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nooneuno
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02/14/2020 10:20AM
Figured I would start a thread for Hacks, not things you've made or altered just things you use that were designed entirely for something else. For example everyone knows about the basketball net anchor what are some others?

For utensils around the cook area we use a $.99 cent menards nail apron tied around a tree, for two people we use one, for four we use two, storage for salt and pepper, silverware, spatulas, etc...

Most travel pillows suck to say the least, Whether paddling, hiking or tripping anywhere my wife and I bring lightweight down travel jackets, but they tend to expand and take up a lot of pack space. One time while trying to get 2 weeks of gear into our packs for a hike I raided her closet and found two approx. 10" square zippered cosmetic bags, they are soft on the outside and vinyl lined, they hold a folded down jacket compactly and make a great down pillow we even use the on the plane.

 
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02/14/2020 11:17AM
I use a velour sack that came with a set of brass weather gauges for a pillow cover. About 1/2 size of a bed pillow a just add clothing for a pillow.
A bunch of improvised camp pots from different sources.

butthead
 
x2jmorris
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02/14/2020 11:57AM
Other than stuffing all my clothes in a ball for a pillow I can't think of any hacks. I have used the lake as a refrigerator...does that count?
 
jillpine
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02/14/2020 02:13PM
bubble wrap envelope as a "cozee" to cover the hydrating food
 
jdevries
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02/14/2020 02:30PM
I stuff the foot end of my sleeping bag and sleeping pad into a pillowcase. Keeps the bag from sliding off the pad at night quite well.

JD
 
02/14/2020 03:47PM
My Sea To Summit inflatable pillow packs down to the size of a deck of cards and is very comfy
 
Banksiana
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02/14/2020 04:05PM
Discraft 175gm Ultrastar (frisbee) as cutting board (with guardrails no less), dishpan and (most importantly perhaps) bellows for recalcitrant fire.
 
4keys
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02/14/2020 04:11PM
The purple bag that comes with a bottle of Crown is repurposed for fishing reels. We have a few of them.
 
02/14/2020 05:15PM
Emergency tackle kit made from a half-full line spool, use the empty cutouts in back to store a few hooks and sinkers, seal compartments with a piece of gorilla tape.

Glow in the dark nalgene as a tent urinal. Best thing since indoor plumbing.

Cut of the top a soda bottle to protect your fuel pump in transit (thanks Butthead).
 
02/14/2020 07:05PM
turn my sleeping bag compression sack inside out (hides the buckles and straps) and put my clothes in it for my pillow
 
02/14/2020 07:07PM
Does a Jello-mold oven count?

 
QuietWaters
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02/14/2020 07:26PM
Dental floss used to repair a stove, replaced a broken shoelace and along with a big needle can be used for most sewing repairs.
 
02/14/2020 08:58PM
4keys: "The purple bag that comes with a bottle of Crown is repurposed for fishing reels. We have a few of them. "
Those purple Crown bags come in very handy, we use them to organize small items when putting them into bigger bags.
 
Birdknowsbest
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02/15/2020 12:56AM
Banksiana: "Discraft 175gm Ultrastar (frisbee) as cutting board (with guardrails no less), dishpan and (most importantly perhaps) bellows for recalcitrant fire."

I bring one as well. Can be used as a plate and bowl as well and as a frisbee obviously.
 
02/15/2020 07:54AM
DeanL: "4keys: "The purple bag that comes with a bottle of Crown is repurposed for fishing reels. We have a few of them. "
Those purple Crown bags come in very handy, we use them to organize small items when putting them into bigger bags."


+1 on the above, we use them for everything, such as personal hygiene kits, etc....plus I always look forward to needing more of these and telling my wife I have to buy the Crown just to get the bag.
 
02/15/2020 09:09AM
Daughter as a sherpa
 
Canoearoo
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02/15/2020 11:56AM
When the kids were little we used the canoe as a play pen when in camp. They are old enough to carry the canoes now lol.

 
LittoralZone
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02/15/2020 12:35PM
4keys: "The purple bag that comes with a bottle of Crown is repurposed for fishing reels. We have a few of them. "


+1.
A few others - tennis ball with x cute into it and put on end of stick to protect tarp when propping it up. Backing from a package of bacon as a small cutting board, light weight and disposable. I usually tape one around each salami or summer sausage.
 
jhb8426
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02/15/2020 12:38PM
Spartan2: "Does a Jello-mold oven count?

"


I'm, sure that squirrel doesn't mind.
 
02/15/2020 05:21PM
Blatz: "My Sea To Summit inflatable pillow packs down to the size of a deck of cards and is very comfy "

+1 to this item. I like mine a lot, but it is pricey so watch for it on sale.
 
02/15/2020 05:24PM
I use a plastic electrical tape container to store fishing leaders.
 
02/15/2020 05:24PM
Crown Royal bags - I have a few. They were very popular among bagpipers and used to collect all the items needed to maintain your set of pipes.
 
02/16/2020 06:22AM
jhb8426: "Spartan2: "Does a Jello-mold oven count?


"



I'm, sure that squirrel doesn't mind."


It was a very good chocolate cake, and the squirrel didn't get any unless perhaps we dropped a crumb inadvertently. :-)
 
Grizzlyman
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02/16/2020 08:09AM
Hey!!! I learned something today. Frisbee doubling as a cutting board!! Love it! Though I’ll try to find a more traditional thicker frisbee that can be used for catch rather than a disc golf disc...I think a nice ultimate frisbee type frisbee would be thick enough to use!
 
Grizzlyman
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02/16/2020 08:12AM
... and another hack that I use is a baseball with a hole drilled through the middle and rope knotted on one end as a weight for throwing hanging lines- it’s perfect weight for paracord.. I used the tennis ball with a slit in it trick for years ( you fill it with rocks) but find the baseball better. And let’s be honest, it’s not that much heavier to carry.
 
GopherAdventure
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02/16/2020 09:52AM
fadersup: "Emergency tackle kit made from a half-full line spool, use the empty cutouts in back to store a few hooks and sinkers, seal compartments with a piece of gorilla tape.


Glow in the dark nalgene as a tent urinal. Best thing since indoor plumbing.


Cut of the top a soda bottle to protect your fuel pump in transit (thanks Butthead). "


I’m going to have to steal that emergency tackle kit idea!

Thanks Fadersup!
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(859)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/16/2020 12:13PM
Using a camp mug on top a stick to prop up the rain fly.

A Helinox chair without the legs as a backrest in a tent or screen tent.

Retractable key or ID holder to attach a tie tool or line cutter to your vest or belt.
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2034)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/16/2020 03:20PM
Grizzlyman: "... and another hack that I use is a baseball with a hole drilled through the middle and rope knotted on one end as a weight for throwing hanging lines- it’s perfect weight for paracord.. I used the tennis ball with a slit in it trick for years ( you fill it with rocks) but find the baseball better. And let’s be honest, it’s not that much heavier to carry. "

Lighter yet is to put a rock in the bag you store the line in. If you miss the weight you can carry around the rock.
 
merlyn
member (46)member
 
02/16/2020 03:52PM
I use 10 oz mouthwash bottles to hold fuel for my alcohol stove. Top locks down and fits better than the Heet bottle. I also use the twig stove as the pot stand for the alcohol burner.
 
merlyn
member (46)member
 
02/16/2020 03:59PM
Another one .I carry a 10" x 24" piece of thin plywood, acts as a cutting board and as a lap table at dinner time. It slides down the back of the pack. ( Could be smaller or plastic even better)
 
Z4K
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
02/16/2020 08:04PM
I have used Crown Royal bags but have found that the cloth bags that some pistachios come in to be more resilient.

I throw a small steel pulley. The same pulley I use to hoist the foodstuffs. This technique is much easier on branches than hauling with a single line. Pulley came from the neighborhood hardware store. I have an aluminum one as well but it doesn't have enough heft to throw.

Regular 10-20l dry bag, 3/4 full of clothing as a pillow.

If you need extra ballast when day-tripping or soloing a large tandem, just fill a roll-top dry bag with water. This is also a great way to test the waterproof qualities of your dry bags.

Wrap a couple feet of gorilla tape around a water bottle, lighter, etc. This should be replaced every season if not used. I carried a perfectly small, mostly used-up roll around for a couple years and found that it was no good when I finally needed it.

I like to clean fish along a random patch of shoreline (not a campsite) on the bottom of an upturned canoe. Dispose of the carcasses and entrails as per regulations and collect firewood on your way back out.
 
Duckman
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02/16/2020 08:30PM
The duct tape around the nalgene has become a staple.
 
scotttimm
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02/16/2020 10:33PM
Pool noodle, learned the trick on this website! One cut lengthwise and slide a piece on either side of the gunwales to rest your knees on, especially for the paddler in the bow. Another section on the thwart in front of the stern or the carrying handle in the bow to hang lures on to quickly swap while fishing. A little duct tape to hold it in place while on portages. Last year, on a 16 day Crooked trip, my son had lost one...a canoe paddling by while we were fishing noticed the ones on our canoe, asked if we dropped one on a portage. He was sure happy to get his knee rest back!
 
02/17/2020 05:29AM
scotttimm: "Pool noodle, learned the trick on this website! One cut lengthwise and slide a piece on either side of the gunwales to rest your knees on, especially for the paddler in the bow. Another section on the thwart in front of the stern or the carrying handle in the bow to hang lures on to quickly swap while fishing. A little duct tape to hold it in place while on portages. Last year, on a 16 day Crooked trip, my son had lost one...a canoe paddling by while we were fishing noticed the ones on our canoe, asked if we dropped one on a portage. He was sure happy to get his knee rest back!"

We have used these for years. I am surprised that I didn't think to mention it. As the (large size) bow partner in the narrow bow of a Bell Northwind, I find them really good for protecting my knees.
 
02/17/2020 07:54AM
I've never done it but I've seen others using plastic wiffle golf balls stuck on the bottom of their chair legs to prevent sinking in the ground.
 
LindenTree
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02/17/2020 08:30AM
TomT: "I've never done it but I've seen others using plastic wiffle golf balls stuck on the bottom of their chair legs to prevent sinking in the ground." We ccalled them Tundra Pads in Alaska.
 
mcsweem
distinguished member(1406)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2020 09:46AM
I use old foam board that they put around houses the pink stuff. it's maybe 18 by 22 in then I wrap it with duct tape and use it as a table to cook on or do meal prep. It weighs nothing and slides underneath the canoe seat when I portage. Very handy.
 
schwartyman
member (31)member
 
02/17/2020 10:00AM
Eggs for first morning breakfast:
Hold egg carton underneath canoe seat while wrapping the carton/seat with duct tape.

Only issue we've had was when we switched from aluminum to kevlar. With aluminum seats we were wrapping it tightly, but the flex of the seats on the Kevlar canoes allowed a few to crack. Fixed by not wrapping so tight. Lost maximum of 2-3 out of 2 dozen.

Survived long entry days like hook->kawnipi in one day, mudro->crooked in one day, etc.
 
Mashuga
distinguished member (266)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2020 10:49AM
schwartyman: "Eggs for first morning breakfast:
Hold egg carton underneath canoe seat while wrapping the carton/seat with duct tape.


Only issue we've had was when we switched from aluminum to kevlar. With aluminum seats we were wrapping it tightly, but the flex of the seats on the Kevlar canoes allowed a few to crack. Fixed by not wrapping so tight. Lost maximum of 2-3 out of 2 dozen.


Survived long entry days like hook->kawnipi in one day, mudro->crooked in one day, etc."


I have done this for the last 8 or so trips after reading about it on this forum. I wrap the cartons in several layers of newspaper and then tape them under the seat(s). We have traveled from 1-3 days before using the eggs and have not lost one yet. I've had some hairline cracks but no leakage.
 
02/17/2020 12:34PM
Grizzlyman: "Hey!!! I learned something today. Frisbee doubling as a cutting board!! Love it! Though I’ll try to find a more traditional thicker frisbee that can be used for catch rather than a disc golf disc...I think a nice ultimate frisbee type frisbee would be thick enough to use!"

The disc mentioned by Bankasiana (Discraft Ultrastar 175) is the right one, used in Ultimate since about 1985 or '86 when the flight ring patent at Wham-o ran out, if I recall correctly. Can be had on Amazon or at any local Ultimate tourney.
 
nofish
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02/17/2020 12:59PM
sns: "Grizzlyman: "Hey!!! I learned something today. Frisbee doubling as a cutting board!! Love it! Though I’ll try to find a more traditional thicker frisbee that can be used for catch rather than a disc golf disc...I think a nice ultimate frisbee type frisbee would be thick enough to use!"


The disc mentioned by Bankasiana (Discraft Ultrastar 175) is the right one, used in Ultimate since about 1985 or '86 when the flight ring patent at Wham-o ran out, if I recall correctly. Can be had on Amazon or at any local Ultimate tourney."


Correct, 175 gram discraft. Accept no substitutes.

Been playing ultimate for 20 years and I've seen discs used for dang near everything. I've eaten more than one bowl of cereal out of a disc while crammed into a hotel with 8-10 other guys at various ultimate tournaments.

Beyond what has already been mentioned they also work well to give yourself a place to sit if the ground is wet and you don't want a wet backside.
 
02/17/2020 01:08PM
Flying Discs aside, the other hack I've used with considerable success is the solo yoke made from a double-blade paddle. Credit idea here: 2x bladed paddle Solo Yoke
 
LindenTree
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02/17/2020 01:31PM
I get fresh milk and wool from these gals.
They also portage my gear and keep my campsite neat and weed free.
 
CampSR
member (19)member
 
02/17/2020 01:44PM
Banksiana: "Discraft 175gm Ultrastar (frisbee) as cutting board (with guardrails no less), dishpan and (most importantly perhaps) bellows for recalcitrant fire."

This is great, I will definitely be giving it a try this year!
 
Banksiana
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02/17/2020 03:46PM
Beverage Hack. Fill quart ziplock 1/2full with water. Freeze . Insert ziplock in another ziplock then insert in wool sock, then another sock (what we professionals call "a pair"). In camp crush ice between two rocks (keep it in the socks during the crushing process to reduce plastic fragments). Dump crushed ice into Nalgene. Squeeze in one fresh lime, placing emptied limes in nalgene, add Bombay Sapphire to desired depth, add a few measures of clear Quetico water. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds or longer. Pour.

Quetico Martini- shaken not stirred.
 
bombinbrian
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02/17/2020 09:03PM
DeanL: "4keys: "The purple bag that comes with a bottle of Crown is repurposed for fishing reels. We have a few of them. "
Those purple Crown bags come in very handy, we use them to organize small items when putting them into bigger bags."


I'm worried I might have a problem when everyone else has just the purple bag.
 
02/18/2020 03:47AM
LindenTree: "TomT: "I've never done it but I've seen others using plastic wiffle golf balls stuck on the bottom of their chair legs to prevent sinking in the ground." We called them Tundra Pads in Alaska."

I have small dog toy "tennis" balls that I use to keep my chair legs from sinking.

Another hack-I use small metal clips from ID badges as clothes pins. Very strong holding power.
 
mcsweem
distinguished member(1406)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/18/2020 08:12AM
luft: "LindenTree: "TomT: "I've never done it but I've seen others using plastic wiffle golf balls stuck on the bottom of their chair legs to prevent sinking in the ground." We called them Tundra Pads in Alaska."


I have small dog toy "tennis" balls that I use to keep my chair legs from sinking.


Another hack-I use small metal clips from ID badges as clothes pins. Very strong holding power."


here's the type of chair I have those feet never sink in. big chair feet
 
dex8425
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
 
02/18/2020 04:41PM
I have a small piece of paracord permanently tied around my waterbottle (gatorade bottle) for the same purpose of hanging the bear bag. I also wrap gorilla tape around my bottle and trekking poles, which are also our tent poles. UL backpackers love multi-use items.

Pot coozie=aluminum foil, which doubles as a windscreen for our stove.
 
02/19/2020 04:36AM
mcsweem: "luft: "LindenTree: "TomT: "I've never done it but I've seen others using plastic wiffle golf balls stuck on the bottom of their chair legs to prevent sinking in the ground." We called them Tundra Pads in Alaska."



I have small dog toy "tennis" balls that I use to keep my chair legs from sinking.



Another hack-I use small metal clips from ID badges as clothes pins. Very strong holding power."



here's the type of chair I have those feet never sink in. big chair feet "


I like that chair. Great feet and it even has side pockets!
 
WHendrix
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02/19/2020 10:06AM
Perhaps I missed it, but I'm surprised that no one mentioned using contractor weight trash bags as pack liners. I also use trash compactor bags for liners in smaller packs like rucksacks and bushcrafter packs.
 
mcsweem
distinguished member(1406)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/19/2020 10:12AM
luft: "mcsweem: "luft: "LindenTree: "TomT: "I've never done it but I've seen others using plastic wiffle golf balls stuck on the bottom of their chair legs to prevent sinking in the ground." We called them Tundra Pads in Alaska."



I have small dog toy "tennis" balls that I use to keep my chair legs from sinking.



Another hack-I use small metal clips from ID badges as clothes pins. Very strong holding power."




here's the type of chair I have those feet never sink in. big chair feet "



I like that chair. Great feet and it even has side pockets!"


Yeah and it's really not too expensive like 40$ I think I paid and it's a sturdy chair I was pleasantly surprised
 
HayRiverDrifter
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02/19/2020 02:20PM
I bring one or two ice cream pail lids for cutting boards, breading fish, or extra plates. Like the Frisbee idea.

I use 5 gal or 2 gal buckets to carry the stove, fuel, cook kit, misc camping items and food. Also use as a chair, the top end reservoir when filtering water, dry storage, ... One bucket per boat.

Use a paddle to clean fish on

I also have a small mesh bag (2" x 6") that I use for my Sawyer water filter and back flush syringe. I found it in a laptop soft case. I think it was meant for the laptop power supply.
 
MikeinMpls
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02/19/2020 03:17PM
WHendrix: "Perhaps I missed it, but I'm surprised that no one mentioned using contractor weight trash bags as pack liners. I also use trash compactor bags for liners in smaller packs like rucksacks and bushcrafter packs."

I've done this before and they've worked well. I've since made a switch to custom pack liners I get at my local outdoorsy store.

Mike
 
MikeinMpls
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02/19/2020 03:19PM
We use two big kitty litter buckets for things that shouldn't get jostled or crushed, and items that may have leak potential, such as white gas fuel bottles. The fuel bottles go inside a decommissioned sun shower which is, in all reality, a small dry bag with a nozzle on the bottom. They're sealed up tight in there in case a small leak would develop. Fuel bottles tend to give off a gasoline odor even when capped tightly, and this protects against that.

Two kitty litter buckets, placed side by side, fit very snuggly but perfectly in the bottom of our big Battle Lake Grand Portage pack.

Mike
 
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