My wife and I are studying abroad this semester. For our spring break week we're planning on heading across Europe, exploring. We plan to camp along the way to save money. What kind of gear should we make, and how do we make it without any tools? I'm trying to spend as little money as possible, because this gear will be left here. We have our setups at home, but didn't want to lug them across the ocean for a week's use.
We have our school backpacks, so we at least have some packs to use. We brought a lightweight sleeping bag and a blanket, and can use the sheets/blankets in the apartment I suppose.
I am looking at stoves currently and am debating between a wood burning stove and an alcohol stove. It will depend on what tools I need to make the stoves, I suppose. I have found a can stove or two that can be made with no tools (nothing more than scissors, at least). We already eat, and there are plenty of beverage cans thrown in the bushes, so materials are free for a non-wick stove.
We have a spork (mine broke during the trip), and can just use the silverware from the kitchen. We have a couple of pieces of tupperware that we can use as dishes.
I'm not quite sure about a pot yet. I haven't looked at any stores for a large can to use. I assume I can find a large Heineken can, or a large soup can of some sort. If not, then I figured I would buy an aluminum disposable turkey tray and cut/fold it to work.
I figure that a tarp will be enough shelter for the two of us, as long as it is large enough to double as a ground cloth. Any suggestions on making one?
Is there anything that I am overlooking? Any suggestions on best practices for gathering the materials or putting everything together?
Cat stove can be made with a hole puncher or a church key, simple and efficient. Same for some hobo stove (church key, scissors...) For pots, look for big coffee or baby milk cans. XL Heineken will be very difficult to find. You can also get cheap gear brands like Gelert or Blacks.
I don't have a churchkey. I did find a Swiss Army Knife at the park yesterday, so I can use the can opener on there, though.
I've already made a couple of the Firelight Stoves with a kitchen knife and pair of scissors. I've also built a windscreen out of three cans (notched the ends so they fit together). All of these came from free cans, picked up on the way home from school.
I'm also going to try and find a can of the proper size so that I can make J. Falk's Wood Burning Stove. I saw a hacksaw and some files in my landlord's shed... I'm sure I can borrow them for a minute. There is a fireplace in our apartment, so I will be able to test this out before taking a trip. However, if I don't find a can, I'll just use the Firelight stove.
I was wondering about the XL Heineken can... I thought that maybe a pineapple can (they come wider) would work. I'll keep my eye out for the milk cans, though. Don't drink coffee fast enough to make purchasing a can worth the cost.
I think that we only need a tarp/shelter of some sort, and possibly a sleeping pad.
I think that I located a can of the proper size for the wood-burning stove. Not full of anything that I really like, though, so I'm going to keep looking. If I can't find anything else, I'll be eating canned grapefruit (I like grapefruit, just not canned).
I did find some milk cans last night at the store, but I'm going to keep looking to see if there's something else that I would prefer (can contents, not the can itself). There was an interesting can containing a minced beef and onion pie (think pot pie with beef and onion inside). It's about the size of a small skillet (minus the handle, of course), and about an inch tall. I'm going to try one of the pies (they look good, or at least the steak and mushroom one does) and give the pan a test. Get a couple of them and I can use one for a pan and one for a lid.
Saw a sheet of plastic in the dumpster by the construction on campus. I'm going to head back by after school today and see if it might work for a tarp of some sort.
I didn't even think about it until last night, but surely I can get some cheap shower curtains. If I could get two for cheap, that'd be a tarp and a ground cloth. (One each for my wife and I to carry.)
We could probably rig something so that the shower curtain acts as a bivy sack. Or we could make some trash-bag bivy's.
We don't have a large trash can, and I'll have to find some tape, so I'm thinking that might end up being a bit more expensive (over-all, not per use). I'll start comparing prices and see which will work out best for our needs.