Dreaming up ways to use paperclips, notebook paper, pencils and more as camping equipment is one thing, but testing them in the outdoors is a whole other story.

Office Products into Camping Equipment
Watching Survivorman with Les Stroud makes you wonder whether you would survive in the wild if given only a few basic items. In order to brave the obstacles and elements, you definitely need gumption and a mind for brainstorming and problem solving. When you’re in the middle of the rain forest and the sun is setting, there is limited time to come up with food and shelter. So, you have no choice but to work with whatever is in your pack. For the sake of a friendly challenge, how do you think you could reuse basic office products while camping?
Dreaming up ways to use paperclips, notebook paper, pencils and more as camping equipment is one thing, but testing them in the outdoors is a whole other story. Some ideas work while others blow up in your face and leave you starving for food or shivering without shelter. To start on a greener path toward reusing your office products, below are some bright ideas to get the light bulbs illuminating in your head.

Hike with paper products

Every camping excursion needs a fire and homemade food — homemade can even mean a simple peanut butter and jelly prepared ahead of time. Wrap sandwiches and other snacks you might make at home before you set off in paper instead of packing them in plastic bags. The notebook or printer paper will keep the food dry and protected in your pack. When evening creeps up on your heels, it’s time to start a fire. But, once the fire is burning, you will want some kindling to keep the flames going throughout the night. Scrap paper from a notebook or planner can be used as filler along with twigs and logs from the woods.

Wash your clothes with pencils

Since the lead in pencils is poisonous, you’re not going to be able to use them as wood skewers for roasting marshmallows. Although that dream is dashed, you can still reuse a handful or more of pencils by creating a washboard. All you need are the pencils, a metal file tray and waterproof glue. By securing the pencils to the back of a metal file tray, you can take it into the lake with you and scrub the dirt, grime and sweat out of your garments for good.

Fish with a spear or handmade rod

A nearby body of water is a great resource, especially when you’re low on food supplies. Fishing does require patience, but it doesn’t require a professional, high-tech fishing rod. When in a pinch, you can resort to spear fishing. Stroud was successful with this technique while in Costa Rica (season one, episode three). By sharpening the plastic outer casing of a ballpoint pen and attaching it to a long piece of wood, he was able to catch his meal. If spear fishing isn’t an option — not everyone is like Stroud and can prevail in choppy, shark-infested waters — you can resort to traditional pole fishing and mold a paperclip into a hook. These are just a few thoughts on how to reuse office products while camping, but the possibilities are limitless. So, the next time you go camping with friends, take along some office products, because they might come in handy in the outdoor break room.