Gear Reviews

Gear Review: 10 under $10

Ten dirt-cheap items to make your next hike more enjoyable.


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MSR’s CamRing Cord Tensioners were made for the knot-challenged. Easily lace up the cleverly designed rings at home, then tension tent corners securely without fiddling (even with gloves on). $10 for 4, .2 oz., cascadedesigns.com

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Stick a Black Crater Cordlock Light on your sleeping bag’s drawcords and you’ll never fumble for a light again. Replaceable twin lithium batteries hide under the cap, three modes give you options for brightness. $6, .25 oz., blackcratergear.com

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The Innate Doppio Espresso Travel Mug with 6.5oz. capacity is just big enough for a double shot of espresso and a squirt of frothy milk. Double wall stainless steel construction holds heat, and the press-fit lid stays put. $9, 3.7 oz., innate-gear.com

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Forget the fancy torch lighters and grab the el cheapo Jet 1300-C Mega Pocket Torch. Fill it with stove canister fuel for great results at high elevations. Clear body=easy-to-check fuel levels. Not great in high wind. $3, 1 oz., dealextreme.com

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The Smith Pocket Pal packs 3 blade-sharpening tools in one compact unit. The replaceable carbide stone sets an edge, and the replaceable ceramic stone and diamond-coated rod hone it. The rod also works on serrated blades. $9, 1 oz., smithsedge.com

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The 1.25 oz. capacity GoToob keeps viscous liquids at bay with a burly silicone body and no-drip spout. A wide mouth makes filling a cinch, and it all comes apart for cleaning. Caveat: Silicon is a dirt magnet. $6, 1 oz., humangear.com

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Repair nearly any piece of gear on the fly with Tenacious Tape. It goes on clear, doesn’t leave residue, and is removable. This tape’s so tough you’ll need scissors or a razor blade to cut it. $3 for a 3 x 20″ piece, .8 oz., mcnett.com

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Adventure Medical Kit’s Ultralight /Watertight .3 provides all the basics for owies, blisters, and splinters for just $9. The proprietary DryFlex bag is watertight. 2.6 oz., adventuremedicalkits.com

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The PackTowl Nano is great for cleaning up after a dusty day on trail. Its peachy texture feels soft against windburnt skin. At 18 x 23″ it can absorb twice its weight in water and still wrings dry. $8, .9 oz., cascadedesigns.com

Photos and text by Allison Woods