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Light equipment sometimes is really cheap...
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Paiolo Montanel
(Paiolo) - F
Light equipment sometimes is really cheap... on 01/27/2013 09:04:42 MST Print View

One year ago I found in a supermarket this cheap aluminium mug (750ml, only 69 grams!) at... € 1,39 (less than 2$)

Cheap and light aluminium mug

It is lighter than lots of equivalent titanium mugs and costs a fraction!

Ok, it surely doesn't have the same quality, and doesn't have a folding handle but... it does the job, and BTW is durable, and a lot sturder than an Heineken can pot

It has become an inseparable piece of my equipment (with a simple tealight alcool stove and a wire-potstand)

I'd like to know if some of you has ever been able to lighten their equipment with something...really, really cheap (and to share the satisfaction ;-) )

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Light equipment sometimes is really cheap... on 01/27/2013 09:14:56 MST Print View

I agree.

For example I bought a 5 ounce Safeway windbreaker the other day for $5. I already own a couple others with the Safeway logo on the back. I prefer it/them over my other windbreakers (e.g. Patagonia Dragonfly). The fabric breathes very well and has a stiffness to it that reduces its cling when wet.

I think these were made about 40 years ago or more and were used by the baggers when they carried groceries out to the car.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Cat stoves on 01/27/2013 09:53:23 MST Print View

It doesn't get much cheaper and lighter than a cat food stove, though that might be considered more MYOG than an excellent cheap gear find. Likewise, reused bottled-water bottles.

Can you tell that I'm all for gear shopping in dumpsters...

More like what you're asking, though- I found a wool hat with a brim and ear flaps that you could fold down in REI a few years ago. I haven't seen anything like it recently. The brim is key- it's hard to find a warm hat with a brim, like the old "Radar OReily" hats. I forget how much it cost but it was cheap enough that I bought it on a lark, thinking that it might fall apart in just a few seasons, but it has held up well.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
marketing on 01/27/2013 11:02:51 MST Print View

i think a lot of the modern UL gear is absolutely overpriced ... often they take something, slap a fancy logo, do a few "improvements", and give some fancy spiel about how much better and game changing it is ... and some people lap it up

windbreakers have been around for decades, aluminum cups forever, simple light daypacks for a long time, tennis/running flats since some grandma hiked in em, etc ...

if you look and are wiling to get past the logos ... theres plenty of fully functional light gear to be had ;)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: marketing on 01/27/2013 12:27:26 MST Print View

"...and give some fancy spiel about how much better and game changing it is"

Hey, that is the name of the game in marketing. Lots and lots of people spend years in college studying how to do this effectively. You have to cut them some slack. They need to earn a living too.


michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re on 01/27/2013 13:08:35 MST Print View

There Are loads of people who don't like aluminum for various reasons, sometimes it's perfectly fine to spend an absurd amount of money on something like titanium that will last forever.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
I have noticed this too on 01/27/2013 14:01:08 MST Print View

Yeah definitely most cases. I would not muck about with the big three though (shelter, pack and sleeping bag) but the rest of the gear is up for fiddling with. I find the reject shops and $2 shops are good places for cheap goods that can be eithe rused, converted, or McGyver-ed into cheap and very light gear!!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: marketing on 01/27/2013 14:20:24 MST Print View

> and some people lap it up
I have to agree with Eric and Bob.

'You can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, ... which is about enough to become president of the United States.'


PS: wait till you try drinking very hot coffee out of that aluminium mug. Then you will find out why I prefer Lexan.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: marketing on 01/27/2013 14:54:16 MST Print View

Or governor of California

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
re;marketing on 01/27/2013 16:56:41 MST Print View

or re-electing a fool (bush)

Ben Smith

Locale: Epping Forest
RE Light equipment sometimes is really cheap... on 01/28/2013 03:03:40 MST Print View

I have the same scales!

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Tyvek! on 01/28/2013 06:34:03 MST Print View

A $7 piece of kite-making Tyvek weighs less than a lot of tarps and works great as a groundsheet or a windproofer for my hammock. One of my favorite new pieces of kit!

just Justin Whitson
definitely on 01/28/2013 21:32:22 MST Print View

Generally, i'm a budget backpacker (except for some long term survival gear which is quite expensive, like a collapsible titanium wood stove but that's, i guess, a different category and for a different forum). But i find if you're willing to do the extra research, thinking, and/or shopping around, you can often find good deals. Then there is MYOG, a whole nother subject and one i'm still a newbie in, but so far really enjoy despite my limited skill set/experience.

The other day i was at Marshalls and was surprised to find a super light windshirt made by Nike that was going for 7 dollars in the clearance section. I weighed it at home, only 2.4 oz. Has some definite issues, like it doesn't have a hood, and doesn't seem all that durable and only has a partial zip, but hey for 7 dollars i'm sure i can manage and/or modify.

I will admit to sometimes wishing i could afford Cuber Fiber most everything, Titanium everything, Carbon fiber, etc, etc type stuff that is often so lauded here, but those are only during my rarish weak moments. Even things like Patagonia's Houdini is generally out of my price range and hard to justify (again, unless it's something for possible collapse/long term wilderness survival use).

Another example of cheap, though i suppose it's more a MYOG thing, i bought some bamboo poles to make into hiking poles. When i cut them down, i guesstimate they might weigh somewhere in between 9 to 12 oz for the pair, which is significantly lighter than a lot of aluminum poles, and similar to some carbon fiber ones.

Got my pack on clearance, a GoLite Jam, and while not SUL it's decently UL i would say.

just Justin Whitson
difference of opinion on 01/28/2013 21:48:14 MST Print View

Bob G. wrote in reference to companies over charging for slyly marketed gear, "Hey, that is the name of the game in marketing. Lots and lots of people spend years in college studying how to do this effectively. You have to cut them some slack. They need to earn a living too."

I'm not sure if this was tongue in cheek sarcasm, or completely serious, or a little of both, but i think the above is one of the major problems with America--there are too many people willing to gain material (or other) advantage at others expense. I see/feel/intuit an economic collapse happening sooner than later and mainly from this collective greed, materialism, and indifference to the suffering or screwing over of others whether fellow Americans or the World at large. Unfortunately, the collaspe of a country like America would adversely affect the rest of the world too, but i do think it will be toughest here and i don't see to many other countries being too sympathetic since we've been screwing with the rest of the world for so long.

p.s. i realize it's not just an American issue, but i feel it's more extreme here than most other places.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 01/28/2013 21:51:01 MST.

Dale Caldwell
(dalemc) - F

Locale: Coastal Georgia
Whoa... on 01/28/2013 22:38:43 MST Print View

this is getting deep. While I agree with you, I think Bob is just giving credit where credit is due and after reading many posts from Bob, I think that he too appreciates gear that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, which is what this thread is about.

I too am sticking with my Lexan but will take this time to pay homage to my 32 ounce "Lily of the desert Aloe Vera Juice" water bottle. Using "disposable" plastic water bottle over nalgenes is basically the norm in the UL world but this bottle isn't just any plastic bottle... :)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Whoa... on 01/28/2013 22:54:30 MST Print View

"Using "disposable" plastic water bottle over nalgenes is basically the norm in the UL world but this bottle isn't just any plastic bottle..."

I do not use a disposable plastic water bottle.

It's a recycled Gatorade bottle.

My gear is an unusual mixture of high tech and recycled and MYOG.


ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Light equipment sometimes is really cheap.. on 01/29/2013 01:07:11 MST Print View

'PS: wait till you try drinking very hot coffee out of that aluminium mug. Then you will find out why I prefer Lexan.'

One politely sips hot coffee - unless an Antipodean barbarian....

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Light equipment sometimes is really cheap...or free on 01/29/2013 03:08:08 MST Print View

Actually a cast-off/MYOG, but I love the light weight, large size, chemical and heat resistance of the bottom third of a HDPE plastic gallon milk jug as a serving bowl and water scoop. Dumpster dive or use your own, cut to the desired height with scissors. Run it through the dishwasher to clean it up or just throw it away at the end of the trip before the flight home.

Super cheap and easy to pack snow shovel? Cut off the side of a 5-gallon bucket. Cut two hand holds into it. Not as convenient at an MSR or Black Diamond shovel with a handle (because you use it while on your knees) but 1/2 to 1/3 the weight and $40-$70 cheaper.

Andy Jarman

Locale: Edge of the World
Loose 25grams for $3 on 01/29/2013 03:20:47 MST Print View

I've thrown away my Sawyer Squeeze syringe and replaced it with my $3 backwash converter made from two water bottle lids and a piece of plastic tubing. Simple, cheap and a superior piece of equipment.

Nelson Sherry

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Messing with the big three on 01/29/2013 09:22:38 MST Print View

Tent? Use one of those <$10 8x10 plastic flat tarps. ~1lb.
Sleeping bag? There isn't a lot of difference in synthetic fills. So ulta-cheep super light sleeping bags work fine for summer where a broken zipper just means you're stuck using a "quilt".
Backpack? Sorry, I've never found an ultra-cheep, light weight one of these I'd use.