Very inexpensive gear that is very valuable

Glenn MacGrady

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Cheap stuff that makes a big difference to your canoeing, camping or tripping experience. I'll just focus on some fasteners.

Mini biners, usually aluminum, available from all over. I use them to clip other important things, or cords attached to other important things, to my canoe, my packs and my PFD.

minibiners.jpg

Quick release, pull apart key rings. I've used them for more than 40 years to attach my car key to the zipper of my PFD (for those of you who are old enough to know what simple metal car keys are.) Available all over, but don't get the super cheap ones, which may pull apart accidentally.

Pull apart key ring.jpg

Bungee Dealee Bobs, which are available from Old Scout Outdoor Products. I use these to attach paddles, painters, gloves and other things, which I want to pull out quickly, to my canoe's thwarts, decks and slotted inwales.

Bungee dealee bob.jpg

There's a green Bungee Dealee Bob and a purple mini biner hiding in this photo of my canoe being wheeled along a road.

Bungee Dealee Bob and mini carabiner.JPG
 
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Those are pretty good cheapies! The mini biners are indispensable!

I also find the small nylon ditty bags are great. Different colors for different items. They, themselves are not waterproof but go into a dry bag. 3 packs available at Walmart for next to nothing.
 
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I also bring a few mini carabiners, the DMM xsre. They cost more than the cheap ones you can get anywhere ( at $13), but they have a 4kn weight load. I do bring a few 24kn binders too.

Waterproof notepad/writing utensil - notes, directions, trip details etc.

Trivia/playing cards & mind trap. Good to keep your mind alive and if you have to be stuck in a tent due to weather. Mind trap has some tricky questions, very fun but can be frustrating.

Scent free body cleaning wipes, stored with the willy roll

Skittles
 
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This may be attire (and thus not truly gear), but those cheap blaze orange knit hats (~$3 at Wally World) are handy for more than just keeping your ears warm in hunting season. If I have to use one as a knee pad or a mop I'm only risking three bucks (and actually they wash just fine). A simple hat is also a decent sack, I keep my headlamp in one at the bottom of my day trip drybag.
 
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A hank of paracord, usually sacrificial, cut to shorter lengths for different purposes.

Giant plastic trashbag. Cut up as loaner poncho or spare ground cloth, etc.

Small squeeze bottle of alcohol (I use a nasal spray bottle with 90% alcohol). General cleaning and disinfecting, sap and other sticky stuff remover, fire starter helper.

Tiny piece of sponge, reserved solely for cleaning tent zippers in blowing sand or dust conditions.

Needle and thread. Big needle & carpet thread in case it needs to stitch something thick.

On desert rivers a small bottle of alum to settle silty water

And my favorite piece of inexpensive gear, a nylon day hammock for napping, reading or just staring up at the clouds.
 
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After one trip I included as a eye glass wearer a repair kit including nose pads which are easy to put on but painful if you don't have a replacement.
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In Robins post above, the 3rd pic is an expandable bellows, I only found those 3 years ago .... curious how many folks use or even knew they existed, they are awesome BTW


Brian
 
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Two these, sponge and bandana have been mentioned, both really come in handy. I stuff the sponge up under the deck of my canoe, even while on the road.
The bright orange vest is cheap and stuffs in my cargo pocket as part of my ditch gear. Easy for a rescuer to see when wrapped around my hat or head.

222AFF88-8B06-40DF-834D-C454F7317717.jpeg
 
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Paddle straps, double sided Velcro with d/rings sowed on.
Telescopic fishing poles, they’ve come a long ways and are still cheap
 
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In addition to the above:

Eye glasses strap
Bandana
I've been using bandannas since before they became popular, I've always been easy to burn and an follically challenged. Unlike hats bandannas stay firmly planted in a headwind. plus they serve well as a washcloth, hand towel, pot holder, etc
 
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