Cooking Oil Fire-Starter

Save used cooking oil in a glass jar or can. Save used paper towels and napkins in a container nearby. When you’re ready for a barbecue or bonfire you have the makings for a handy fire-starter. Wad up a paper towel or napkin and soak it with cooking oil. Place it with your charcoal or kindling and light it. It will smoke a little, but it smells much better than lighter fluid, and your food will taste better too.

Tip: pack oil-soaked paper towels/napkins in a re-closeable tin for camping.

Inexpensive Backpacking & Camping Gear from Recycled Items

With a little foresight you’ll find that there are many recyclable items you can take along on your outdoor outings. Doing so is not only good for the environment but good for your pocketbook.

23 ounce and larger cans can be used for mixing food and as serving dishes, especially if you use a safety can opener that rolls the top under so that there’s a rounded rather than a sharp edge.

Tuna cans can be used as small bowls.

Yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese and other plastic containers with replaceable lids can be used to store small items:

• candle stubs for fire starters

• dryer lint for fire starters

• large coffee can to store items and as an added bonus it can be used as a cooking pot

• matches dipped in candle wax – store in small container so wax doesn’t rub off

• crushable food items

If using more than one plastic container it’s helpful to use containers that can fit inside one another so that once you’ve used the items stored in them, they’re easier to pack out. This can be especially important if you’re planning to pack out items that won’t fit into the containers.

Simple and Inexpensive Portable Barbecue Grill

An empty popcorn tin makes a great inexpensive portable barbecue grill. Use the pointed end of a can opener to punch triangular holes about an inch or two from the bottom of the tin. This is needed for proper air flow. Add your charcoal and set a rack on top. I use one from my last portable grill that had rusted out.

Inexpensive Barbecue Tools