught to us by the Boy Scouts, that can save money in your wallet and could save your life in the wild. Most things are made from or concocted from items you use everyday at home. Just pack it up and take it with you, don’t buy more. This is intended to save you money!
One of the joys of camping in an RV is that you enjoy the comfort of sleeping in a bed. However, that luxury is short lived when morning dawns and you have to endure the back breaking torture of making the bed, tucking in the sheets and comforter. Most have little room to navigate and people find it quite inconvenient. Some just throw sleeping bags up there, and while that works, it isn’t as pleasing to the eye. An inexpensive and easy solution to this problem is to take an old comforter that you aren’t planning on using anymore and sew sheets to it. Just throw it up there like sleeping bags, but it looks like you made the bed all the time!
If you are in a pinch, nylon rope can be used as shoe laces. If you are going to break your laces on your hikers, it will undoubtedly be when you are out in the middle of nowhere with no store in sight.
When in a bind or stuck while backpacking, a large ziplock bag blown up with air will substitute as a pillow. Not recommended for children or for regular everyday use, as baggies are plastic and a chance of suffocation is there. But to carry one in your pack if you get separated from your group is smart.
Old shower curtains make great tarps, but clean them first before taking them with you. If you need to save a few bucks to put in the old gas tank, recycle your shower curtains. They are plastic and are made to repel water, after all.
Nothing is worse than realizing that you got your matches wet at any point while camping. Maybe it was an accident when the baby grabbed the box and dropped it in the lake, maybe the box got left out all night and it rained, maybe you took them with you on a day hike and fell in the creek. Waterproofing your matches is a good thing to do and all you need to do is dip them in melted paraffin wax. When the wax has solidified, a tight container is recommended like a prescription bottle.
As a matter of fact, prescription bottles are great for storing all types of things to keep them dry and clean, like batteries and matches and first aid kits.
There are times when kindling is hard to find, or wet, and it is good to bring another source to start your fires. Lint from your dryer is a great replacement for kindling. It burns fast and hot and is a recycled material that way. Some people make paper out of lint, you make kindling. Another way to bring a firestarter with you is to put sawdust in a paper cup (not completely full) and then fill with paraffin. Then, just throw the cup in and start the paper of the cup on fire.
Use frisbees to support paper plates. Unless you have already bought the fancy plastic holders, just place your plates on the inside of a frisbee and you have an instant dinner plate!
Blisters on feet is a common ailment while camping. It requires a lot of walking even if you aren’t hiking. Soap on the insides of your socks will help with the rubbing that causes blisters. Keeping a bar of it in your pack is smart and when you feel that uncomfortable rub happening, get the soap out!
Canteens will develop a distinct smell over time, a sort of dank and musty smell that you probably wouldn’t want to drink from. Instead of buying a new one, simply dilute 3 teaspoons of baking soda to just a bit of water inside the canteen. Swish it around to dissolve it and let it sit in there for an hour. Rinse it very well and your smell should be gone or greatly improved.