Very inexpensive gear that is very valuable

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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
they've been around for decades, the original ones were just snapped off transistor radio antennas, I'm sure there's an "antique" one kicking around in my garage somewhere.
 
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Paper plates. I take about one per person per day with a couple extras. Besides using them for plates they make good cutting boards and you can use them for holding ingredients during meal prep or just keeping your coffee making stuff off of the dirt. I reuse them as much as I can and their last job before they get burnt is to fan the fire when needed eliminating the need for one of those telescopic bellows.
 
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Paper plates. I take about one per person per day with a couple extras. Besides using them for plates they make good cutting boards and you can use them for holding ingredients during meal prep or just keeping your coffee making stuff off of the dirt. I reuse them as much as I can and their last job before they get burnt is to fan the fire when needed eliminating the need for one of those telescopic bellows.
I like the paper plate method also. They pack very well anywhere.

Its been motioned before. But I like to use a few bungee cords. To keep everything in the canoe. Or to tie up to a tree while fishing. Also when lake fishing I use a 8'x3/4" fiberglass rod as my anchor. Push it into the mud bottom and have about a 1' piece of bungee cord then rope tied to it. Most of the time it will never be blown out. The when ready just pull it out.
 
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Not gear per say, however I always bring a backgammon board. $2.00 at any garage sale.
 
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A compass. I've only had to use one a few times on trips, but when you need one you need one. A few weeks ago I was out on a foggy morning. I stayed within sight of the shore for most of the paddle but when crossing a small bay I lost sight of land. I tried staying on course using the wind and waves to judge my position. When I didn't reach the other shore that was only a couple hundred yards away I thought I was just slightly off course. When I did finally see land it was not where expected. I was surprised to see that I was almost 90 degrees off course and it happened in just a couple hundred yards.
 
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I didn't even think of a compass because one always rides on my pack strap and another on my pfd since I was a kid, but it bring up another one- a photocopy of the map in a ziplock bag in my pfd pocket, already marked up with my route and any notes. Out in the canoe during a storm is not the place to be digging out a full sized map.
 
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Good idea to have an extra just in case... I found an old, faded map along the shore of one of the lakes during my BWCA trip this past Spring. I'm not really sure how they navigated their way out of there without it.
I actually carry a couple of copies, I once traded one for a mickey of Canadian Classic rye whiskey. (actually I gave them the map, and they gave me the rye as a thank you)
 
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I use a 1/2" piece of copper pipe about 2' long for my bellows. I used it in my fireplace for over 40 years, simple and effective for fire starting
 
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I agree about Luci Lights. In the tent, or in the back of the truck, I am a reader in bed. Every night, no matter where I am, or what condition I’m in, must read for a bit.

Sometimes twice a night; solo camping on long winter nights, when I turn in shortly after dark, I revert back to a sleep pattern that was once humankind’s norm, First Sleep Second Sleep.

https://www.sciencealert.com/humans-used-to-sleep-in-two-shifts-maybe-we-should-again

Sleep 4 hours +/-, wake up, maybe take a moonlight stroll and a piss, back in the tent and read again for a bit. That biphasic pattern is so ingrained that I often do so on long winter nights at home, when it is flip a light switch easier to wake up at midnight, read a bit, and wake up again at 4:30 to make coffee and quietly bustle about, without burning candles or whale oil or one a them thar newfangled kerosene lanterns. Nighttime illumination throughout much of history was a rich man’s game.

For reading in backwoods, or back of truck, nothing has worked as well as two Luci Lights. Clipped to a traverse cord at the end of the tent, or along the tripping truck “headboard”, hung above my head and aimed down stadium-lights angled \ / at the page.

Or, when I first get in the tent, and need to sort things out while ready for bed, clipped aiming down from a “ridgeline” cord, illuminating the stuff bags and etc tent detritus.

Every battery-op lantern I tried was too dim, or ate batteries too quickly (45 hours my ass), and prior to Luci Lights I resorted to an LED flashlight (or two), propped up and aimed at the page. That had several complications, including a beard fuzzy page view at times.

Luci Lights, at least the bright white 7-LED versions, are the bedtime readers friend.

Agree with Goonstroke about inexpensive Blaze Orange knit caps as well, we have ‘em, and some for guests, mostly for outings during hunting season. If nothing else it tells hunters “I understand, and am doing the right thing”.

Inflation sucks, years ago those Wallyworld orange knit caps were 99 cents.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Luci Lights . . . . I am a reader in bed
Luci Lights could be a topic by itself, but I haven't found them to be satisfactory for my nocturnal reading.

I bought two on sale about 18 months ago. I find them good for general illumination. However, the light is not bright or focused enough to me to read easily in tent or van. Plus the unfocused, diffuse light bouncing off ceiling and walls makes the whole enclosed environment too light for me to get to sleep easily, which is the primary purpose of my nocturnal reading. For reading, I much prefer the narrowly focused beam of a much smaller and more aim-able headlamp on my forehead or hung above me in tent or van.

We now use the Luci Lights at home as nightlights, permanently ensconced window sills to be charged by the sun. Unfortunately, they are dying and only last a couple of hours now even after a full charge. I would take them canoeing, as I say, for general illumination.
 
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