Questions tagged [improvised-gear]

Questions on the art of constructing one's own equipment when one does not have access to an off the shelf device.

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Improvised shoes in coniferous forest (winter conditions)

My question is inspired by 'Naked and Afraid' where the participants have made their shoes from the bison fur they've received (and their toes were numb up to that point). Assuming I get in the stupid ...
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11 votes
3 answers
4k views

Duct tape as adhesive bandage

If I'm out of adhesive bandage, and have a wound to treat, how can I improvise, using duct tape? Adhesive bandage is actually a sticky tape with a piece of fabric inside, so I could slice a piece of ...
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4 votes
3 answers
168 views

garbage collection equipment: frame with handle as garbage bag holder

My son (almost 2) loves picking up garbage, so I decided to give him garbage collection equipment as a birthday present. For that, I'd like to get a thing which serves as a bag holder with wide ...
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8 votes
4 answers
302 views

How big a tarp for one person?

Based on this question: Best tarp setup for camping on the plains? I wonder how big a tarp I need to carry for one person, for emergency use only. I am hoping to do a multi day hike where I will ...
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  • 2,547
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to improvise a pair of tweezers in the wild?

From slivers caused by chopping wood, thorns from plants, or bee stings there have been times when out in the woods when a pair of tweezers would come in handy and none where on hand. Are there are ...
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  • 2,750
19 votes
8 answers
5k views

Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)?

I am currently stuck in the wilderness, and I have been out here for a while. I want to focus light. There are various reasons for wanting to do this, with the two biggest reasons being for vision and ...
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  • 3,436
6 votes
1 answer
769 views

Can you start a wood fire with a Spark Bunsen Burner/Laboratory Lighter?

Someone suggested using a Safety Spark Bunsen Burner/Laboratory Lighter with 5 Flints to start tinder for an emergency fire. I don't currently own one so can't try it. I have used them to light ...
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2 votes
2 answers
836 views

Start a fire with nail clippers?

My inexpensive nail clippers are chrome plated steel. All the keys on my key ring are brass or some other non-ferrous metal (I checked with a magnet). The nail clippers have that small nail file ...
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7 votes
2 answers
502 views

Start a fire with key fob battery?

We know that you can start a fire with a battery. the better prepared you are the easier it is going to be. I am not prepared and all I have in my pockets is my car keys, which includes a keyless ...
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9 votes
4 answers
988 views

Hot water system as a heater for car camping?

For car camping near the snow line, is there anything that can safely be used as a heater while sleeping? For example, how large would ordinary hot water bottles need to be, to comfortably emit heat ...
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  • 211
8 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to protect sunglasses without a case?

I find abandoned sunglasses fairly frequently, right now the snow shoe and cross country trails are melting, and all of the sunglasses that were lost during the winter are now visible. I don't find ...
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Starting a Fire with a Battery - what are the fundamental guidelines for safety and efficacy?

There are numerous videos online demonstrating that its possible to start a fire using a battery. Here are four examples using different starting materials. But I have not found any tutorials that ...
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  • 219
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

How can one tiller a bow without a tillering tree or similar wooden device?

I've been crafting a longbow from ash and am about ready for tillering. By tillering I mean: stringing the bow loosely and drawing the bowstring back little by little to give the bow some flex, making ...
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0 votes
0 answers
68 views

Building a fridge in the wild [duplicate]

I've read that one can create a (actually a pretty decent) fridge with quite common materials a few years ago. How do you do that?
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  • 23.4k
6 votes
3 answers
602 views

What are some heavy-duty alternatives to a long line for walking a dog on rugged terrain?

Ok so we've a Shetland Sheepdog, roughly 6kg for his max weight, and he has a pretty decent harness (as in you can pick him up from it and it doesn't hurt him, choke him etc) but he only has a decent ...
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5 votes
3 answers
3k views

When stranded, how do I choose a place to camp on an island?

We are in a Robinson Crusoe situation where we're stranded on a tropical island (lonely or not). We've to setup our camp. How to determine the right piece of land? For example you might wanna have a ...
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8 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to create a cast or splint to aid a broken bone?

Assuming you or one of your party has broken his leg (or something). How can you create a provisional splint or cast to bring you/him/her back to the next hospital etc.? Would be cool if it's made ...
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10 votes
4 answers
31k views

How to measure the temperature without a thermometer?

We are in the wild and need to know how cold/hot it is. How can we measure the temperature if we don't have any thermometers? Can we build something similar, etc.? It doesn't have to be necessarily ...
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  • 23.4k
8 votes
2 answers
805 views

What materials from nature can I use to make a hunting bow in the wilderness?

What materials can be used to make a hunting bow in the wilderness? Not just for the main structure but also the materials that would be suitable for the string. All of the materials should be from ...
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18 votes
2 answers
16k views

How to make a traditional torch?

How would you go about preparing an old fashioned torch for use in survival situations where an electrical torch has failed?
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  • 15.4k
8 votes
1 answer
118 views

What are the things I need to know when fashioning a sling?

I was trying to make a sling the other day to entertain my kids (yes this is a terrible idea) and although the finished product worked (sort of) it occurred to me that this, like all ancient handi-...
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20 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to make DIY ice axe protectors?

How to make ice axe protectors yourself? I have few ideas from using duck tape to 3D printing, but it would be nice to hear about methods proven to work. The reason I want to add protectors is a lot ...
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  • 777
5 votes
2 answers
566 views

Tent Fly Coloured Reflective Tape

I have an MSR Elixir 2 tent with footprint that is great for my spring/summer/fall rock trips and is made of quite durable fabric. It has worked quite well at very cold temps and has very effectively ...
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  • 4,465
16 votes
2 answers
14k views

Making a Make-Shift harness from Tape-Slings

I have some common knowledge about knots used for Climbing and Rope-care. There was an incident last week, where I needed a Seat-Harness which I didn't have with me. I needed one for tying up a ...
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  • 31.5k
16 votes
5 answers
11k views

How to find new poles for old tent?

I have a nice and small tent I really like that is around 30 years old. It is from Sierra West, but I don't remember the model name. Here is a picture so that you can see the size and general ...
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  • 21.3k
5 votes
1 answer
839 views

How to improvise heavy rain protection for a backpack?

Heavy rain can soak all of your gear. There are some things that you don't ever want to get wet, like your camera. I've learned to protect those things with string bags, which are light and I always ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

What to do with old hydration bladders?

I have two old hydration bladders, both of which are no longer usable (in one the cap is broken, in the other the internal bag is ripped). Spare parts appear to be unavailable. Is there anything good ...
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  • 2,824
16 votes
3 answers
5k views

Safe way to mark a carabiner gate?

At the crag this weekend I noticed that my climbing partner's carabiner had a great feature: a red line painted such that you know the carabiner isn't locked until the red is hidden. I love this ...
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  • 5,716
24 votes
2 answers
30k views

Is it safe to use denatured alcohol as an antiseptic?

A lot of hikers carry denatured alcohol for cooking. Is there any risk to using it as an antiseptic for cuts and lacerations?
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12 votes
7 answers
4k views

What should I do if I break a shoelace in the wilderness?

If I'm hiking in the wilderness and my shoelace breaks, what's the best way to go about fixing it assuming I have no spare?
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there a way to light a fire in the wild using rocks?

Just for fun, how would I go about lighting a fire with naturally shaped rocks by striking sparks? It might be useful if I were to camp in the far north, where there are no trees. What should I use ...
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  • 1,902
10 votes
1 answer
288 views

Is it possible to improvise a knife sharpener in the wild?

Assuming I am lost with minimal tools, but have my knife, is there any way to improvise a knife sharpener in the woods?
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18 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to sail a packraft

I would like to use the wind to propel my packraft on passages over lakes. Are there any lightweight and/or improvised sail systems? Especially: how do I erect a mast on the packraft without it ...
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14 votes
2 answers
599 views

How can I make/improvise a rope on a trip?

If I'm out in the wilderness and find myself in need of a rope I don't have with me (forgotten, not enough, another snapped), how can I make one? Are there any natural ropes I could use with minimal ...
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  • 5,298
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

How could I treat scrapes outdoors without a first aid kit?

Say I'm hiking outdoors and I get a scrape. I've forgotten my first aid pack, or already used up the appropriate supplies. Is there anything in the wilderness I can use to sterilize and perhaps cover ...
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  • 5,298
16 votes
6 answers
959 views

What are some alternative ways of fishing - i.e. catching fish?

If I'm out in the wilderness and want to catch fish to survive, what are some ways I can do this without a conventional fishing pole/line?
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  • 7,245