You can find a lot of useful camping gear among your everyday household goods. Here are some of our favorites:
White rice. If your iPhone takes a dive into the river just as you are taking that perfect instagram photo, place it in a baggie filled with rice in order to dry it out. This is a good trick for all electronics. An added bonus: you can always eat the rice if you have no mishaps.
Bandana. Bandanas are super useful in the outdoors. You can use them to protect your head from sunburn, or as an eye patch, tourniquet, pouch, washcloth, or towel.
Cornstarch. To soothe sunburns and bug bites, mix cornstarch with water and apply it to the affected area. Cornstarch also makes a handy hair product: just sprinkle a little on your scalp to help absorb oily hair. Let the cornstarch sit for a few minutes and then brush it out. And, of course, a little cornstarch really helps thicken up gravy and soups.
Aluminum foil. Crumpled up tinfoil works well as a pan or grill scrubber. It’s great for cooking, too. And, you can shape it to use as a funnel.
Duct tape. What can’t duct tape be used for? It can repair a tear in your tent or backpack, or cover up those pesky hiking blisters.
One-liter water bottle. You can use a one-liter water bottle when hiking. It is much lighter and cheaper than a Nalgene bottle.
Dryer lint. Some people think dryer lint makes a great fire starter. To make your own portable fire starters, cut up an egg carton into single-egg compartments. Fill each one with dryer lint, and seal with wax. Here is my review of that method:
Dental Floss. What else are you going to use if your shoelace breaks? Also, floss is useful for repairing a tent, tying down a rain tarp, hanging wet clothes, or using as a fishing line.
Safety pins. I always travel with a safety pin, not just when camping. It is one of the most useful and tiny things you can carry. Safety pins can hold together a broken strap on your clothing, tent, or backpack, and they can also be used to get out a splinter.
Socks. Socks make great potholders. Just try to use clean ones. You can also use a sock as a weapon by filling it up with stones. Hopefully, your camping trip won’t require that, but it’s good to know.
What other household items make for good camping gear?