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Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 00:07:26 MDT Print View

This is the inverse thread to the currently running "Unusual (and expensive) item that you consider worth it" thread. What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry?

For me it would be:
- Oven Roasting Bags as stuff sacks, $1 each
- Plastic coated Twistees, free with electronics gear.
- Heat-sealed drinking straws to hold small amounts of ointment, free at In N Out
- Reflectix Pot Cozy
- Home Depot braided mason's line

Edited by Bolster on 07/27/2013 00:11:26 MDT.

Kiel Senninger
(Kiel.S.) - F

Locale: San Diego
Plastic spork on 07/27/2013 00:56:19 MDT Print View

Plastic Spork. Free with whatever I get at Taco Bell.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Aluminum foil on 07/27/2013 03:31:43 MDT Print View

Aluminum Foil
1) Baking/cooking
2) Pot lid
3) Wind screens/heat screens
4) Water scoop
5) Reflecter & holder for candle stub
6) Pot cozy (coupled with my hat)
7) Fishing lure
etc.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
easy on 07/27/2013 04:34:49 MDT Print View

socks

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Hooray for being cheap on 07/27/2013 05:01:49 MDT Print View

Garbage bag ground cover - 43g, think I paid around 3 bucks for a roll of 10. One lasts me about two years of use, circa 40 nights out.

Pie pan wind screen and ground cover for stove - 7g and 2g, one pan costs around a buck.

Recycled #2 plastic water bottle - 33g, 3 bucks plus comes with fruit juice.

Waterproof maps - around 7g each, print off internet and cover with clear tape.

Mixed plastic containers for soap, hot sauce, rubbing alcohol, sunblock, etc. - Free from hotels, free samples at drug stores and girly shops that sell skin lotion and such, etc.

Mini toothpaste tubes - Free at dentist's office, and I am not shy to ask for several.

Wind pants - 155g, Nike running pants on sale for around 10 bucks at sporting goods store.

Foam sit/kneel pad, also backpack frame and torso sleeping mat - 40g, MYOG from leftover piece of foam mat from trimming a regular foam mat down to 2/3rds.

Small packs of salt, pepper, ketchup, sugar, etc. - Free from fast food joints.

Alpaca gloves and socks - 28g/45g, I paid about 5 bucks for both plus a hat (I wear the hat but not backpacking--other hats are better/lighter for BPing) while traveling in Bolivia, and these are my favorite/softest gloves/glove liners and sleep socks.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco)

Locale: Montana
Good question on 07/27/2013 06:07:49 MDT Print View

Compactor bag

One Wrap velcro wire tie (used to hold my goose necked compactor bag closed.)

A soda bottle lid with a bunch of holes drilled in it. Used as a water diverter for showers, dish washing, hand washing etc. Fits on an Evernew water bag.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
PT Scout on 07/27/2013 13:03:39 MDT Print View

My Princeton Tec Scout headlamp (now discontinued) is the "coolest" inexpensive item that I carry 3 seasons. It uses 4 lithium coin batteries so spares are very light weight.

The next most useful and inexpensive item I carry is my canister stove windscreen & its support. It is a MYOG thing I invented and it works much better than expected. I'll post a photo of it in a separate thread.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 13:16:33 MDT Print View

Rubber bands and Ziploc bags.

Kate Magill
(lapedestrienne) - F
Re: Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 13:41:26 MDT Print View

+ 1 rubber bands.

After losing one of the tensioners on my tent and doing a field repair with a rubber band (that I had just picked up as trail trash!), I ended up swapping out all the tensioners for rubber bands when I got home. Lighter weight and they perform way better.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 13:52:10 MDT Print View

imagination and creativity

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 13:59:17 MDT Print View

Head Net, Glasses and a Wide-Brim Hat.

Tanner M
(Tan68)
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 14:06:25 MDT Print View

I like your thread.

I don't know if it counts as inexpensive, really, but I like my homemade climaxshield vest... It is simple and it has been really handy.

I gather you are looking for little knick-knacks like the cap with holes in it. That sounds like a useful thing. I don't have any good ideas like that, though.

- - Yeah, I carry earplugs sometimes.
Didn't think about them!
Yeah, carry old soda bottles as well
Extra ziploc. Probably already said. I got nothing...

Edited by Tan68 on 07/27/2013 16:54:26 MDT.

Steve Martell
(Steve) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Washington
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry on 07/27/2013 14:23:19 MDT Print View

Foam ear plugs--such as these:

http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-MAX-1-plugs-Uncorded/dp/B0033YLEGO/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1374955150&sr=8-5&keywords=foam+ear+plugs

Worth their weight in gold--when you have to sleep at a high wind campsite.

Edited by Steve on 07/27/2013 14:26:41 MDT.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 14:36:23 MDT Print View

Window film groundsheet
Small repackaging dropper bottles from US Plastic
Tiny (2x3 and 4x6") ziplock bags
Homemade maps from Hillmap.com printed on 11x17 paper at Kinkos for $1/sheet
Mini bic lighter
$5 baseplate compass that I pulled out of the closet 10 years ago
Aloksaks (first aid kit, camera, fishing stuff, etc.)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
cheap on 07/27/2013 14:46:11 MDT Print View

$3 polycotton button up shirts and running shorts at goodwill.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 14:58:06 MDT Print View

Smart water bottles. Lightweight and I love the cap. Even better that they work great with my Sawyer Squeeze.

Mini Bic. Light enough that I carry two. One in my cookpot and a back-up in an Aloksak with some fire starter. I've never had one fail.

On the more expensive side, I resisted buying a Buff for the longest time but now I've got two, an Original and a UV Half Buff. The Original is so useful, it can warm your head, your neck, your face, or any combination of them, it can keep sweat from running in your eyes, it can wipe condensation off your shelter, and you can use it to pull a hot mug off the stove.

Adam

Tanner M
(Tan68)
Re: Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 15:07:50 MDT Print View

I think the sandwich could be listed in this thread as well. Both unusual and useful.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 15:49:25 MDT Print View

1.25 L rocket-base PET bottles - originally fizzy mineral water bottles.
Cost: $0 after we have drunk the fizzy mineral water.
Weight: about 43 g each, inc cap (lighter than most any other option).
Use: 2 - 4 of them as water bottles. The small caps do NOT leak, and the bottles last for several years at least.

Cheers

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry?" on 07/27/2013 16:36:52 MDT Print View

Vaseline soaked cotton balls. They burn great and I'm always surprised by how many backpackers haven't seen them used before.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/27/2013 17:05:27 MDT Print View

Empty Gatorade bottles (found not bought) and bread bags (to put over my clean dry socks at camp.)
The bags only last a night or three but are free and only a few grams each.
Several of the ones above too.