Blog| Crazy campsite inventions
With camping season well under way, Scouts and leaders share their brilliant self-made campsite gadgets…
Bucking bronco: Cole Valley Explorer Scouts fashioned together poles, rope and tyres and made a fully functioning bucking bronco. One Scout rides the bronco while another pulls gently on the ropes to make the contraption move up and down.
Water-jug lamp: If you’ve forgotten your gas lamp, all you need is a torch, a jug and some water. Fill up the jug with water, attach a torch to this with some tape and flick the switch. Thanks to outdoor specialists Four Elements Adventure for this tip.
Adjustable pot hanger: Cooking equipment can be a pain when transporting from Scout HQ to Scout camp, so it’s always a good idea to improvise once you’re out in the field. Simon Moorhouse, an Explorer Scout Leader from East Lancs, came up with an adjustable holder that suspends a pot over the campfire at different heights. All you need is two strong sticks and tools to cut notches.
Deluxe chair: Why bother forking out lots of cash for a camping chair when you can make your own? In a feat of design genius, Bent and Bongs Explorer Scout Unit created a beautiful campsite chair made out of two simple planks of wood. Comfortable and easy to transport, this is one for the Scout leader who likes to relax in style.
Pot stand: 1st Bedworth turned some spare shelf brackets into a must-have camping accessory. By attaching three metal brackets together to form a miniature table, the Scouts came up with the perfect pot stand – ideal for scorching hot pans of delicious camp stew.
Campsite entrance: When setting up camp, nothing says style and sophistication like a grand entrance. With the use of a few poles, rope, a Group flag and some pioneering skills, Sissinghurst Cub Pack from Weald District, Kent set up an impressive monument in the camp’s glamorous foyer.
Makeshift bed: Fed up with sleeping on the hard ground and waking up to find creepy crawlies in your sleeping bag? One member from 13th Ipswich Sea Scouts set out to combat uncomfortable sleeping arrangements at camp and put together a bunk using sticks and rope. It may not be the cosiest bed ever created, but we’d take this over the cold, muddy ground any day.
Floating beast: Aberdeen Network Scouts put their creative skills to good use during a visit to Knockburn Loch in Kincardineshire, and came up with ‘floating beast’. The Scouts built a raft using pioneering poles and barrels and then pitched the tent on top; the raft was then sent out on the loch. Handy for when your campsite is waterlogged!
Sink unit: Assistant Cub Scout Leader Eoin Neil, from Castle Douglas, Scotland, literally takes the kitchen sink with him to camp. Giving his Cubs no excuse to skip the washing up, Eoin crafted an impressive outside sink, complete with a sturdy wooden foundation and a solid sink surface.
Washing-machine burner: Doubling up as a stove and a wood burner, this improvised piece of camp kit from 2nd Chadwell Heath Scouts will save forking out for new equipment if you happen to have an old washing machine lying about. When turned on its side, a washing machine tub can function as a cooking appliance (just put a griddle on top) or used to warm the Scouts up on chilly evenings.