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Whether you’re an expert mountaineer, an experienced veteran or an amateur enthusiast, creating your own survival gear is a great way to enrich your outdoor experience and advance skillset.
The thought of exploring DIY gear options may seem intimidating to some. However, while making your own equipment may seem like a challenge, a bit of advice can help you navigate this foreign territory with ease.
Why Making Your Own Survival Gear Matters
Whether you’re planning a weekend excursion at a local camping site or prepping for a physically-intensive trip through the mountains, you should always prepare. When voyaging, you’re likely to carry a limited supply or key necessities with you. It’s vital to know how to make the most out of the supplies that find their way into your backpack.
For others, DIY survival gear is a cost-effective alternative to products you’ll find at your local camping supply stores. Recycling products is eco-conscious and ensures you get as much use as possible out of your current supplies without requiring a last-second shopping trip.
The skills and know-how required to make your own survival gear on the go can mean the difference between a comfortable and a potentially hazardous trip. Research studies show many people in today’s society lack basic survival skills, primarily due to our increasing reliance on technology. Creating your own gear can be the first step in channeling your inner survivalist.
If you decide to trek through the woods or across the Appalachian Mountains, you’re unlikely to run into a hardware store along the way. However, you can take your skills and knowledge with you wherever you go — granting you the assurance you need to ensure your outdoor adventures will always be fun, effective and safe.
How to Create Your Own Survival Gear
When it comes to creating your own gear, you’ll need to go beyond the basics. Delving into a DIY project requires a few pointers that will help guide you to successfully complete your survival gear projects.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you start:
1. Define Your Survival Gears Purpose
Survival equipment is
a pretty broad category. What may be deemed necessary for survival during one
trip may not be handy for another. Plus, everyone possesses a varied and unique
set of skills.
If you’re a master at starting a fire with bare necessities, it may not be helpful to create survival gear with the sole purpose of creating flames. If you know you won’t have access to clean water sources during your trip, though, a DIY water-purifying device will help you survive.
Before you get to work on a project, remember to tailor your gear to your needs. Key points to keep in mind when creating survival gear include:
- Your weaknesses: What do you struggle to obtain during your explorations that are required for safety? Some have difficulty starting fires. Others find it challenging to build a shelter. Think about your weaknesses and create your gear accordingly.
- Number of people in your party: Will you be journeying alone, or will you have a large team with you? It’s important to consider the number of people involved, as this will influence the amount of gear and supplies required during your journey. You’ll only need one fire starter regardless of how many people you take with you, for instance. On the flip side, more shelter options are required for larger groups.
- Your intended excursions: Where will your journey take place? If you have a tendency to hike cold and snowy mountains, create gear that stimulates warmth. In areas with high mosquito populations, nets are a necessity. Evaluate the conditions that define where you’ll go and create gear that will help you thrive.
2. Don’t Rush the Process
You have to learn to walk before you can run, as the old expression goes. The same mentality applies when creating survival gear.
Countless others just like you research the Internet daily for DIY survival gear projects. This means that, over time, nature enthusiasts have curated an extensive list of camping gear projects that range in difficulty. You’ll have no trouble finding projects for amateurs that serve as the perfect starting spot for your DIY experience.
Start small until you gradually work your way up. Begin by making simpler items until you perfect your skills and move onto more challenging projects. A great idea for beginners is a DIY compass made with a cork, sewing needle and magnet.
After you complete a
few beginner-friendly survival gear projects, you’ll find it easier to move
into making fire-starters, stoves and more complex accessories.
3. Be Thorough With Your Work
When it comes to creating survival gear, it’s best not to just wing it. While the process of creating your own equipment is enriching and fun, it’s not the same as splattering a bunch of paint on a canvas and calling it a day.
Whenever you’re beginning a new project, carefully outline what tools you’ll need, measurements and other key details. Be prepared and always have a slight excess of what’s required to begin your project. For example, experts advise that you buy 25% more yardage than you anticipate needing. It’s better to have too much of a material, rather than too little, when you’re crafting your survival gear.
4. Think Outside the Box
You may find that the survival gear currently available on the market comes up short in one way or another. Perhaps you have a favorite tent that would benefit from better ventilation or air-holes. Perhaps you think a light-weight fire-starter would be more advantageous for your travels.
Get creative and think outside of the box when crafting your gear. The greatest perk of being your own designer is that you can alter, adjust and personalize as you see fit. Expanding your creativity can enhance your survival skills — so it’s a win-win all around!
5. Use Available Resources
Nobody is born with the ability to make their own clothes or capture their food. While these skills are feasible, they require the use of practice, knowledge and valuable resources.
Don’t forget that people make up one of the greatest available resources when it comes to creating survival gear. Ask for help when you need it and don’t be afraid to ask other campers, outdoor enthusiasts and nature-lovers how they create their gear.
You’re bound to run into problems or confront challenges along the way. If you ask a knowledgeable friend for advice, you’ll not only expand your skillset, but you’ll find it easier to create useful and effective gear.
What Survival Gear Should You Make?
When you think of survival, what comes to mind? For many, it’s access to potable water, food and shelter. Your survival supplies should consist of a plethora of different necessities that range in purpose from lighting to medical support.
If you’re not quite sure where to start, here’s a list of potential DIY projects that will become a must-have for your survival gear collection:
- Fire starters: Every adventurer should have access to fire, whether to cook their food or stay warm. You can craft fire starters from empty toilet paper rolls, sticks, wax and many other easy-to-find products.
- Camping stoves: Whether your outdoor trip will only last the day or will span an entire week, you’ll need access to food. DIY, portable camping stoves can cook your meat and any food you catch during your outdoor excursion. Camping stoves are easy to make out of spare materials such as soda cans or wood.
- Medical kits: When you’re venturing outdoors and into foreign terrains, you should always come equipped with the necessary medical supplies to stay safe. Consider making a DIY emergency kit to bring with you during your next voyage.
- Shelter: When you’re outside, it’s not likely you’ll encounter a super cozy area that’s readily-available to rest. DIY survival gear for shelter can consist of hangers and support for setting up, the tents themselves and any makeshift blankets or pillows to aid you in your sleep.
- Lighting: Electricity is a luxury you won’t find in the wild. Consider a DIY lamp or candle you can use at night to navigate through darker areas. Whether you convert a peeled fruit into a candle holder or add rechargeable solar lights to a mason jar, a simple DIY light will be a staple accessory when enhancing your adventures.
- Hoop Snare Trap: If you’re out in the woods and need to survive, you might not have much to work with. As long as you have some twigs and rope, you can easily make a DIY hoop snare trap. You can make these with smaller or larger branches, depending on what kind of animal you’re hunting. The last thing you’ll need is a little bit of bait and you’ll be all set.
- Spring Fishing Pole: Speaking of rope and branches, why not fish while you’re at it? The best part of this easy-to-make pole is that you can go work on other tasks while it’s out there, and then come back when it’s time to check your catch.
- Water Filter: If you don’t have a water filter, you can easily make one as long as you have a plastic bottle and something and a cup to put the water in. You can find just about everything else you need in the wilderness.
- Survival Knife: Chances are you already have a knife, but you can still make one in a pinch. Find a somewhat sharp piece of metal and then file it down to be as sharp as possible. Then simply wrap a handle in rope or something else that’s easy to hold onto.
- Bow and Arrow: At this point you’re starting to realize just how essential a little bit of rope can be to your survival. Grab yourself some of it and a long, flexible tree branch and you can easily have yourself a DIY bow and arrow in just a few minutes. PVC pipe works even better if you have it.
There’s a lot of camping gear available on the market. Yet there’s an even greater array of projects that let you create your favorite survival accessories yourself. Why buy gear when you can fashion a product designed to meet your specific needs?
Whether you want to cut costs, customize your gear or get in touch with your inner survivalist, you’ll find crafting your own gear is a fun and creative way to prepare you for your next outdoor trip. What are you waiting for?
Before you embark on your next adventure, what DIY project will you begin?