Make Your Own Gear: Outdoor Equipment Ideas for Backpacking and Camping

Information on crafting back-to-basics outdoor gear.

| March/April 1984

  • Outdoor Gear Guide Fire
    Learn to make a wool blanket poncho.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Outdoor Gear Guide Food
    Cook delicious and nutritious backpacking food. 
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Outdoor Gear Guide Lantern
    Build a candle lantern.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • Outdoor Gear Guide Fire
  • Outdoor Gear Guide Food
  • Outdoor Gear Guide Lantern

In this special section on outdoor equipment, we've tried to present a sampling of some of the many functional, low-cost items you can make at home or—in some cases—on the trail . . . including several types of shelters, a backpack, a candle lantern, a compact cooking stove, a poncho, and a sleep-sack. 

How to Build the (Unofficial) Boy Scout Candle Lantern  

How to Make and Pitch Tarp Shelters and Camping Tents  

Make Cold Weather Camping Gear From Wool Blankets  



How to Make a Hobo Stove  

How to Make a Backpack: The Alaskan Packboard and All-Purpose Packsack  






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