The dollar store is great for cheap camping supplies. And we all enjoy a good trip to the dollar store from time to time.
Who doesn’t love a good DIY project, especially when it comes to camping?
If you’re camping on a budget, try out some of these dollar store hacks to make your trip a little easier, and a little more affordable. You might be surprised at what these seemingly basic items can really do.
10 Dollar Store Items That Make Great DIY Camping Supplies
You can take ordinary items you find on dollar store shelves and turn them into really useful and cheap camping supplies.
The dollar store does sell actual camping supplies, but you open up more options when you realize all of the potential DIY hacks that are just sitting on the shelves waiting to be discovered.
Here are some of the best camping ideas we’ve found that will turn what seems like a basic item into a useful and effective accessory.
All of these DIY camping ideas are cheap and reusable, so you can save money while being respectful of the great outdoors.
1. Tic Tac Containers
Tic Tac containers work excellent as spice containers. It’s an easy way to bring along your favorite spices for your meals without taking up too much space when packing.
Just empty out the Tic Tac containers. Buy the fruity kind and it won’t be hard- they’re delicious.
Then just fill the container with your spices and you’re ready to go!
2. Interlocking Foam Tiles
These foam tiles are meant to be for kids to play on, but it turns out they make great camping supplies.
Put them on the floor of your tent. They make excellent padding for under your air mattress, or if you’re camping on some pretty rough terrain.
The tiles will also help to keep your tent clean, which will help it to last longer. Just make sure the tiles don’t get out of the tent- the elements will ruin them and you won’t be able to reuse your project.
3. Key Rings
Most dollar stores sell cheap key rings, which are great items for many DIY projects.
For a cool camping idea, put them on the zippers of your tent. This will make it easier to zip your tent open and closed, especially if you’re going in and out.
Since tents sit outside and become weathered over time, the zippers can erode and become tougher to use. Securing a key ring to the zipper allows you to ensure that you’ll have an easier time getting in your tent.
This is also useful if you’re camping in colder temperatures, so you can easily open your tent while wearing gloves.
4. Collapsible Laundry Hamper
These hampers are a great DIY hack for keeping your campsite clean. Just unfold one and line it with a trash bag, which you can also get from the dollar store.
Just remember to dispose of your trash properly. When you leave, just tie up the bag and toss it in the campground’s waste bin on your way out.
Since they’re collapsible, they don’t take up much space when you pack.
5. Pill Organizers for First Aid
Your first aid kit should have some essential medicines in it, like Advil and Benadryl. But it can take up a lot of space to carry around pill bottles.
Chances are, if you’re going for a short trip you probably don’t need the whole bottle anyway. Buy a cheap pill organizer and fill up the slots with the medicine you might need on the trip. The stackable pill organizers also work for this idea.
You can label each slot with a Sharpie, or if you’re feeling creative, a custom label. It’s a convenient medicine supply right at your fingertips.
6. Pool Noodles
Pool Noodles actually have a bunch of awesome uses for camping.
Cut a slit in the side and you can wrap them around wires or tent poles to prevent little ones from running into them or tripping. If you have a trailer, you can wrap them around those poles as well.
You can also store cords in pool noodles so they don’t unravel or get tangled with your other items.
For those who love playing cards while camping, you can make card holders. Just cut the pool noodle in half lengthwise, then cut a small slit in the outside where you can slide in your cards. For this trick, make sure the slit doesn’t go all the way through.
While chapstick is excellent for your lips, grabbing a couple tubes at the dollar store can benefit your camping trip, too.
If you’re headed to the beach, an empty chapstick container comes in handy. Just roll up whatever cash you’ll need while you’re there, and stick it in the tube.
Then, when you leave your spot to take a dip in the water, passers by with wandering eyes won’t think you have anything worth stealing. You’ll have money for snacks without worrying about it being stolen.
8. Tissue Box
You likely already have a box of tissues on hand in your home, but they are significantly cheaper when you purchase them at the dollar store.
An empty tissue box is a great way to store plastic grocery bags or trash bags. Just keep them stuffed inside the box and pull them out through the top whenever you need them.
Keeping empty bags on hand is a convenient idea because you never know when you’ll need them. They’re handy for wet clothing, recycling items, extra garbage bags, or even storing items your children pick up along the way.
A tissue box fits conveniently in a lot of places, so you can store it anywhere and it won’t take up too much room.
9. Shower Curtain Clips
These clips are great for hanging just about anything, since they can clip onto tons of different surfaces. They are especially useful for hanging things inside your tent, like a flashlight.
If it’s raining, you can hang your wet clothes to dry inside your tent. The clips can hang just about anywhere, so you’ll always have room to dry those shorts.
Shower clips can also be used on your clothesline, just like clothespins. But shower clips are easier to move around if you need to reorganize.
10. Corn Based Chips
Corn chips make perfect kindling for your fire. This will help you out in a pinch if there’s none available around your campsite.
Grab the dollar store corn chips. They’re cheaper than brand name chips so you won’t feel bad about tossing them in the fire. Why waste your money if you aren’t actually eating the chips?
Worst case scenario: if you do find kindling and you don’t need to use the chips, you can just eat them.
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