Whether you’re backpacking in the great outdoors or backpacking abroad, some of these might just save your life (or at the very least, make things a little easier).
Any soda can, can be turned into a portable camp stove
Here's my favorite tutorial for making one of these:
Need to know how much daylight you’ve got left?
Don’t bring the whole roll
Wrap a water bottle, lighter, utensil, or virtually anything else with about 5-6’ of duct tape, so you have it if you need it but conserve precious space and weight
Keep a DIY first aid kit in a used medicine bottle
Or better yet, DIY Survival kit
Cotton pads dipped in wax are great for starting fires
And chips make great tinder
An Altoids tin holds a remarkable amount of essentials
Including everything you need to charge on the go
There's a host of these DIY charger plans and kits available online (including some pretty awesome solar-powered ones). Pictured here is the Mintyboost, one of the more straightforward plans we've seen.
Waterproof your backpack with a trash bag liner
You don’t need an enormous backpack if you know how to pack properly
Like this guy.
But if you take one, know how gear should be dispersed
You can reuse that empty toilet paper roll… as an iPhone speaker
A straw makes awesome single-use toothpaste or ointment packets
Use a lighter to seal the end of the straw.
They also make good holders for spices
And for longer trips, upgrade to tic-tac holders
Forget emergency candles, a crayon will burn for about 30 minutes
You can waterproof a remarkable amount of things with a little beeswax
Ditch the pillow, all you need is a bag and the clothes you already packed
Or, use a ziploc as an inflatable one
Eliminate the tube, make toothpaste dots
Simply squirt out a little toothpaste onto some foil and let them harden. Collect them in a bag with a little baking soda. When you’re ready to brush your teeth, pop one in your mouth and chew it up to return it to it’s normal pasty consistency.
“Ok maps” could save your life
After finding an area in Google Maps on an Android or IOS device, typing “Ok maps” or “Okay maps” and tapping the search bar will store that area in your device’s cache, so it will be available for offline use (perfect if service or WiFi becomes unavailable).
Caffeine Junkie? These brew for less than $1 a cup
Just add water.
Pack a small microfiber towel instead
They’re thin, ultra absorbent, and dry quickly-- invaluable for the amount of pack-space they take.
Bring a bar of soap (for bug bites if nothing else)
Beat the itch from backwoods and hostel bug bites, rub a dry or lightly dampened bar of soap over the bite for near-instant relief.
Upcycle an empty plastic soda bottle into disposable utensils
A lanyard makes a great DIY shower caddy
Hang it from shower heads, tree branches, or your travel companion.
You can use dental floss to repair a ripped anything