Diy Cheap Homemade Backpacking Gear

You could spend a small fortune for equipment at a backpacking store, but better yet, make most of it yourself.

Sure, there are some things which would be really handy on a backpacking trip that you probably can't make yourself, like a pocket knife, or good boots. But there are various items which you can make yourself and save a bundle. In addition, there are several belongings which you probably already have that make great backpacking accessories. For instance, a pillowcase is an excellent way to pack an assortment of supplies for the trip. Put your supplies in a plastic bag, then down in the pillowcase to keep your clothes and other dry goods from getting wet. A zipper can be sewn into the top, or it can be tied shut with a piece of rope which will come in handy later. And, you'll definitely need a backpack. A student's large bookbag will serve the purpose, and if the bookbag has several side pockets, even better.

Sheets and a quilt can be made into a perfect sleeping bag. Take two twin sheets with right sides together and cut them down to approximate sleeping bag size. Now, sew around three sides of the sheets, turn right-side-out and stuff with quilt. Cut quilt size down some if need be. Sew end shut. If you're not good with a sewing machine or a needle and thread, try fabric glue instead. It's waterproof, dries quickly and is satisfactory for many different fabrics. Roll your pillowcase full of supplies up in your newly fabricated sleeping bag, then tie a shoestring or other cord around the sleeping bag at each end. After tying, flip the sleeping bag over and tack or glue the shoestrings onto the bag. This way, your ties stay attached to the bag for the next camping trip. The cords also give you a way in which to attach the sleeping bag and other supplies directly onto the backpack.

Foil is a marvelous invention when it comes to backpacking. It can be used to make various implements during your excursion. First of all, it can be fashioned into a drinking cup or a pot for boiling water. It can also be shaped into a spoon, a rain cap and a skillet. Use several layers of foil together when crafting pots, pans or utensils from foil. You can even make galoshes for walking around the campsite, but you'll get no traction, so it's not recommended to cover boots in foil while hiking. Also wrap cool items up in foil before packing to keep them cold longer.



In case it rains, large trash bags are ideal for a makeshift raincoat. Cut openings out of one trash bag for the neck and armholes. Take a second bag and cut it down both sides and across the bottom. Out of these two pieces, fashion the arms of the raincoat by measuring the length of your arm, cut off the excess and tape each shut at the under seam. Next, tape the arms of the raincoat into the armhole opening. A quality brand of wide duct tape works great.

At some point, you'll probably need a fire and there may not be any dry firewood laying around, so prepare for this situation by making your own campfire product. Form your trusty foil into a baking pan shape. Stir wood shavings and cut up wax or crayons together. You should have about one part wax, one part shavings. After mixing together thoroughly, place into foil baking pan. Place in the oven on a low temperature until the wax melts. Remove from oven and let cool. After cooling completely, wrap entire concoction in aluminum foil. When ready to use, just unwrap, place on the ground and light with a match. This should burn about three or four hours, depending upon the size you've made it.

For a grill, acquire three small wire racks, such as those found in a toaster oven. Attach two of the racks, one at each end of the third rack, with bread ties. The ties allow you to attach the side racks in a position where they can fold atop the main rack to lay flat, or open to stand the grill above the fire.

If the only water supply nearby doesn't look too appetizing, filter it through an ordinary coffee filter. Scoop up some water and let it drip through the filter into your foil pan. To make sure it is fit for consumption, carry a small bottle of chlorine bleach. Add a drop of bleach to your water for sterilization.

Should you need a tent, string a rope between two trees and throw a king sized sheet over it. If it looks like rain, throw a large piece of plastic over the sheet. The next time you're ready for backpacking, don't head to the nearest "Outdoor Store". Instead, gather up some supplies from around the house and you'll be ready for anything.

© High Speed Ventures 2011