It's that time of year again… the end of summer is rolling around, fall will be here before we know it and I still have a handful of summer projects in mind. I love spending time outside, and knowing the warm days and long nights of summer will soon be a thing of the past is kind of a bummer.
9 Summer Projects to Do Before It's Too Late
That's why I always try to make the most of these last couple of weeks… grilling out, taking camping trips, and tackling outdoor projects I've been meaning to do all summer. I really like to make those last days of summer count… after all, it will be a whole year before you have the opportunity again. So I thought I'd compile a list of last-minute summer activities and projects you might want to try while there's still time. These are sure to make your summer a memorable one.
Let's get started with a great DIY project for preppers…
1. A DIY Solar Food Dryer
Preserving locally produced food or your own food supply in a DIY solar food dryer will help retain the natural nutrients in each fruit or vegetable. The technique of dehydration is a great way to stock up for the rainy days. Here are DIY solar project tutorials you can choose from.
2. Smoked Beef Brisket
Summer is never complete without backyard barbecues. It provides a great opportunity to spend some time with relatives and friends. This smoked beef brisket recipe will make the experience a lot more memorable for sure.
Here are the ingredients:
- 4-pound beef brisket flat, fat trimmed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 quart apple cider
- 2 handfuls of hickory wood chunks
- 1 cup Ancho Chile Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
3. Hot Whiskey
This cocktail is a recipe for a great time around the campfire on a summer night. It will be a great match with whatever it is you are roasting or barbecuing in your backyard.
This is how to make a cup of hot whiskey:
- Pour whiskey in a cup
- Poke cloves around a slice of lemon
- Place the lemon in the cup
- Add honey
- Pour in your desired amount of hot water
4. Cooking Campfire Chili Using a BioLite CampStove
If making a campfire seems quite an arduous task, a BioLite CampStove is just what you need. The BioLite is light, compact and runs on twigs, sticks as well as small brushwood you can easily find in your backyard.
As for the Chili or Taco Soup, the ingredients you will need are as follows:
- 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
- 1 onion, chopped (fresh or sautéed, depending on preference)
- 1 package Ranch Dressing seasoning mix
- 1 package taco seasoning mix
- 2 cups of water
- 2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 15 ounces can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can of black beans about 15 ounces, drain it and rinse it
- 1 can of corn, drained about 15 ounces
Learn how to make biolite campstove recipe ideas!
5. Cook Steak Gorgonzola Herbed Butter on a Cast Iron Skillet
Cooking steak on a skillet over a campfire is a summertime activity you just can't pass up. There's just nothing like the smell of a perfectly-cooked steak. Here are 20 cast iron skillet recipes you can choose from!
6. Practice Safety Grilling
An outdoor cookout during the summer is one of the most pleasant times you can spend with family and friends. Of course, you will have to learn a few safety tips for your own good.
Learn these 5 safety grilling tips:
- Properly clean and maintain your grill
- Keep the grill at a safe distance from your house and other flammable objects
- Use only lighter fluid to start a charcoal grill and not as an accelerant
- Keep kids and pets away from the hot grill
- Extinguish a charcoal grill by closing the lid
Nothing is more important than keeping your family safe.
7. DIY Outdoor Fire Pit
Building a campfire is a great summer activity, but a classic fire pit can be messy and if you're not careful, it can be destructive. Pre-made fire pits or outdoor stoves are great, but they can be expensive. So what's the solution? Well, you can build your own awesome outdoor fire pit at a very minimal cost.
These are the materials you will need:
- Concrete mix (Quikrete 5000, 20-25 Bags)
- Fire bricks
- Gravel (Quikrete ¾”)
- Lava Rock
- 2x4s + 2x6s
- Circular Saw
Once made, you can start inviting family and friends over for an end-of-summer get-together. Learn how to make this cool fire pit step-by-step here.
8. Cooking in a Foil Pack
It can really be a bummer to spend a beautiful summer night in the kitchen cooking dinner. So why not try cooking small food packages over a grill or a campfire using foil pack cooking? It works almost the same as cooking in an oven. In addition, you get to use your cool outdoor fire pit to cook your foil-pack food. Learn more about easy campfire cooking ideas.
9. Grill Corn-On-The-Cob with Herb Butter
Corn on the cob is a classic summer treat, and there's nothing better than enjoying it fresh off the grill.
The ingredients you will need are:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 8 medium ears of fresh sweet corn with husks
Read more on how to make this delicious recipe and a lot more summer camping lunch ideas.
Jessica Reid shows a video on 10 DIY summer projects & life hacks she thinks everyone must know:
There's just so much you can actually do at the end of the summer. You can do it yourself or make it a fun way to bond with your family and friends. So what are you waiting for? There are only a couple weeks of summer left — make sure you get the most out of it!
Do you have a favorite summer project? Share it with us in the comments below!
Here are some late summer planting tips for your fall garden you might want to try out!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.