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  1. #1

    Default Frugal Gear: Top Tips

    I am a MYOG/DIY addict and that is my primary way to save money and have excellent lightweight gear. Some things I made saved me money and took very little practiced skill and some things I bought simply saved money but work very well and are high quality. What Frugal Gear tips do you have that have made a huge difference in your experiences while minimizing impact to the wallet?

    #1 - UniQlo Down Jacket w/ Hood: An incredible priced lightweight/UL down jacket < $80, mine was ~$60 due to a sale. http://www.uniqlo.com/us/ (Google: Uniqlo Ultralight down)

    #2 - Sawyer Filter: ~$20-40 and filters to Half the micron size of other filters

    #3 - SnowPeak Ti Bowl as cook pot DIY Alcohol stove + DIY Aluminum foil windscreen. Ti Bowl was plenty big for ramen or lipton/knorr packets even if I added additional calories such as dehydrated refried beans and chips.

    #4 - Thrift store fine Merino Wool / Cashmere sweater < $5

    Honorable Mentions: DIY Alcohol stove + DIY Aluminum foil windscreen, Walmart CCF (closed cell foam) sleeping pad. (note there is too much controversy and personal preference over stove type and sleep pad type for these to be listed in my top 4, which is why they received honorable mentions)

  2. #2
    Registered User Firestarter91's Avatar
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    Hey you should check out Reddit, they have a great sub-reddit called "Make Your Own Gear". It sounds like it's right up your alley.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/myog
    ~ Firestarter

  3. #3
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    Apparel for the upper half, some frugal functional considerations:

    At Costco, but sold elsewhere for perhaps as low as $22 - Paradox Men's rain jacket $24.99
    http://reviews.costco.com/2070/10004...ws/reviews.htm

    At Costco, 32 Degrees down vest, $17.99 but just seen at $14.99 regular price
    http://www.costco.com/32-Degrees-Wea...100157320.html

    At Costco, Gerry down jacket $39.99 but two Atlanta Costcos have them priced at $30
    http://www.costco.com/Gerry-Men%E2%8...100162182.html

    At Walmart, Champion or various odd named 100 polyester tees. See then regularlr for $4-9

    At many Goodwill's $2 acrylic or merino wool blend beanies. Wash before wearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aram View Post
    I am a MYOG/DIY addict and that is my primary way to save money and have excellent lightweight gear. Some things I made saved me money and took very little practiced skill and some things I bought simply saved money but work very well and are high quality. What Frugal Gear tips do you have that have made a huge difference in your experiences while minimizing impact to the wallet?

    #1 - UniQlo Down Jacket w/ Hood: An incredible priced lightweight/UL down jacket < $80, mine was ~$60 due to a sale. http://www.uniqlo.com/us/ (Google: Uniqlo Ultralight down)

    #2 - Sawyer Filter: ~$20-40 and filters to Half the micron size of other filters

    #3 - SnowPeak Ti Bowl as cook pot DIY Alcohol stove + DIY Aluminum foil windscreen. Ti Bowl was plenty big for ramen or lipton/knorr packets even if I added additional calories such as dehydrated refried beans and chips.

    #4 - Thrift store fine Merino Wool / Cashmere sweater < $5

    Honorable Mentions: DIY Alcohol stove + DIY Aluminum foil windscreen, Walmart CCF (closed cell foam) sleeping pad. (note there is too much controversy and personal preference over stove type and sleep pad type for these to be listed in my top 4, which is why they received honorable mentions)
    how many miles have you put on the jacket?

  5. #5
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    What about frog togs for rain gear, $25 to keep from getting soaked worked well for me!

  6. #6

    Default UniQlo Down Jacket

    Quote Originally Posted by Googan View Post
    how many miles have you put on the jacket?

    2,000+ miles. I don't think it would hold up to bushwacking through thorny bushes, but I don't believe any lightweight down or synthetic jacket could either.
    Emphasis on the price (~$50-60) vs other lightweight down jackets which are often significantly more expensive (>$200-300).

    -May the HIKE be with You-
    -May The HIKE Be With You!-

    Obi-Wan/HikeAholic/LASH4Life

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangfire View Post
    What about frog togs for rain gear, $25 to keep from getting soaked worked well for me!
    Yes the frog togs are some of the best and most inexpensive gear I have! Thanks for the suggestions it definitely deserves to be pointed out when discussion affordable and quality lightweight gear for backpacking!
    -May The HIKE Be With You!-

    Obi-Wan/HikeAholic/LASH4Life

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aram View Post
    Yes the frog togs are some of the best and most inexpensive gear I have! Thanks for the suggestions it definitely deserves to be pointed out when discussion affordable and quality lightweight gear for backpacking!
    Agreed. One of the rare cases where the cheapest is also among the lightest options. It isn't durable but a rain suit can be purchased for $15-20 on Amazon.

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    Homemade pack $30
    Tarp from plastic drop cloth $5
    Homemade quilt $70

    The big 3 for about $100 and they didn't weigh much.

    Also:
    Thin nylon dress socks $1
    Generic running shoes $30
    Plastic poncho $10

    These are all items i actually used on my thru hike.

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    Walmart sells a $20 dome tent (4.5 lbs) that's honestly not that terrible. I use it for car camping with friends when I think someone might break my nice UL gear.

    I don't think a plastic dropcloth would be durable enough to last more than a week. A woven polyeruthane tarp though would work fine for $8. They come in green and brown rather than the yuck blue.

    the frog tog pants fell apart on me the first day. Sierra design pants were $20 and have held up to "snowboarding" aka butt sliding for most of the mountain.

    Bottle of bleach for $8 would be cheaper than the sawyer squeeze.

    large 3-4 quart platypus for a camp canteen is a really nice luxury item in addition to your normal waterbottles. You can chemically purify/fill both your waterbottles at once and top off your dinner pot without having to refill at the watersource. Drink/use or empty before you start the next day.

  11. #11
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    Great topic! I recently found some great deals at unexpected places:

    - Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew socks, $8 at TJ Maxx, normal price $20
    - Totes Elements umbrella, 5.4 oz, $12.99 normal price at Target but I got it on clearance for $9. I've used it on two day hikes so far and it's been great!

  12. #12
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    I've cut down a plastic bag that DAV leaves at the front door to use as a ground cloth and 1/2 gallon iced tea jugs + gatorade bottles in place of a water bag and nalgenes.
    GA -> ME
    '86 -> '89

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aram View Post
    What Frugal Gear tips do you have that have made a huge difference in your experiences while minimizing impact to the wallet?
    Buy used quality gear at 1/2 the price from people who bought it new and then either rarely used it or replaced it with this year's greatest and latest. Also look for end of season sales, REI garage sales, closeouts, returns, etc. Scour the internet for 20 - 30% off coupons. You can put together some really good high end gear at reasonable prices this way.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 01-17-2016 at 13:47.
    I was self employed once, but it proved too stressful. My boss was a jerk and my employee was a slacker - I didn't know whether to quit or fire myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Buy used quality gear at 1/2 the price from people who bought it new and then either rarely used it or replaced it with this year's greatest and latest. Also look for end of season sales, REI garage sales, closeouts, returns, etc. Scour the internet for 20 - 30% off coupons. You can put together some really good high end gear at reasonable prices this way.
    This. After all said and done I paid $30 for a barely used almost in new condition MH Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket for my nephew from an Atlanta area Goodwill. Tips: browse consignment shops and second hand stores like this for new/almost new and reconditioned apparel finds in wealthy areas like ski resort areas in CO/VT/CA/WA/UT/etc basically where there are many involved in outdoor activities like hiking.

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    "Bottle of bleach for $8 would be cheaper than the sawyer squeeze. "


    I'll stick with the filter. Save money on something else.

    Thom

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    Love this thread. My recent thrifty scores for an up coming PCT hike:

    Osprey Exos 58 - "used" on ebay for $135 and FREE SHIPPING!
    Columbia shorts - $6 at thrift store
    Icebreakers Wool hat = $8 Sierra Trading Post
    Down jacket (packs down into pocket) - $60 Sierra Trading Post
    LEKI Trekking Poles - $44.36 ebay
    Cabela's fleece gloves (lightweight and packable) - $6.50 on sales

    I've found SmartWool and Icebreaker shirts at the thrift store, you just have to put in the time looking.
    I'm hoping to find some rain gear and a titanium cook pot soon, used and/or inexpensive.

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