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Drinking Straws – As Light Weight Storage for Camping


In a search for an easy and light weight way to store antiseptic cream in my first aid kit – with out carrying a whole tube –  I came across this great idea that was exactly what I needed! Hopefully you can use this easy camping tip too.

The basic idea is to pinch off and melt closed one end of a drinking straw. Then fill it with whatever you want to store and pinch & melt the other end of the straw closed. I find that this is a great lightweight and waterproof way to carry many things while hiking, camping or just in the first aid kit in my car.

If you don’t normally buy straws for personal use you can pick up a few at your favorite fast food joint for free. A lot of the time they give you one or two extra with your meal anyway. You might as well use them. Don’t forget to hit the trail for a hike after all that fast food though…

My first thought was to store antiseptic cream inside the straw but that’s only one possible use. The different things that you can store in a straw is almost endless!

Mini Fire Starter Kit in a Straw

I now keep a straw full of petroleum jelly and cotton inside my fire kit. The cotton and petroleum jelly make a great fire starter that can be used with a spark from a fire steal. If the kindling is a little damp the straw will also burn helping dry out the twigs giving you extra time for them to catch on fire.

Store Your Cooking Seasonings in a Straw!Lighweight Storage for Camping

You can also fill a few straws with some cooking seasonings such as salt, pepper, season salt, paprika or anything else you might want to use while cooking for flavor. The straw can be cut for single use sizes so you don’t have to worry about resealing the end once opened.

What is That Sweet Stuff in My Straw?!

A straw full of honey is great when making a cup of pine or mint tea on the trail. You could also make one with a single serving of instant coffee for that morning get up and go! Don’t forget the creamer and sugar in a straw!

More Things You Can Put In a Light Weight Storage Straw!

Along with the antiseptic in your first aid kit, you can make up a straw full of sunblock, hand lotion, or possibly one with just petroleum jelly. You never know when those might come in handy.

Like I said the uses for a straw as lightweight waterproof storage are darn near endless. Experiment, you never know when you might need or wish you had something that before was just to bulky to bring.


Keep in mind you might not want to put anything flammable (like hand sanitizer) inside one of these, you do have to melt the ends of the straw with a lighter, you will probably have a bad day if you light your hands on fire!

How To Turn Drinking Straws into Light weight Storage for Camping

To make these lightweight storage units, you will need a straw, a scissors or knife, a lighter and a pair of needle nose pliers. You may consider using safety glasses and leather gloves for protection. It also might be a good idea to keep a container of water around in case of fire.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Cut the straw to the length you need
  2. Pinch one end of the straw with the pliers near the end
  3. Melt the end you are pinching to seal it closed
  4. Fill with what ever you like
  5. It may help to poor in dry ingredients if you make a small funnel out of a piece of wax paper.
  6. Pinch off the other end and melt to seal.
  7. Let cool and toss it with your gear to enjoy later

Once you are ready to use whatever you put in your straw, you may need to cut it open with your knife or scissors. Other times you can pinch the end of the straw to pop the seal open and squeeze out the contents.

I hope you try it out and enjoy this method of using a drinking straw to store items on your next outing.



What would you store in a lightweight storage straw?


  • Joe Orlow says:

    Amother way to seal a drinking straw is using “straw hats”. These are tiny caps that fit in the ends of straws and seal the straw. They are re-usable: the straw can opened, part of the contents used, and re-sealed. The caps create a waterproof seal, so that liquids can be kept in the straws. Email me if you’d like me to send you a sample.

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