Turning trash into treasure

 There are lots of ways to save money on outdoor gear. One of the best ways is by recycling. Here are some of my favorite recycling ideas.

- Plastic soda and water bottles make excellent ultralight canteens. Unfortunately, many times these are littering our trails. Pick them up where you can and use them later to boil and carry water. If you fill the bottle about 2/3 full you can dangle it over a fire and boil water. Just be sure that the bottle is about 6 inches from the flame. Burning plastic also makes a good fire-starter in an emergency.

- Beer cans can be made into alcohol stoves and cook pots. Heck any can is easily made into an alcohol stove. You really don't need to do anything to the can other than fill it with alcohol and have a stand to hold your cook pot over the can. There are also much more elaborate and efficient ways to build alcohol stoves with recycled cans. Look around, you might even find some for sale here.
One of the most popular uses is the Heineken 24oz mini keg. Many people use them for ultralight cook pots. They weigh a little over an ounce and are excellent for boiling water.

- Dryer lint. Yes, you read it right. A little dryer lint mixed with some melted wax makes an excellent fire-starter.

- Plastic bags. These are great for keeping your gear dry, especially the resealable kind. You can also use these to carry water and even to  cook with. Another good use for plastic is as a fire-starter. Plastic will melt into your tinder and help get it going. So again, pick this up if you find it on the trail. It could make building a fire much easier.

- Steel wool scrub pads. Not only can you clean your cook pots with them but if you combine these with a 9v battery you have instant fire. Just knead the steel wool into a nice fluffy nest and touch both leads from the 9v battery to it. It will get red hot almost instantly. Just blow on it to fan the flames and catch your tinder on fire.  The nice thing about this is you only need a little to start a fire, so 1 steel wool pad will last awhile.