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"Less Than Expensive Gear"
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
"Less Than Expensive Gear" on 02/28/2012 13:04:45 MST Print View

I thought about putting this on the Gear Forum since it is essentially gear. I chose to put it here in the MYOG Forum since most of mine is homemade.

My alcohol stove is the bottom of an aluminum Budweiser bottle. It has 1/4" holes punched around the perimeter like a supercat stove. It serves as its own pot stand.

Stove and priming pan

I use the lid cut off of a soup can as my stove's priming pan. I used a safety style can opener to remove the lid.

My stoves windscreen is aluminum flashing like many of those seen on this forum.

Aluminum flashing windscreen

My pre-filter for my drinking water is a pair of nylon "footie" stockings. they are packaged in the kind of little plastic container that us kids used to get cheap plastic toys in when we put a quarter in and turned the crank on a vending machine. Total cost of my pre-filter $.59 at Walgreens.

Nylon stocking pre-filter in an egg

My water bottles are recycled peanut "jars" from the grocery. I also use a
recycled Gatorade bottle.

Recycled "peanut jar" water bottle

My pack liner is a plastic trash compactor bag from Ace Hardware. It has no scent like the WalMart bags.

I've saved bread bags to use as water proof "socks" for wet weather and creek crossings.

What other less than expensive ideas have I missed? Show us your gear ideas that cost little or no $$$$.

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 07/27/2012 17:39:03 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: "Less Than Expensive Gear" on 02/28/2012 13:29:15 MST Print View

polycro groundsheet
reflectix cozies

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: "Less Than Expensive Gear" on 02/28/2012 13:33:35 MST Print View

I recently discovered that my store brand orange juice concentrate container (cardboard w/ metal top/bottom) has a smooth edge similar to what a safety-cut can opener would do on a can of beans. I also plan on using this as a primer pan. Could be cheaper due to the cost of the safety-cut opener not being needed.

Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
Re: Less Than Expensive Gear on 02/28/2012 14:53:34 MST Print View

-Used tyvek mailing envelope for cooking system stuff sack. No worries about it getting sooty.
-Cord from broken venetian blinds for guylines
-Thrift store clothes (my down vest, convertible pants and windshirt together were $20)
-A dish-dunking mesh bag makes a great, sturdy removable mesh pocket for backpacks that don't have them. Attach to tie-down loops or safety pin it on (pic below)mesh bag

Edited by GregPehrson on 02/28/2012 15:03:05 MST.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: "Less Than Expensive Gear" on 02/28/2012 19:38:08 MST Print View

Well all of my gear was either a gift or bought with at least a 30% discount (hence I look like a one man "less than straight" [blame the profanity filter] pride parade sometimes!). So that's definitely "less than expensive" I'd say. Then there's all the <$20 gear from REI garage sales too!

Once school is finished and I have some free time I'll be doing a MYOG tarp and bivy from a bunch of 1.1oz ripstop and silnylon I scored for $1/yd from the local fabric shop.

I used to drink a lot of 5 hour energy shots and I've kept the bottles. They're a bit big but I use them to repackage liquids, creams, and pills. (I also started filling them with a homebrew energy shot that costs about a quarter per serving vs ~$4).

Jack Hoster
(OrlandoHanger) - F
Less Than Expensive Gear on 02/28/2012 20:06:39 MST Print View

Eyedropper with bleach for making water safe.

Condiment packets from fast food place.

Bic lighter and candy tin with petroleum jelly on cotton balls for fire starter.

Small economy tarp.

Airline pillow and mini blanket

Walking stick is actually a stick.

Hiking shoes are just basic economy walking shoes.

Some of my clothes are cotton. Shhh...don't tell anyone.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Less Than Expensive Gear on 02/29/2012 04:21:16 MST Print View

I almost forgot that in my assortment of stakes I still have some of these aluminum gutter nails that I found at Home Depot.

Aluminum gutter nails for tent stakes

And I also have in my gear closet some braided mason's line that can be used as guylines for tents and tarps.

Braided mason's line for guylines

Party On,


Eric Braun
(Dukedante) - F
gutter spikes on 02/29/2012 07:49:17 MST Print View

How much do those spikes weigh?
I've got 8" long nails from home construction sites (scattered all over the ground" that are about.5oz each. A little "heavy" compared to $3 each ti stakes, but they're free.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: gutter spikes on 02/29/2012 10:08:31 MST Print View


7" aluminum gutter spike. 0.4oz/11g each.

Party On,


Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 02/29/2012 15:14:56 MST Print View

"Some of my clothes are cotton. Shhh...don't tell anyone."

As long as you know not to wear them and/or have non-cotton items with you in cool, wet environments. In fact, I would prefer a cotton shirt for daytime desert hiking. Remember that wet cotton will drain heat from the body faster than being naked!

As far as gear I use that fits this thread:

I have an awesome tiny backpack I got for $7 from walmart. Great for a daypack, especially if you also use a lumbar pack (between the two I can carry a heavy rain jacket, a super light wind jacket, 3L of water, food, and the 10 Essentials). The tiny pack weighs 7 oz on my scale, hold two 1-L nalgenes side by side with plenty of room for food and rain gear. Link I have it in black, but wish I had gotten it in pink for higher visibility!