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42 comments

  • The half way house between a dyneema bag and a zip lock bag, are some Cordura dry bags. Oftern about $10 a bag. Light, strong and waterproof. I think Dyneema is a bit over engineered for a drybag.

  • Bags make my feet sweat, save your money and buy sealskinz and be comfortable.

  • You may think I’m nuts and well I could be…but we have two large dogs and what do they take to stay alive? Big bags of dog food…I save them and make sitting pads…they’re waterproof and if you get enough, you could duct tape them together and make a really cheap footprint, sit pad or a waterproof mat for under your sleeping bag. Fancy Feast is a lot more fuel efficient. Great video…God bless.

  • My Mother made me wear bags on my feet in the ‘70s. She was a trend setter. 😜

  • Nemo Fillo pillow was a waste for me. Felt like a balloon and its noisy. Idk how its so hyped and a best seller

  • As someone getting back into the back country after several city decades, with no gear, these budget ideas are golden… keep them up, interspersed with the others, of course.I do like your style – you keep it fun and interesting. And I love Jeremiah – he's a funny guy – as well as a good resource.

  • Drink from the same water bottle is not such a good idea, a laboratory test of multiple plastic water bottles revealed bacteria levels higher than what the EPA would deem acceptable. So, dump the water bottle and take your Nalgene bottle with you.

  • For the record….some of us stupid people live in california….we absolutely pay thru the nose for grocery bags (Im actually embarrassed to admit it). I will trump your grocery bags (ala Ultralight Mindset channel) with bread bags. A better plastic, a better shape, and just as free(ish). i did a monster storm test last week. Everything got jacked up and wet out. In spite of the rain cover my pack had a good puddle of water in the bottom and in both belt packets. The rain gets in and doesn't get out – I just bought a tiny grommet thingy to add those holes in my pack and pockets…it was silly. Nothing got wet inside because of the compactor bag. My hands were soaked from condensation but as warm as could be in the bags. If I had brought more bags (I think 4 weighed a bit under an oz) I could have slid them over the belts with a little hole in the end and completely covered my pockets and straps. I was trying to keep my pack dryish because I use it with my shorty pad for sleeping. The tyvek groundsheet is just gold.., a ground sheet, dry place to put your gear, a RAIN KILT with a tiny pc of bungy is bullet proof.
    On the other hand….I will never be able to wrap my head around the idea of an alcohol stove. All in I doubt you save 2 ounces over a regular set up. You achieve this by using the MOST ineffective way to boil water. I think a magnifying glass would work faster. And into you pack and around your camp you introduce a highly flammable, easily spillable liquid in a tiny crinkly mini water bottle. I think it is even weirder than buying a pack cover, using a compactor bag and then putting a 3 liter bladder of water in the pack ….because you need a nipple of water within 3 inches of your mouth and can't be bothered with a bottle on the outside of your pack. You know who you are…and truth be told we know who you are…we'll see a nalgene bottle or a camp chair hanging from your 5lb 25 pocket 10 zipper 12 organizational pod pack. Your the one cursing when your "must have" wet wipes explode into your bear can making all your food taste like a butt wipe. Can you tell I'm against a stove that can easily burn down a forest in some of the most beautiful places on earth (the sierras).
    Use an appropriate flame in the wilderness and don't be reckless for a few ozs.
    Signed, every guy and girl that ever had there trip ruined because of smoke.
    Love you all (even you guys) have a great and safe new year. peace

  • Wow! You make a big difference in the backpacking world. You trully stand out with your tips and your experience. Subscribed!

  • I think I have about your age… and I remember when I was a child we put pastic bags (grocery or bread bags) in our winter boots when they didn't have time to dry between two playtimes outside!
    Now it is more difficult to do so because in my area the groceries are not allowed to use plastic bags. Maybe the bread ones could be ok, but you have to have small feet! 😉

  • Conditions were so bad on an arduous British Army course I was on in the early 80’s that we put plastic bags over our socks whilst going up (and down, and up again*) a particular hill in South Wales.

    It was more a reflection of the dreadful boots (and socks) we were issued at the time.

    One reason why I’ve used better boots ever since… 🙂

    * rinse and repeat…

  • The light but durable "zipper-lock" bags of various sizes—some with stand-up bottoms—that Trader Joe's uses to package its dried fruits and nuts can be washed and re-used as ditty bags. You can get water-tight, durable, inexpensuve gear along with healthy trail snacks. I have covered the commercial labels with fun souvenir stickers.

  • Can you please tell me about the background you use? We are looking for one like this. Is your's vinyl or cloth? Where did you find it? Thank for the help…

  • Great video John. Never thought about the plastic bag thing before. Interesting hack. Tx!

  • Instead of thin old grocery bags try sturdy old bread bags little bit stronger and don’t blow out on longer miles

  • I really like your videos. They are for us commoners. Lol

  • How do you bring, pack your spices, mostly pepper salt , or maybe seasoned salt, ETC

  • Plastic shopping bags, multiple uses, near zero cost, near zero space, win,win,win !

  • So many awesome ideas John. I already use a few of them but always good to learn new things. Sadly we get charged for the bags at the grocery store! I think soon they will charge me to smile lol.

  • I have the exact same friction defense stick in the exact same great value brand bag. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤠🐻

  • Always eat your heavy food first! Polygro is liter than tyvek and packs down smaller, Gossamer Gear sells it. In the summer a throw away rain jacket or poncho works great and weighs nothing and is wallet sized and easy to pack or put in your pocket. 1 ounce BRS gas stove around $16.00 on amazon works great!

  • I still have some empty 35mm film canisters. Great to keep small items like tablets, matches, and compressed coin towels dry.

  • oh but where I live they do charge you for grocery bags, anywhere between 15 and 30 cents! (0.15 – 0.30€)

  • You have an affiliate link to tht Tyvek?

  • Instead of tyvek you can use window insulation film as a ground cloth. Super durable, lighter than tyvek and won't soak in water and get heavy. Just got to make sure you tape around the edges to keep rips from happening.

  • Great tips, John! I have several tips I'm sure others use as well. In the military we learned to improvise. I stock 55gl contractor bags in my gear room as they come in handy to make debris mattresses (stealth camping), makeshift shelters, ponchos, tent groundsheet and even backpack liners for large backpacks like the MARPAT ILBE (Marine pattern). Empty Rx bottles can be used for storing matches and a strike board, keep AA and AAA batteries dry. If the batteries "leak" they won't touch anything in your pack. I've made empty plastic jars (Jif) into first aid kits; red cross on bottle from red electrical tape. Items remain dry and intact and metal items like tick removers, tweezers, small scissors, sewing needles cannot puncture the jar. I noticed your Tyvek sheet was soft and pliable as well. I washed mine in washing machine and dried it on a low heat in the dryer…no more crinkly sound and packs in a much tighter form. I use women's hair bands (Dollar Tree store) for rolled clothing or gear. Their one dollar blue tarps can be used as groundsheets or even emergency shelters; mine has lasted a year. Recently I found two collapsible dog bowls for a dollar each and use them for eating. The Dollar Tree store can offer so many camping items if one just uses his or her imagination and save you some big bucks.

  • As a kid I used bread bags over my socks to keep them dry from the snow. Nothing like spending two hours shoveling out the driveway and the city comes by with a plow and throws two feet back. Thanks Michigan!

  • I recently found that having a 1/2 measuring cup to be an invaluable tool when cooking. I keep virtually all of my small gear in kits in pint size ziplock bags. The extra weight is worth the organization and ability to quickly find items. My only issue with Tyvek is how noisy it is when I move around inside my tent.

  • I have to get over my lazy self and make an alcohol stove. Have a great weekend. John

  • I always see all the comments about how you need a long spoon, if you fold the top of your bag in, you will make your bag shorter and it will give you clean sides so you're not getting anything on your hand.

    Old school we packed a frisbee to use as a plate, you've got the edges so you can kind of use it as a bowl, it's sturdy, and if you're eating out of Ziploc bags, the first we gives you a nice sturdy surface to set them on. Get it from a dollar store so you get the really thin plastic so they weigh next to nothing. However, if you need something to cook in also, go to the Dollar store and get one of the cheap flimsy metal pie plates. It works just like a frisbee only you can put it over an open flame.

    Walmart sells a three-piece set of eating utensils made out of lightweight lexan for 88 cents for your standard knife, fork and spoon. I keep the knife and fork with my lunch bag, but what I pack is the big spoon and a set of chopsticks. You can use them to cook with, stir your coffee, eat, etc.

    I've had neighbors giving me soda cans, because I'm making "safety" alcohol stoves for My Friend's Girl Scout troop. They're not allowed to touch the alcohol, but they can do everything else with them. The reason I'm able to call them "safety stoves" (purely my terminology) is that I'm not building the alcohol stove like you have, I'm making what's also called a penny can stove. It's made just from the two bottoms of the cans, but in between them I'm putting cotton balls, essentially making them spill proof. Then permanently mounting them to a weighted can / pot rack. Being weighed down it should keep it from getting accidentally tipped over, but even if it does the alcohol won't spill and the flame won't travel. Kind of like alcohol stoves with training wheels. Lol. The two can bottoms, six cotton balls, and a half inch strip of aluminum foil tape to make sure that there are no sharp edges anywhere, comes in at 14g. I have one that I made the same way for myself, that is sitting inside an aluminum tea tin, with holes punched in it to use as both a pot stand and windscreen. Another thing you can use for a cheap easy windscreen, is either aluminum foil or plastic wrap over a small piece of chicken wire.

    Most stores will sell a heavyweight plastic tarp / drop cloth for about 89¢. It can be used as a tarp, an emergency tent, and even a poncho. You can make a million things with a knife, a roll of duct tape, paracord, and a drop cloth. We used to use bread bags on our feet in the winter inside our shoes. They're not as thin as the plastic shopping bags, so they're a little sturdier. Watch city kids and those in areas with heavy snowfalls. By the way, this isn't a gear hack, but a thin layer of Vaseline on your face will keep you from getting all wind burnt in the winter.

    Also, I have the same coffee cup as you, I picked it up couple years ago for the very same reason, the inner cup with the measurements. For me it still doesn't keep my coffee or tea hot long enough. So I made it a cozy with some foil lined bubble wrap and put a double bottom on it to help insulate it without adding a bunch of weight to it.

  • Putting a plastic bag on your feet is called a vapor barrier and is taught by Outward Bound as a way to keep your feet warm in winter. They teach that you wear a sock liner next to your skin, then the vapor barrier and then your outer sock. Shawn Forry and Justin Lichter used this tactic on their winter PCT thru-hike in 2014/15.

  • Great ideas! The grocery bag hack is a really good one that works really well. When I was little, my mom always put bread bags or a plastic bag on my feet in the snow. When I was on a trip a couple years ago with my friend, his waterproof socks failed and his feet got wet and cold to the point he couldn’t hike. We emptied our trash bags and put them on his feet. Lol. Worked like a charm and probably saved his feet from frostbite. Great video!

  • I like the advice about making your own dehydrated meals.

    Those prepackaged meals are terrible for the environment and are a mega ripoff. Those Peak and Backpackers Pantry meals cost like $1.00 or less to make and they have the gall to charge $12 at REI.

    The other problem with the pre packaged stuff is they are terrible for you. Loaded with saturated fat and WAY too much sodium.

  • Cat can stoves are easy to make Fancy feast.

  • Empty pill bottles from your pharmacy work great to carry small items in. You can make a first aid kit out of one and wrap some Leuko tape around it. Or a repair kit, seasoning kit, carry natural soap, or back up dirty water scoop, etc.

  • I don't like your over emphasis of certain numbers. I see what your doing FB. I see everything.

  • Absolutely useful tips, John. Usually, this kind of videos are "fillers" that we all have seen a 1000 times already. But you always bring up something new, even if it's only little. Well done, brother. 👍

  • Great video! Nice to see UL ideas that don’t cost the earth! Keep up the good work JK

  • I found a rug bag that’s was large and I cut to fit in my pack.

  • My mom would always make us do the plastic bag trick on rainy or snowy days. I would suggest that if anyone has the chance to go to a trade show or professional conference to check out the schwag. Always water bottles, carabiners, little hand sanitizers, etc. And free. Well. You should at least take a business card too. That makes the sales people feel a bit better.

  • Dairy Queen spoon (from a Blizzard). Very lightweight and nice long handle for getting into a dehydrated meal package. Not very durable, so bring a couple. Also use bubble Amazon mailer as a sit pad, or to wrap your meal to keep it warm as it rehydrates.

  • Mini M&M tubes are also really handy. When I was a kid I kept quarters in one for lunch money. Now, I keep my repair kit (floss, needle, safety pins, Leatherman Style CS) in a long one with duct tape wrapped around the outside. You can also store band-aids, moleskin, and a travel neosporin packet in one with athletic tape wrapped around the outside for a small med kit.

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