It’s finally hiking and camping season, which means it’s time to dust off your tent and break out your gear. No matter how expensive or popular your outdoor gear is though, you can still improve it with magnets. Here are a few ways magnets can make life easier for you as you explore the great outdoors:

DIY Compass

As many experienced outdoor adventurers know, you don’t want to end up lost in the woods alone. So, make sure you bring a compass and a map with you before trekking into the wilderness. If you don’t have a compass, you can make your own with this easy tutorial.

If it’s likely that you’ll forget your compass and your magnets, you can find a magnet in your mobile phone (because we know you didn’t forget your phone). In an extreme emergency, you can take apart your phone and find the materials you need to make a compass. The speaker in your smartphone has a magnet and iron wire. You can use the magnet to magnetize the wire by rubbing it along the wire. Make sure to always rub the magnet in the same direction along the wire so that it orients north. Then all you have to do is place the wire on a leaf. Set the leaf on the surface of stagnant water so it floats. The wire will align with Earth’s magnetic field and point north.

Easy Access to Essentials

When you’re hiking, you don’t want to have to stop every few feet to get your bug spray, sunscreen, whistle, or other essentials. You can eliminate this problem with magnets! All you have to do is glue one or two strong neodymium magnets onto the front strap of your pack. Then glue another magnet onto the items you want easy access to and you’re all set! The magnets on your items will attract to the magnets on your pack holding everything in place. Now, as you walk along the trail, you can reapply sunscreen as you go without having to stop and dig through your backpack.

What other magnet hacks do you use while hiking or camping?