Cereal box or similar box
Scissors or craft knife
Some of the most useful camping things can be found right in your home so there’s often no need to visit a camping supply store. For example, tie a knot at each end of a flat sheet, tie a rope onto each end, and you’ll enjoy a relaxing hammock. Stack three pieces of foil, fold each side up a couple of inches, and you have a handy baking pan. But one of the most useful things I’ve ever made for a camping trip was a solar oven. It was portable, simple to make, and could be used to warm bread, hot dogs, s’mores, and other camping foods. Grab a cereal box, snack cracker box, or a similar box, and you can make one for your next camping trip.
A box that opens up at the top – such as a cereal box – is perfect. A large box, of course, will accommodate more food than a smaller version. Besides the box, you’ll need a small amount of foil, a piece of cling wrap, and some tape. These common items are quickly put together to create a solar-type camping oven that will have you preparing meals as if you’re at home.
Remove any bag that might be inside the chosen box. Lay the box on its back and cut on the top. With one long side of the box facing you, cut down, across, and back up, so that you create a three-sided square on top of the box; bend the piece of cardboard so that the fold of the flap becomes the fourth side of the rectangle.
Cut a piece of thin cardboard to be the tiniest bit smaller – all the way around – than the front of the box. Use it as a tray that slides in and out of the solar oven. Cover one side of it with foil and then wrap the flap with foil as well. Tear a piece of cling wrap so that it’s about the size as the whole front of the box. Position it over the opening and tape it well so that it creates a window where you’ll be able to see the food.
Use the oven while the box is on its back; use the top of the box (where you would pour out the cereal) as the oven door. Slide the foil cardboard piece in and out to put food in the oven, to turn it, and so on. The sun will heat the foil – and the box – so that you can cook many different types of foods while camping. The box can be flattened for traveling by opening the bottom, and taping it back in position when you’re ready to use.