Instructables

Ultra-Lightweight Backpacking Spice Kit (only 1oz.)

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I like to cook, and I like to hike, so naturally I like to cook while I hike. In order to make some interesting and tasty meals on the trail, I put together a small spice kit. I decided to make my own kit mainly because I could not find anything i liked available commercially. That and it was super easy and cheep to do.

Just as a side note, some of my favorite trail recipes are available at: trailcooking.com
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials
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Here is a list of what you will need to make this kit:

1. 1 pack of m&m's minis
Not only is this a great container for the kit, but you get a snack while you make it.

2. 8 large straws
I like straws from Jack in the box, they are very durable and slightly larger than typical. You can use smaller straws and get more variety in your kit, or you could use bubble tea straws if you want a lot of something.

3. Scotch tape

4. White colored tape for labeling.
I used medical tape i had in my first-aid kit. If you have a label maker that would be great too.

Step 3: Assemble the Packets

To assemble the packets:

1. Fold back a 1/4" at the end of the longest piece
2. Pinch this section and fully insert it in to the 1" piece of cut straw. (this will be the lid of the packet)

3. Repeat steps 1&2 on the other end, and use the 0.5" piece of cut straw.
4. Tape the end with the short piece of straw in place. (this will be the bottom of the packet)
TheGeek19842 years ago
I finally got around to making one of these, only I had too many spices in my cupboard and had to use an empty Altoids tin. I used a different method to close it though. I held the end in my pliers, and then melted the protruding end with a lighter. I then made a little sleeve to keep the tin from opening up in my pocket or backpack.
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That's a great idea too. I currently have an Altoids tin with some restaurant packets in it. This makes me want to add my own spices to it. I've been keeping my tin in a ziploc bag in my pack. Your sleeve idea is awesome too. Thanks for sharing!

chabias made it!4 months ago

I used small freezer labels to write the names of the spices on.

spice straws - Copy.jpg
frogmama1 year ago
Great Ible! Thanks! I've seen this done for a medicine cabinet kit too - sealing shorter straws like sour-cream packets. That could be modified for this application possibly too. (just keep it away from the spices! Hopefully the ointments wouldn't leak in the heat).

I could have a lot of fun with this one!
MrMakeveli2 years ago
Love it. I've used other containers but this is light and easy.
hweiss2 years ago
Try slurpee straws, you can use the scoop end to pick up the spice and shake it to work in the spice. You can also use the McDonald's coffee stirrers to scoop in the spice for regular straws.
jreifsnyder3 years ago
another idea...craft funnel... usually for glitter, etc but should work just fine for spices! :0) http://www.simonsaysstamp.com/servlet/the-15935/Top-Boss-CRAFT-FUNNEL/Detail
jpix3 years ago
Wow that is a really cool idea. Thanks for sharing.
shadekat3 years ago
Two thoughts, if you want to melt your straws, heat up something metal, possibly ridged, as opposed to direct heating.

Second, while not as long, camelbak elixir or other hydration tablet containers would be good for this as well, good to reuse these.
chabias3 years ago
I absolutely LOVE this!! Thanks for sharing!
bingo19123 years ago
As was stated earlier by the author, bubble tea straws will work well, they are a very large diameter straw, :)
malibu663 years ago
You don't have to heat up the pliers. just use a pair of needle nosed pliers and pinch all but about am 1/8" from end and use a lighter match to melt it. Make the original straw length long enough to snip off a little and reseal if needed after each use... lots of other applications to using straws for storage too
twighahn3 years ago
airborne/walborne/air health has the same type of containers
amfisher3 years ago
Wow! Thanks for the great idea! I can't wait to use it the nest time our Explorer Scouts go camping. Remeber to make sure you bring the straws home with you and don't leave them in the forest. Protect those little creatures of our environment. Very handy!
I made like 10 of these wow only 10 ozs to fit my entire spicecloset
ZEarwood4 years ago
totally awesome!!!
ZEarwood4 years ago
Wow! This is def genius! I'm using this on my trip into the woods!!!
threadbare4 years ago
We did it!!! We all made our pocket spice kits today. The lighting the bottom worked like a charm. I would highly recommend it. It was fun to see what spices each kid chose and how each decorated their tube. And the kids have been toting them around showing them off which is nice. Thanks for such a great idea!
But I definitely like the tucked in lid idea better for the top. We plan to use ours in urban settings and my kids are too young to be toting lighters. I think it's a slick and easy resealing idea.
threadbare4 years ago
My kids and I are making these today. They are making theirs not for camping but for bland cafeteria food. I thought that was smart of them. So far their favorite part is eating the M+Ms, I'll get back to you on the rest.
supersith225 years ago
I'm not sure if anyone else said this yet but you can also seal the bottom of the straw with a lighter by melting it shut. But that way i suppose you loose a little bit of the straw.

Very cool idea! =)
Oh that's a great idea about melting the bottom. We are making these today so we will be able to try out both.
i just tried that 5 mins ago, it doesn't work. the straw peels outward on itself as it heats up. doesn't seal. =(
you have to melt it with the heat from the lighter, not the flame, and then squeeze it shut before it dries (un-melts) :)
ooh. i got it to work. thanks to myckro for the video in your instructable! i'll use melting to seal the bottom and the cap from this instructable for the top! great timing, im off to a 50 mile backpacking trip in a week! thanks everyone. hella help me a ton!
Weird, it usually worked for me. Maybe I used a different kind of straw. Like a thick McDonalds one.
Yes, it works, I have a video of that here... check it out... just don't light it on fire... just hot enough...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Lightweight-Backpacking-Spice-Kit/
kyannik5 years ago
I'm going on a week long portage trip in a few weeks and this is just perfect for it! I love it. I haven't seen any of those m&m minis tubes around here in awhile. If I can't find one I'll put my straws in a ziplock bag and roll it up and put an elastic around it. I'll still end up with a tube like thing but won't be as durable.
thatoneguydavid (author)  kyannik5 years ago
yeah i had a bit of trouble finding them too, try Fred Meyer, that's where i found mine.
I'm Canadian (southern Ontario), so I'm not sure what Fred Meyer is but I'll start my search tomorrow or the next day. Actually some brands have plastic tubes of gum now. Not the big cup sized ones but some similar in size to the m&m minis tube. They just have a weird lip at the top which might make getting the tubes in and out a little harder. Whatever happens, I'll definitely end up with better spice containers than I would have before. Thanks!
swimtrunks5 years ago
I made one of these last night and it turned out really well (despite the chili powder in my eye)! Goin to make the stove and pot after my backpack trip this weekend. Mt. Whitney!!!!!
*clap at fail* -PKT
PKTraceur5 years ago
You forgot the Old Bay! -PKT
kosmo04835 years ago
Old film canisters, while slightly bulkier, also make really good spice jars for traveling. When I bicycled the west coast that's what I used. Nice instructable. And any kind of instant sauce is a perfect way to soak up the remaining water in your pasta/rice/quinoa mixture and make a yummy cream/gravy/whatever you like sauce.
Many years ago I was able to visit the LLBean store in Maine and found a set of snap on shaker tops made to fit the film canisters. I worked on the road for two years and kept my two canisters filled with salt and pepper plus one filled with garlic powder. If I have those three items and some soy sauce I can eat anything LOL.
Awesome 'able!! Thanks for sharing. With everyone carrying lunches to save money I was thinking this would be the ideal thing to tuck into a lunchbox or keep in the desk at the office. I'm thinking stocking stuffers for office buddies.
una pena no poder ver la web en castellano
Locogus5 years ago
This is sweet! I take my chef roll with all my necessary cooking tools, but haven't been able to take spice (except in ziplocks-those things still take up a lot of space.) Thank you. Now I am inspired to invent an ultralight pepper mill...
will12255 years ago
Try using a flask funnel. They are usually small enough to fit in a straw.
ccyg87745 years ago
Due to the small size of the straws, the process of filling them would possibly drive me crazy... Is there a easier way? I used to find straws that are about 1.2 cm thick, but they are no longer available... sigh...
Go to McDonalds and get a few straws there if you want larger straws.
thatoneguydavid (author)  NL_Buddha5 years ago
McDonalds straws are white so you can not see how much you have left without looking in to the end. that is why I use Jack in the Box
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You can funnel dry stuff with a cone of paper like thatoneguydavid was probably doing.
thatoneguydavid (author)  ccyg87745 years ago
I folded a piece of paper in half, put about a table spoon of the spice in the fold and pushed the open end of the straw in to it like a bulldozer. It took about 45 sec. to fill one.
thepelton5 years ago
I have been saving plastic easter eggs from a store that had them on sale after the aforementioned date, and I was thinking that spices for a campout would be a nice use for them. You could fill an entire one with salt, and put smaller amounts of the more volatile spices like cayenne pepper in straws in another. I also have a number of those M&M mini tubes.
piperjon5 years ago
This is awesome! And the M&Ms container is a great advantage, not only due to its weight but also the fact that it's watertight. Definitely going in my pack next time I'm out in the Great Outdoors.
l8nite5 years ago
thats a neat idea! Im not real big on hiking or camping but I do take a lot of road trips, I think a variation of this (mainly the spices) is going in my glove compartment
IamTheMomo5 years ago
My husband and I are on a low-salt diet; I'm going to do this and fill it with Morton's salt substitute for us to carry in the car, and in my purse! And I get all the M & M's 'cause I can have sugar, and he can't!
Lynnea5 years ago
This is great! I think this would make great gifts for anyone who loves to camp and hike.
reedz5 years ago
This is great, the only thing I could suggest to cut out a sort of lattice pattern around the side to reduce the weight and make it look pretty snazzy too. I love it though, 5/5.
schwieb reedz5 years ago
I suppose you might drill a bunch of holes in the case. How much weight might that save? It only weighs 1oz.
schwieb5 years ago
I love this idea. It is genius! I'm looking at this step and wondering if maybe you could 'pinch' the folded over straw with a heated up pair of pliers to gently melt this end together, allowing you to skip the sleeve and tape. Probably not a necessity, but then you might get more containers out of one straw. Very cool.
Cybot Rules5 years ago
Great idea, taking this on my next scout hike!
Opaltrinket5 years ago
this looks like a great idea.....>>>>>>going to check recipes on the other site
wupme5 years ago
You definately got my vote. This is so simpel, easy to make from stuff everybody has or can get his hands on very cheap, and its really practical. I don't know if the M&M minis in Germany come in those tubes, but i think a Hubba Bubba Glomb tube, or one of those Fizzie container tubes would also work awesome. Now i just gotta find clear straws, i only got black ones, hard to see the spice level in there...
bigmark5 years ago
I love these tubes! kids get candy we get cool containers. I will definitely be doing this.thanks.
wupme bigmark5 years ago
Hey, who ever said the kids are gonna get the candy? ITS ALL MINE O_O
Great idea! you should try entering it in the pocket size contest.
It is in the pocket sized contest. Don't forget to vote.
canida5 years ago
Love this one - simple and practical!
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