First, let's take a look at the basic supplies you'll need for a traditional excursion. A tent is a must, as are sleeping bags. You'll also need toilet tissue, lanterns, matches, a first aid kit, insect repellant, water and food, and a compass. Many people choose to bring more than this, but these are the basics for a safe and fun camping trip.
Let's start with the tent. Can you make a tent yourself? Well, you could, but I wouldn't recommend it, although as a scout leader, I have often slept in shelters. This is because today's tents are made from high-quality, weatherproof material and crafted with factory precision to be ideal in every aspect. If you are excellent with a sewing machine and want to rough it, you could give it a shot, but don't expect miracles. Something you can easily sew on your own with a decent sewing machine is a sleeping bag. It's simply a matter of choosing fabrics and filling, adding the zipper, and sewing it together. You could also sew other blankets and coverings to bring along. Try making your fleece vest for extra warmth if you're in a cold climate.
One thing that is easy to make yourself is insect repellant. Natural insect repellant is a safe way to keep the bugs away without the use of toxic pesticides. Here is an easy and effective repellent recipe you can make and take with you on your trip. It takes two weeks, so give yourself plenty of time.
If you are unfortunate enough to get bitten, you can dab milk onto the bites to help take the itch out or sodium bicarbonate.
Homemade camping gear is something that, for the most part, is best left to the very experienced. You certainly don't want equipment that can't stand up to the elements or falls apart on you. If you must make your gear, choose easy projects like the ones suggested in this article and buy the more crucial supplies like your tent, safety equipment, and first aid supplies from a trusted outdoor supply store.
Before spending a fortune on your camping supplies, consider implementing some money-saving strategies. Getting your camping gear cheap is possible if you know how, where, and when to shop. Although camping season for most areas is mid-spring to mid-fall, the best time to shop for equipment is during the off-season—the off-season in most regions in the winter. Many stores will drastically reduce the price of their camping equipment to make room for new seasonal merchandise.
Another smart strategy is to shop at an outlet store. Outlet stores have merchandise from a particular company at a low price. The reason for the discounts is often because there is no retail store acting as the middleman. Also, much of the merchandise is overstocked from stores and factories that companies want to eliminate. Sometimes you will also find returned or slightly scratch and dent merchandise in these excellent outlet stores. If there are no outlet stores in your area, there are other ways to find discount camping equipment.
One way is to shop on the Internet. Online shopping is great because you can browse many stores from the comfort of your living room. There are all kinds of specialty stores offering the latest and greatest camping equipment available online. In addition to small shops, you can find large superstores like Wal-Mart and Target, which allow you to browse and buy without ever leaving your home. Shopping in this manner is safe if you deal with a company that offers secure checkout.
And don't forget about online auction sites, with eBay being the best and most widely used. eBay is a great place to find camping gear cheap. Some of it will be new, while some of it will be pre-owned. When shopping on eBay, take your time and make sure you're choosing the best product available, for the best price, from the most respected seller. Reading a seller's feedback is an excellent way to determine if they are honest and trustworthy. You'll be amazed at how inexpensive some of the camping gears on this site can be. Many people sell their items because they no longer need them. Perhaps they've upgraded their equipment or need the money. In any case, you can benefit and end up with some great outdoor gear!