Keep your paper towel roll from unraveling with this simple camp hack

Paper towels, the Swiss army knife of front-country camping, can do it all: clean messes, wipe dishes and maintain tidiness.

But when wind gusts, as it is wont to do outdoors, things unravel quickly. The roll unrolls. The tail ends up in the dirt.

There’s gotta be a better way. Larry Green, a Scouting volunteer, has one.

His paper towel trick is the first in a series of Camp Hacks I intend to share. These are simple, ingenious ways to improve your camping experience.

Step 1: Get a paper towel roll. Any kind will do.


Step 2: Cut a hole in the top, slightly larger than the diameter of the cardboard tube. [Obligatory knife safety reminder: Always cut away from yourself.]


Step 3: Squeeze the roll on all sides to loosen the tube.Paper-towel-hack-3

Step 4: Slide the cardboard tube out. This is probably the hardest step.Paper-towel-hack-4

Step 5: Set aside the tube. Recycle it, use it in a craft project, etc. Don’t just throw it away.Paper-towel-hack-5

Step 6: Pull the innermost sheet out to get it started.Paper-towel-hack-6

Step 7: Success! You just made a paper towel dispenser.Paper-towel-hack-7

See the video

More from Larry Green

Green, you might remember, is the Scout volunteer behind the dishwashing rack and water-boiling gadget I shared previously. Read more on his Scout Pioneering blog.

Share your Camp Hacks

Have a Camp Hack to make outdoor life better? Email it to me at scoutingmag (at) gmail (dot) com. Please send step-by-step photos if possible, and I’ll make sure to credit you as the originator of the hack!

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.