One of the exciting aspects of ultralight backpacking is the on-going quest for light, small and cheap equipment.
Typically, “small and light” comes at a higher price, but what if I could show you how to buy ultralight items at an ultracool price of a dollar each?
I began my love for gear in the 80s. I used to collect “lightweight” gear at different outdoor outfitters and mountain shops. What I didn’t realize then, is that most of the gear I was purchasing could easily be found at local convenience stores that not only weighs less but sometimes cost you almost nothing.
Today when I walk into an REI or other outdoor stores, I am amazed at how much gear can be replaced at thrift shops, grocery stores and The 99¢ Only Store.
All of the gear listed below was purchased at the 99¢ Only Store. Browse the isles and see what items you can find to replace some of your current gear.
Have fun with it! Leave a comment below of what you’ve found, or any UL ideas.
I bought a single sunshade for a dollar and have made two ultralight cup insulators and a freezer bag cozy with more than half of the material left!
Cup and bowl: Forget expensive titanium, aluminum or stainless steel cups, bowls and sierra cups. The 99¢ Only Store sells two, ultralight cups for a dollar!
Small and light hydration bags can be found at most stores for around a dollar. They work great as a “smelly” bottle, used only with electrolyte drink mixes. When not in use, they pack up nicely in a bear bag or bear can at night.
Hand sanitizer has become more and more popular since studies have recently concluded that it truly does kill germs.
First Aid Supplies: Consider buying some of your first aid supplies at the 99¢ Store. They have a huge selection and it all works.
DIY Stove: Would you believe that for less than a dollar, you can make your very own ultralight backpacking stove? All you need is a hole puncher and in 10 minutes you will have a functional “Supercat” stove made from a cat food can. All you need is denatured alcohol.