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From crackling campfires to sharing spooky stories over s’mores, hot summer nights are the perfect time to head up the mountain for camping.

Why not hit the road with family or friends for a quick weekend getaway from our blistering summer heat for some great outdoors adventures?!?

But if you can't, it doesn't mean you can't bring the outdoors to you and transform your livingroom or backyard into a private campsite.

Here are some easy-to-do #DIY projects to try this weekend!

Click here for this week's BONUS #DIY tips on how to Safely remove rattlesnakes without killing it

D-I-Y Solar Oven S’mores


  • Recycled pizza box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Elastic plastic wrap
  • Knife/scissors
  • Tape
  • Black paper
  • Stick
  • S’mores (marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers)


How It's Done:

Put your engineer caps on and get ready for some solar-friendly fun!

Start with cutting a large square hole in the top of your recycled pizza box.

Cover the top flap with aluminum foil — the foil is used to direct your heat source (the sun!). 

Place a piece of elastic wrap and tape it down over the hole where the flap used to be.

Place the black paper inside the pizza box and stack the s’more inside (The classic organization, you could go with the graham crackers on bottom, the chocolate on top of the cracker, and the marshmallow on top of the chocolate — but part of the fun is getting creative!)

Close the top with the elastic wrap and prop the aluminum foil flap up with a stick so that the sun can reflect and cook your s’mores.

Cook your s'mores until the marshmallows are nice and gooey!

VOILA! Enjoy using the hot summer sun to make a yummy snack!

Hula Hoop Fort


  • Hula hoop
  • Shower curtain loops
  • Old shower curtain/sheet
  • Strings

What better way to eat s’mores than in a fort?

Place a shower curtain loops on the hula hoop.

Attach each shower curtain loop to the old shower curtain (or an old sheet that you have cut holes into).

Once you have completed this your fort is almost done.

Now tie the string from the hula hoop and attach it to a shady tree for an outdoor fort or from the ceiling for one indoors.


T-P Binoculars


  • 2 toilet paper rolls
  • tape
  • string
  • hole puncher (or similar tool)

Recycle two toilet paper rolls and turn them into binoculars!

Place the rolls next to each other long ways and tape them together.

Punch a hole on the outer edge of both rolls and lace a string through the holes. Once you knot the string through the holes you can wear your binoculars around your neck.

Explore around yard or keep watch when in the hula-hoop fort!


Kristopher Yanez is the proud father of 1-year-old daughter Kennedy, a journalism student at Pima Community College and is also the first-ever Bear Essential News Summer Reporting Intern. When Yanez is not doing school work, he is off doing daddy duties for young Kennedy.