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Filtering by Category: Maker | DIY

Things to Learn Now for Camping This Summer

Annmarie Rodriguez

Eager to spend quality time in nature? After lots of research and personal experience, we have compiled a list of helpful camping tips to keep in mind now so that you can begin prepping for the summer.

First things first: Make sure you claim your temporary home in the wilderness. Use recreation.gov or reserveamerica.com to reserve a spot as soon as possible for the summer. 

Tips of the Trade

*Many of these tips require everyday household items. While reading the list, make note of the items you'll need so that you can start putting them aside for your future trip.  

Camping Coffee 

  1. Pour coffee grounds into a coffee filter. 
  2. Tie the filter closed with a piece of string into what will look like a makeshift tea bag. 
  3. Boil hot water and steep the coffee bag into the pot. 
  4. Enjoy your coffee in the great outdoors. 

*Needed Materials: Coffee grounds. Coffee filters. String. 

Easy-To-Make Fire Starter

  1. Collect lint from your dryer machine and empty toilet paper rolls.
  2. Next, stuff the lint into the toilet paper rolls.
  3. Take this home-made tool camping and use it to start a quality fire.
  4. Roast marshmallows, or simply enjoy the warmth.

*Needed Materials: Dryer machine lint. Empty toilet paper rolls. 

Use A Pencil Sharpener 

Useful for: starting fires and making skewers. 

How to:

  1. Find a twig and use a pencil sharpener to create a fine tip.
  2. Use the shavings to start a fire, and use the stick as a skewer to cook hot dogs or marshmallows. 

*Needed Materials: Pencil sharpener. Twig.

The Multi-functioning Water Jug

Take advantage of this awesome and easy-to-pack item. Here is a list of all the different ways in which packing a water jug could be helpful while camping: 

  • As an ice bag. Freeze the water jug and place it in an ice chest with food items to keep them cold. 
  • For drinking water. Once you're done with the ice, let it melt and drink up.   
  • To make a lantern. Shine a flash light through the melted water and bam! Lantern.
  • To make a shovel. Once the bottle is empty, use a knife to cut off the top and use it to scoop up things.  

*Needed Materials: Water Jug. Ice chest. Flash light. Knife. 

Spice-Filled Straws 

Useful for: bringing practical amounts of spices to the woods for savory cooking. 

How to:

  1. Get a plastic straw.
  2. Burn one of its ends. 
  3. Pat the burnt end closed with a piece of cloth so that the melted plastic glues together. 
  4. Pour desired spices into the straw. 
  5. Burn the opposite end & repeat step 3. 
  6. Label the straw with its corresponding spice using a Sharpie. 
  • Once you cut the end open to use for cooking, feel free to burn the end again to close back up. 

*Needed Materials: Plastic straws. A lighter. Spices. A Sharpie. 

Duct Tape Tip 

Instead of bringing a whole roll of duct tape, wrap a few feet of it around a water bottle. Keep your water bottle on you to stay hydrated and just in case you need the tape. It can be used to: 

  • Mend a tear in your tent or backpack. 
  • Cover a blister: The compression will easy the pain and keep it from getting worse.

*Needed Materials: Duct tape. Water bottle.

Journal It 

Take a few moments out in the wilderness to write down some of your thoughts. Writing in a journal is good for your emotional and physical health. There is increasing scientific evidence that shows how writing in a journal helps reduce stress and resolve conflicts with others. It's also a wonderful way to record the memories that you are making on your camping trip.

*Needed Materials: Journal. Pen or Pencil. Willingness to write and reflect. 

We hope these tips will help you live well, do good and enjoy the great outdoors.


DIY Upcycled Camera Light

Seth Strickland


By Jerome Love

Do you have an old film camera lying around? You may have bought it at a thrift store or antique store to revive your love of the darkroom, but now it has become an awkward dust collector on your knickknack shelf or a strange paper weight. Here is a quick guide to making it a useful desk light! 

DISCLAIMER: This project requires minor wiring. Please consult a licensed electrician if you at all feel uncomfortable working with electricity. 

Things you need:

- An old film camera (SLR’s work the best, but are not        necessary)
- Medium candle socket (candelabra for smaller cameras)
- Lamp wire and plug
- Light bulb
- Epoxy
- Wire strippers
- Small electric drill and drill bit
- Screwdriver
- Gloves
- Eye protection


If you’re using an SLR camera, remove the lens from the camera body and remove all of the glass and aperture elements completely from the lens so that there hole big enough for your light socket to fit through.

Open the back of the camera and remove the shutter and mirror. Don’t worry if you break this stuff, you’re not going to need it. Now you will want to drill a hole through the bottom of the camera for your wire to go through. Feed wire through this hole and out through front of the camera where the lens attaches. Close the back door. Next you want to wire your light socket with your desired length of wire, here is a great guide for wiring a basic light socket.  

Finally center your light socket so that the now hollow lens fits and epoxy the hickey of the socket to the inside of the camera. Allow the epoxy to set according the packaging and finally reattach your lens to the body. Put a plug on the wire coming out the bottom of the camera, screw in a light bulb of your choice and voila, you have a great up cycled camera light! The same instructions apply for a camera with a non-removable lens, you just have to remove the glass and insides with it attached!

Good luck.