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What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry?
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(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
thanks on 07/28/2013 21:28:27 MDT Print View

In winter I've dried socks inside sleeping bags at night and also inside my puffy parka during the day - but - haven't dried them on my feet while walking around in camp. Not a bad idea if you're warm enough.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 07/28/2013 21:32:12 MDT Print View

- Earplugs

- ZPacks tent repair tape. Foot health is essential on long hikes. This tape is ultra strong and thin -- works great for many purposes. I share with others when on a big trail like a PCT section.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry on 07/28/2013 21:50:37 MDT Print View

Bic lighter+3

Edited by kthompson on 07/28/2013 21:53:20 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/28/2013 22:28:23 MDT Print View

If you are not warm enough to dry socks on your chest the first night you might just be the second night.
When I was young we were so poor that one of us had to have pneumonia just to warm up the house.

Mini Bic

Desert Dweller

Locale: Wild Wild West
Most useful inexpensive on 07/28/2013 22:30:10 MDT Print View

I love to take fresh fruit backpacking on day or weekend hikes, so I save my plastic cottage cheese containers, line it with a half paper towel and insert a peach or nectarine seal with the lid and this protects the fruit in the backpack. Tall cottage cheese containers work great for halved bananas. And cottage cheese containers are light water scoops too!

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
What are the most useful inexpensive items you carry? on 07/29/2013 07:09:19 MDT Print View

- 8 sandwich sized, double-zip ziplock bags, 15g

each filled, just under half way, with air and put into my sleeping bag stuff sack makes a comfy and light pillow. (43g for the stuff sack + 15g for bags = 60g/2oz)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Sit Pad on 07/29/2013 07:23:27 MDT Print View

I picked up a Thermarest Z-Lite sit pad while trying to make it to $25 on an amazon order. It now goes on every trip; I sit on it around campfires, in snowbanks, and I use it in my hammock. I'm in love with it and it only cost me $11.

However, the inside joke with my friends and I is that it's actually outrageously expensive. "Not all of us have $90 sit pads, Max!"

Corbin Camp

Locale: Southeast
Inexpensive on 07/29/2013 15:10:46 MDT Print View

Lightload Towels - $1-2 - many uses, reusable and are durable.

My wife came up with an idea for putting toothpaste into small screw top containers you get at at Target. I think they are sold as make-up jars (<$2 for a 3 pack). They are plastic and crush proof. These held enough for close to 3 weeks worth of use. Compared to tubes, they were much easier to refill and get the stuff out especially when you start running low. You dip the brush in the jar vs squeezing it out.

Reflectix freezer bag cozy.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Lovin' It on 07/29/2013 22:46:17 MDT Print View

I am loving this thread! So many great ideas!!

"double-zip ziplock bags, with air and put into my sleeping bag stuff sack makes a comfy and light pillow..."

Genius! I think you just removed an inflatable pillow from my want-list. Wondering if fewer gallon bags would be even more efficient?

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: Lovin' It on 07/30/2013 04:43:19 MDT Print View

"double-zip ziplock bags, with air and put into my sleeping bag stuff sack makes a comfy and light pillow..."

Great idea!

I have a cheap blow up travel pillow $2 from a cheap shop (the U-shaped ones) that weighs 48g (1.75ounces). I tried using my pack, my spare clothes but nothing worked till this. Very happy with this but would not mind having a go at this idea!!

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
Re: Lovin' It on 07/30/2013 09:51:27 MDT Print View

Delmar, I wish the idea was mine :D Got if from Ultralight Backpacking Tips by Mike Clelland.

I find the pillow works better with smaller bags, it cradles my head easier.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Keep it going!! on 08/03/2013 05:38:33 MDT Print View

So many great ideas I think I have syphoned most of them to lower my base weight to the lower half of the UL packer :)

More ideas please :)

1.Here is another of mine; Can't remember where I got this spoon from but at 2.1g I am loving it. The handle is not the longest and I was going to gut slots out from the very end to make a spork but I haven't had any problems eating noodles with it so it's staying :)

2.1g spoon

2.Found in a 2 dollar shop contact lense kits with small screw top bottles (I think they are about 10ml each) great for things like hand sanitizer, sun cream, deet, antiseptic cream etc etc. With the product in them they weigh just over 10g and have enough in there for a few days of hike.

10ml bottles

3.Travel toothbrush kit. In the picture is the packaged item $2 from the chemist/drug store and after a bit of McGyvering. 11grams and the full tube of paste is enough for a week.

SUL toothbrush kit

4.the 3ml bottle. It started out as a mouth mint bottle but can be refilled with anything from Dettol (clean wound) to whatever. $1 from chemist/drugstore.

3ml bottle

5.The Red Rooster wet wipe. It's the lightest one I have found. Comes free :). Each one out of the packet weighs 2.1 grams. I love these things for a freshen up or a 'shower' when you get into camp, to clean cooking equipment out, wipe hands etc etc. A bunch of these in a ziplocked bag and they don't dry out.

red rooster wet wipes

More ideas please :)

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
pillow on 08/03/2013 16:21:37 MDT Print View

Found this blow up travel pillow in a $2 dollar shop. Can blow it up as hard or as soft as you prefer, 49grams (1.75 ounces)