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#44231 - 07/18/05 06:23 AM Good gear, not a lot of dough?
MGF Offline
dedicated member

Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 114
Loc: Illinois
This may have been done in the past; if so, my apologies.

I know I'll get the "you get what you pay for" response and maybe even offend some of the guys who insist on only the very best for their kits ... but does anyone else ever look at the price of some this gear (Sebenzas, ultra-nifty flashlights, etc) and go, "Well, I'm gonna have to make do with less"?

Don't get me wrong ... my bills are paid, kitchen's got chow in it, truck's full of gas (and nearly paid for!) ... s'all good. But if I start another mondo-expensive hobby ...i may end up livin' in that truck. <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

But just for fun and to share the knowledge, what are some of the best-bang-for-not-a-lot-of bucks survival or outdoors items you guys (& gals, of course) have come across? Be specific.

Here are some of mine:
-- $20 KaBar Dozier folding hunter.
-- $10 Garrity AA flashlight with xenon bulb (its brightness kicks butt on my old AA mini-Mags and Legends.)
-- Doug's PSK at $27
--AMK Ultralight FAK kits ($15 for the .5)
--Stanley 7" Wonderbar for $5.
--Smith's two-step sharpener, $5
-- ETS site ... free!

Alternate question: Where have you found handy, dandy useful gear at a good price where you didn't expect to?

Edited by MGF (07/18/05 06:53 AM)

#44232 - 07/18/05 07:26 AM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Oh certainly, frugality may be the essence of survival. For instance:

Kabar 3" folding knife with blaze orange grips - $7.00 at Smokey Mtn Knife Works.

MREs scrounged from Army camp when no one is looking - free

First Aid supplies scrounged from the Safety manager's locker while he is being distracted - free

Using the daughter's discarded, no longer stylish daypack as a bob - free (she paid for the replacement)

Grabbing 5 packs of stick matches from the hotel cleaning lady's cart - free

Requisitioning replacement AAs from supply at work because I used my flashlight a couple times when the lights went out - free

There are, of course things that must be purchased that just cost the bucks, but I will try and equip as much as possible with whatever "surplus" is available. Probably two thirds of my supplies are gratus, or at least didn't cost me anything. I've borrowed twenty feet of duct tape from a friend who had one of those huge rolls and figured he'd never miss that much.

Besides, scrounging is good practice. It raises your awareness of what is around you, so if something did happen, you would already have the mindset to be looking for such things, and a good idea maybe even where to look.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#44233 - 07/18/05 12:04 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?

If somebody would be upset that you took it then isn't it stealing rather than scrounging? Just what my parents taught me and I teach my kids, but eveybody had to draw their own line I suppose.
My current bargains:
Swill army knife, you can pick up a new knife with two knife blades, can opener/screwdriver bottle opener screwdriver and a wonderful fit and finish for $10-15. Insanely useful, utterly reliable.
Dorcy AAA LED flaslight, this is new to me, but I'm very impressed so far, for $5 at wally world you get a nice bright EDC light that's almost so cheap as to be disposable.
Virgin mobile pay as you go phone, this is only a bargain if you are a very very seldom phone user. I call my wife on mine maybe every two weeks when I'm out and I need to ask her something. She's the only one who has my number and calls me about as often. You need to put $20 every 90 days on it and I never use that up. So it costs me $6.66 a month for an emergency phone. Good option for me since I live in the houston metro area and signal is great.
Those are my current 'bargains'

#44234 - 07/18/05 12:14 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1753
well not a place i didn't expect bargains, but i buy alot of second hand stuff from the web. Not Ebay(it is owned by ebay though!), but a diffrent kind of site that more populair in my country.

Inexpensive things are good, too expensive and i won't use them to there full potential.

-K.J. Erikson mora's, FREE ! froma friend
-Millbank filter, FREE ! from a friend.
-DP 5 compass, FREE! from a friend.
-vented supplex shirt for 10 euro a piece ( discounted, was 55 euro)
-things from discount supermarkets ( aldi, lidl )


#44235 - 07/18/05 12:37 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?
harrkev Offline

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO

My take is that you throw together the cheapest kit that you can afford -- that is what I am doing... Can't afford MREs? Buy pop-tarts on sale. No sebenza? Buy the $10 knife from Wal-Mart. Better quality is, of course, better. But I would rather be stuck with a cheap knife instead of stuck with no knife and half of the money for a $300 sebenza in my pocket..

I would gather the makings of an extremely cheap kit, and then gradually upgrade over time.
Darwin was wrong -- I'm still alive

#44236 - 07/18/05 01:45 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
I second the Mora and Swiss Army knife suggestions. My Becker Crewman is also a lot of knife for the money. I have found my Tru-Nord compass to be absolutely reliable and about 1/3 the cost of the SAS button compass (of course it's larger too.) The alcohol stove I made out of a cat food can will boil a cup of water in 4 1/2 minutes (http://zenstoves.net/Stoves.htm). My Wetterling hatchet was about 1/2 the cost of a Gransfors Bruks.

Regards, Vince

#44237 - 07/18/05 02:41 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?

Ben, at the hospital we call it "making the best possible use of the available resources", not scrounging. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

As for getting low cost supplies:
Any supplies in a patients room are thrown away when discharged, so I have added some supplies to my FAK this way.
We try to save the stuff not used for medical mission trips or education if possible.
Harbor Freight and Northern Tools have tables/bins full of inexpensive chinese tools lining the aisles of the store, have found some good deals there.
Yard sales, though tools can be wildly overpriced.
Dollar stores, of course.
Big Lots, if there is one near you.

#44238 - 07/18/05 02:46 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?

Great idea for a thread.
A Nuwai QIII flashlight is a great buy. I've seen them for as low as $20, but you'll have to search around.

As a couple of people have pointed out, a Mora carbon steel knife is the ultimate bargain, around $10.

Best deal I ever got was when I asked on BladeForums how I might carry the toolbits for a Leatherman Charge in my pocket (cause I clip it and don't wear the sheath) and someone there sent me a Sabenza leather pouch for free because he thought it would make an excellent holder. Nothing beats good people.

Also, some retailers give discounts to members of CandlePowerForums.com, which another great site you might want to check out. This thread
gives a list of them. In particular, CountyComm is a great place to find bargains, particularly on their secret CPF-only page. (Shhh, don't tell anyone! <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />)

#44239 - 07/18/05 03:12 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2027
Loc: NE Illinois
I'll second the Ritter PSP. There is just no way I could accumulate that much first rate gear (whistle, mirror, magnifying lens, Spark-Lite, SL tinder) for just $25.

I'll also second the single-AAA Dorcy LED light from Walmart. I use mine all the time.

The Mora #748 (and its carbon-bladed relative #731) knife that Equipped.com recommends is a great bargain for just $16, +$5 for shipping. It is tougher than you'd think for the price and I really like the handle. Its at http://www.ragweedforge.com .

For whistles w/ spiral wrist bands, you can get them at http://www.orientaltrading.com for only $2.95 for 12 whistles plus $7 shipping. They're no Storm or Fox 40, but they are decently loud. They also have some smallish compasses that look interesting, but I haven't seen them in person.

For very low cost shelter, check with your local highway department for large orange trash bags - they might give them to you at no cost.

#44240 - 07/18/05 03:12 PM Re: Good gear, not a lot of dough?
wolf Offline

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 329
Loc: Michigan
-- "-- ETS site ... free!"

There's a good one!

Dental Floss, 550 cord - both are inexpensive.
Zip Ties.
Duct Tape.
Cottonball / vasoline tinder
Film Canisters (if you find a free source)
Bic Lighters (or Brand of choice for the Bic Detractors <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> )
Stove made from a coffee can or an Alcohol stove made from a beverage can.
Inexpensive LED's
Garbage bags
"2+2=4 is not life, but the beginning of death." Dostoyevsky

Bona Na Croin

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