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Cheapest UL Gear List Challenge
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(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: Re: bag on 01/26/2006 23:25:59 MST Print View

Another list mod...

24x12inch Nylon stuff sack from Gomberg Kites - $7. 2700ci

1-1.5inch nylon webbing, stitched to the bag to make a shoulder strap (approx $1)

$8for the pack....

Reviewing the list....


Getting there.

Anyone got anything better?

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: bag and tarp on 01/27/2006 12:48:42 MST Print View

Use a Heineken can instead of tin and drop to 0.8 or so.

We could use emergency ponchos, but face it, they shred instantly. Can we reasonably go that far? I've rescued folks in the Smokies who tried to get by with them on the trail and got soaked. How about 3-4 mil drip cloth turned into a cloak as demonstrated in several posts and links? It could serve as either rain gear or ground sheet.

RE: bag
You bet. You described my first UL pack, circa 1974. Add tie-down patches and mount a small stuff sack on top in a 'T' shape for more capacity. Worked for me.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: bag and tarp on 01/27/2006 13:39:05 MST Print View

The Heine can works, but $$$ is my number 1 priority, and I was trying to keep people like Scouts (though not exclusivly) in mind. Is there a cheap, non alcohol, can that will help cut weight and be less than $5?

The Drop cloth idea is probably better than the emergency poncho. Pro-rating the cost of 3mil poly drop cloth gives a very full poncho/cloak for well under 3 dollars (per person)

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
cheap non-alcohol can on 01/27/2006 14:43:12 MST Print View

Get radical and use a Sterno can. ONly holds a cup, weighs only 0.3 oz. Works great. Available empty from friendly caterers or full from any supermarket.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: cheap non-alcohol can on 01/27/2006 22:52:44 MST Print View

Is an 8oz cook cup big enough for cooking?

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Scouting use of 'cheap' gear on 01/28/2006 10:11:20 MST Print View

"The Drop cloth idea is probably better than the emergency poncho. Pro-rating the cost of 3mil poly drop cloth gives a very full poncho/cloak for well under 3 dollars (per person)"

Especially if you teach them Pierre's brilliant technique (which is what I think Vick is getting at)

"Is an 8oz cook cup big enough for cooking?"
Yes, f you get them to buy into freezer bag cooking.

Edited by jdmitch on 01/28/2006 10:26:51 MST.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Cheapest UL headlamp on 01/30/2006 20:35:54 MST Print View

Carol Crooker had a great idea: screw a small alligator clip to a Microlight so it clips on a hat brim or visor. Trouble is, you can't adjust it up or down, and if you aren't wearing a hat or cap, you have to clip it to your eyebrow. Ouch!

For 0.2 oz, you can put elastic on a folded and stitched piece of webbing and clip the light to the fold. It will swivel up and down just like the big guys. Take a 3" strip of 3/4" webbing (or anything else, really), fold it double, stitch 3/4" from the fold, run elastic through a double-slot tensioner to provide the headband adjustment, stitch the end of the elastic to the remaining legs of the webbing which spread out against your forehead. A patch of fleece will make it more comfortable. Just clip the light to the fold and move it up and down to your heart's content. With a fleece backing, this rig will weigh 0.2 alone and 0.4 with the Microlight and gator clip attached. Not too shabby. With $3 Microlight knockoffs, its about as cheap as they come, too.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: cheap non-alcohol can on 01/30/2006 20:44:46 MST Print View

>Is an 8 oz cup big enough for cooking?>

Is for me. I've used that sized "pot" for 9 months at a time.

It takes some getting used to, and it's pretty much limited to boiling water for 'bag and set', so obviously, it isn't for everyone.

Soda cans crater easily, are not very efficient, and not very stable. For scouts, the pot that comes in the standard mess kit is pretty good. Carry the pot and the cup and leave the rest at home except for car camping.

Otherwise, the Walmart grease pot is the next choice. Trouble is, you need a pot lifter unless you add a bail to the pot. It is also hard to clean that reinforcing groove around the inside, and that is a concern when camping with kids. I would cut the rim off and use a 19 gauge stainless wire bail through double holes on each side. The 19 gauge wire is stiff enough for pouring.

Edited by vickrhines on 01/30/2006 20:57:42 MST.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
No hassel instant poncho/tarp on 01/30/2006 20:55:03 MST Print View

Karen's World has directions for making a blanket or waterproof cloak that will work as a poncho AND a tarp.

Karen's Homepage

She also has lots of fun kid stuff for the scouters.

Edited by vickrhines on 01/30/2006 21:10:30 MST.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Cheapest UL headlamp II on 01/30/2006 20:56:42 MST Print View

Vick here's another tried and tested idea. Glue a small button size piece of Velcro to hold the micro light to your hat brim or visor.


Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Cheapest UL headlamp II on 01/30/2006 21:01:31 MST Print View

Yep, but if you aren't wearing the right hat and if you want to adjust the beam up or down, yer SOL. I used to put velcro on my glasses frames - then I got rid of glasses.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Cheapest UL Gear List Challenge on 02/09/2006 22:00:33 MST Print View

Michael Neal,
Have you put these ideas on a spreadsheed yet?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Cheapest UL Gear List Challenge on 03/05/2006 10:20:57 MST Print View

I could (and have) done this with garage sale and thrift store gear. As some have noted here, that is a process of opportunity and location, and I spend a fair amount of time on it-- it is a hobby, no doubt about it. Thrift store and garage sale shopping success is directly proportional to time spent.

Next order of bargains: sporting good store sales. These are good for small LED lights, knives and multi-tools, shoes, and sports-oriented clothing like socks, shorts, wicking fabric items like briefs and tees, sunglasses. These stores are very good for running-based gear that transfers so readily to UL hiking. This is where I would go for a cheap sleeping bag and a blue foam pad. Big 5 and GI Joes are examples in my area (Seattle).

Clothing discounters like Burlington Coat Factory, Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Max can offer a lot of wicking sports garments, shoes, socks, briefs, hats, gloves, parkas, rain gear, wind gear and sunglasses. I often see Columbia and simlar brands.

The big box stores like Walmart and Target have a lot of clothing and gadgets. Target has seasonal sales on Gerber items. The Walmart grease pot is well known. I don't have a Walmart close by, so I shop there infrequently, but I did note that they have water bladders cheap.

If you live close to an REI store, the garage sale area is a good place to check. This is where they sell returns and many are "just because" returns. I got a pair of Vasque Velocity shoes for $20 this way.

On the digital side:

Ebay is another area of opportunity and time spent, but the deals are there the range of items is enormous.

Craig's List is the garage sale of the Internet.

There are outlet offerings from most of the major on-line gear retailers: REI, Altrec, Campmor, Backcountry, EMS, Dicks, LL Bean, and others have clearance or sale pages.

On-line tips and caveats: don't be impulsive, know your gear, watch out for knock-offs (North Face is really picked on for this) and make comparisons. I have found a few items on Ebay that were new products to me and a quick search found them to be readily available and for the same or less cost. Shipping costs often negate the bargain, although it can be offset be the convience and driving is getting expensive. I was going to hit the "buy" button on a Maglie LED conversion kit and stopped to research and found that my local REI offered it at the same price, and I didn't have to pay shipping, which came to about 40% of the cost of the actual product. I could afford to wait!

There is a lot of concentration on the cost of the "big three," but the little items add up too. Things like bug juice, sunscreen, Aqua Mira, sunglasses, lighting, compass, whistle, pack towel, knife/multi-tool, first aid, and hygine items can really add up. Clothing is a major cost, and those "intermediate" items like trekking poles can put a strain on the wallet too.

Some of my favorite buys for new gear:

Lafuma sleeping bag: 800 Extreme, GI Joes, $50.
Micro LED lights: Ebay, Campmor, and Big 5, $4-$5 each.
Open Country 1.1 quart aluminum boiler: Campmor, $9.95.
Granite Gear Wisp pack: Ebay, new, $50.
Black Diamond Approach trekking poles: Ebay, new, $30

As far as used stuff, here are some real prices I have paid:

Mountain Hardwear Pack Pants, $12
Jansport external frame pack, $10
Mountain Hardwear polyfill bag (~30F), $10
REI Polayrgaurd HV bag (~20f), $10
Vasque Velocity shoes, $20
Nike Air Wallowa boots, $24
Marmot polyfill sweater $10
REI, Patagonia, Ex-Officio shorts: $2-$4 each
North Face convertible pants, $20
Patagonia, Nike, Under Armour, Hind wicking tops, $3-$4 each
Marmot DriClime windshirt, $12
Nalgene bottles, $2 each
Bolle, Suncloud, Maui Jim, Ray Ban sunglasses, $2 pair
Nike and New Balance wind/running pants $5 pair
Marmot and REI 1/2 zip base layer tops, $5 each
Marmot fleece sweater $10
GoLite Hut1 tarp, $70
Olympus Stylus camera, $3
RidgeRest pads $2-$3 each
REI rucksack (~15OOci) $3
Mittens with fleece liners $2
Fleece beanie $2

Yesterday I bought a pair of Patagonia "Baggy" shorts for $4, a pair of RedLedge rain pants for $2.50, a pair of Speedo Surf Walker water shoes for $1.99 and a Nike runner's wind vest for $2.

The hunt is fun and can be profitable. I've run into all kinds of things I wouldn't have tried if I hadn't come across it at a yard sale or thrift store.

Antonio Abad
(tonyabad) - F
RE: Cheapest UL Gear Challenge on 03/25/2006 19:54:56 MST Print View

Sorry that I've posted a little late in the game. Anyway, I think the difficulty in comparing any two of these lists is the fuzzy "boundaries." In other words, the items you assume you can just pick up around the household or mooch from your old hiking or athletic gear.

That sleeping bag is quite a deal from a performance/cost standpoint. Great find! My contribution for the shelter part:

Tarp: 9'X12' 2mil plastic drop cloth. $3.99, 17 ounces.

Groundcloth: 9'X12' 2mil plastic drop cloth. $3.99, 8-17 ounces depending on desired footprint

Guylines: Mason twine (bright yellow). $1.99-$3.99 depending on diameter. #18 is ridiculously light but probably not suitable for exposed areas. 1.5 oz for 50'? I think that sounds right.

Stakes: Aluminum gutter nails. 0.5 oz each, $0.50 each. I prefer bringing along 12, for a total of $6.00 and 6 oz.

"Tie outs" - Micro Grip Clips. $8 for a set of 4. Negligible weight...assume 1 oz.?

Technique: You can use a sheet bend at each corner of the tarp with mason twine and stake each lines out. You can run a line along the middle of the tarp to create an A Frame using sticks or hiking poles, with both ends staked out. Then you can attach two grip clips on each long side. Finally, you can run a single from line from stake to clip to stake to clip to stake. Kind of like a zig-zag.

Anyhow, the whole set-up costs you $24 or so, with a weight of around 35 oz. or so. If anything, it might be a good intro to tarp camping for the wary.

Caveat: It probably won't fair well in high winds and exposed areas. I'm biased towards assuming sheltered spots in the woods given that I live in NEw England.

Edited by tonyabad on 03/25/2006 22:57:21 MST.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Cheapest UL Gear List Challenge on 04/14/2006 19:42:31 MDT Print View

Ide like to add the 5 oz $5 6x8 industrial PVC tarp/cape from GG (sheet bends for rope) and a 1 oz $5 AAA dorcy flashlight from WalMart. My sub 2 oz stove/pot/stand (tealight/coke can) is basically free. Could get it all to fit in a large mesh school pack from wally world $10 11 oz. Bleach for chemical water treatment (.5 oz) is basically free. An official orange shovel with 'leave no trace' written on it should be included, as this is for novices too. Bring an emergency bivy and 4 shots of golden grain (9 oz, $18) for 30* temps (I basically did on new years eve, about 35*, except no bivy and lots of clothes still in my pack)instead of a sleeping bag.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
$25 sleeping bag limited field test on 05/09/2006 09:25:48 MDT Print View

I've managed to get 4 nights in this $25 sleeping bag all with the unzipped bag drapped over me like a quilt, on a std thermarest pad in a TarpTent Cloudburst.

night 1
* forecast was for 30F but only got down to 37F, no wind
* was wearing light wool socks, light wt polyester long underwear tops and bottoms, rei brand nylon pants and long sleeve shirt, generic light wt acrylic scull cap
* was too warm

night 2
* 40F, no wind
* wore liner socks, rei brand nylon pants and long sleeve shirt, generic light wt acrylic skull cap
* was warm

night 3 and 4
* no thermometer, but lows approx 45, no wind
* wore rei brand nylon pants and short sleeve T-shirt and a very thin skull cap
* was quite warm

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Cheapest UL headlamp II on 05/09/2006 11:51:46 MDT Print View

Big 5 Sporting goods carries a little LED light with output similar to the Microlight Photon that has a clip and a swivel. The put them on sale for $3-$4 a couple times a year. I'll try to remember to get the brand name and model number.

Tom Gibson
(TerribleTom) - F
Re: Cheapest UL Gear List Challenge on 05/20/2006 15:27:38 MDT Print View

The Lafuma Extreme 800 for $50 at GI Joes is a sweet deal. I got the last two at the GI Joes I was in, and they said that they don't expect to get them again. The stuffed size is tiny, and for +40F it's plenty warm. The '800' is the *total* weight of the bag in grams--under 2 pounds for $50.

Once in a while you can get a used Luxury Lite pack directly from LL. $65 delivered. There are none available right now, but if you keep an eye on the LL website... Other than that, the mesh Wal-Mart bookbag mentioned elsewhere in this thread sounds like a great deal.

The blue foam $7.99 sleeping pad is very light (though it is bulky).

Any DIY alcohol stove is practically free and also very light.

Wal-Mart's Swiss Gear tent & trekking pole for $35 has a *shipping weight* of 2.5 pounds, and that *includes* the trekking pole. I have no personal experience with this tent, but for $35 you could buy three, have two trekking poles + spare and throw a tent away every other year--it'd still be a good deal.

Re-use a plastic water/soda bottle for free.

Add a cheap aluminum mess kit for under $10 and you've got all the major items covered for well under $200.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Cheapest UL Gear List Challenge on 05/20/2006 21:08:25 MDT Print View

No need to buy the Walmart tent. They sell the poles separately for under $10.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
under $100, 4lb 1oz, no clothes, minimal sewing on 05/22/2006 23:45:41 MDT Print View

This is for 30* and considering the most minimal sewing skills- * = homemade
cost oz
*8.5x5 Cape/tarp$18 8
5 Alum Stakes $3 2.5
Mylar Gr. cl. $1 1
Thinlite Pad $8 2
Surplus 30* bag $25 36
*Stuffsac pack $6 4
*Coke can pot/tealight stove $1 1.2 oz (ziploc cooking)
2 1L coke bottles$2 3.75
*Med Kit $5 2 minimal
Dorcy AAA LED $5 1
Bleach for water$0 0.5
Survivo 5-1 $5 1.5
Toothbrush & Bronners $2 1
Plastic Spoon and Knife $0 0.5

That 30* bag solves the main problem. So light too. The stuff sac pack can be made by folding a large peice of silnylon in half and sewing the edges, cutting small corners off the bottom, sewing 2" webbing on the back-top for shoulder contact and 3/4" webbing to connecting to the bottom where corners are cut. Drawstring or roll top closure. Small packs need no compression. The 4 lb base will be easy on the pack.

Total is $81 and 65 oz, or 4 lbs 1 oz