- May 16, 2016 at 7:15 pm #3402871Emylene VanderVeldenBPL Member
I personally use my compass most often in first aid checking for the creepy crawlies and removing ticks. I’m also fully aware it makes a signalling mirror and it’s a fully featured compass if I get lost.
I also use the most obnoxiously coloured duct tape I can find for my first aid/repairs because it’s more visible than the original. I also discovered duct tape makes fantastic fire starter, it burns long and hot and seems to catch tinder well.
Anyone else have greatMay 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm #3402873Emylene VanderVeldenBPL Member
Minor fat finger glitch….
anyone else have multi use fixes in the ten essentials that make them prouder of themselves than a pig in mud?May 16, 2016 at 10:38 pm #3402915May 16, 2016 at 11:01 pm #3402922Billy RaySpectator
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
Multipurpose sounds good here on the internet. But sometimes not so good out in the real world… like when I need the trekking poles that are holding up my tent for… er, well, trekking… aka a day hike from my camp. As for a sighting compass: 1) I never take or need a mirror… for signaling (PLB, sat beacon much better)… or for surgery… 2) I really don’t need a compass… especially a heavy one like a sighting compass. But, hey, it does all those thing so why not take it???
Or a poncho… hey dual purpose… pack cover and rain gear…. BUT… what happens when I want to drop my pack and have it covered from the rain and I still want to walk around in my rain gear???
A lot of this dual purpose sound cleaver and cool, but can be frustrating
billyMay 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm #3405067Brandon =ÞBPL Member
“I personally use my compass most often in first aid checking for the creepy crawlies and removing ticks. I’m also fully aware it makes a signalling mirror and it’s a fully featured compass if I get lost.”
I drag my sighting mirror compass (69g) around, really just to see how ruggedly handsome I am. As where I tend to go, the geology is so ridiculously identifiable, it’s just a solid extra ounce of pointless. In 10 years, I think I’ve got crucial use out of the sighting mirror on two trips and I won’t be visiting those places again. Damn, I just talked myself out of carrying it… I’m gonna miss seeing my pretty face in the mornings.
Speaking of multi-use failures. Recently tried using my buff as a pillowcase and it has sucked, I wake up at night with everything spilled out the sides. Maybe some little bits of cord using a Blake’s hitch to cinch the ends closed.May 27, 2016 at 3:12 pm #3405078Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
like when I need the trekking poles that are holding up my tent for… er, well, trekking…
I had that exact scenario when doing winter trips in the Adirondacks and using my Duomid as my shelter. It was very easy to find a stick to hold it up during the day while I was gone. But I switched back to the poles when I got back to camp because I use the inverted V arrangement when I’m actually occupying it. Granted, it might not be so easy with other shelters.
We’re had these “multipurpose items” discussions before and it seems that very few novel applications come to light.
I love compasses and have a bunch of them, including a couple of mirror sighting compasses, but normally just take a small one with a face slightly larger than a quarter. Good enough most places in the East, one exception being above treeline in the winter Whites where I’ve done some by-gawd navigation a few times in total whiteouts and dense fog. But then you can’t use a mirror anyway; however, the larger dial and more stable needle and adjustable declination make it easier to follow a blind bearing.May 27, 2016 at 4:06 pm #3405092Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
the larger dial and more stable needle and adjustable declination make it easier to follow a blind bearing.
So UTTERLY true.
CheersJun 20, 2017 at 6:59 am #3474179Frances SBPL Member
@sfranceyLocale: midwest US - but moving to eastern europe!
I don’t use pads, but on a recent trip with a friend, we discovered that menstrual pads make GREAT fire starter. Much better than my go-to clif bar wrappers. (I know not one of the ten essentials, but for some women who don’t want to go with a menstrual cup or tampons, pretty essential to not drip blood all over the trail).
Tampons are pretty great fire starter too!
A clean menstrual pad can also be used to do the dishes or as a towel to wipe condensation off your tent.Aug 29, 2018 at 10:37 am #3553647MikekiMBPL Member
@mikekimLocale: Somewhere East of Montauk
I wanted to grab some drier lint for my fire kit, but my wife had cleaned it out.. Always a box of tampons under the bathroom sink with a house full of ladies, so I grabbed one of them. Already in a waterproof wrapper. Burned like a torch. Next trip I opened it before leaving and petroleum jellied it.. I like them better than cotton balls or makeup pads.Aug 29, 2018 at 1:07 pm #3553650James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Well, I don’t bother with fire starters. As I hike thru the ADK’s I almost always find a piece or two of birch bark. Dip it in water, it still lights.
If I don’t use something in two trips out, I no longer bring it. My little Gerber multi tool (pliers) is such an item. I haven’t carried soap in a while. I don’t carry a ground cloth using my rain jacket instead. Duct tape rather than bandaids. I get more uses out of a few feet of duct tape.
There are lots of dual use items that work well. But, there are rules for doing that. As a negative example: using a spoon as a stake doesn’t work. Why? Because I still have to eat breakfast and my tent is usually still up in a rain. A positive example is using a pad as a frame in your pack and also to sleep on. Or using a pot to store your tent while hiking. No one said you MUST store your tarp in a stuff sack or that the stuff sack had to be soft sided fabric. It can certainly be a hard shell, like a pot. But, a wind screen is a fairly limited use item. Sometimes I use it as a sheet to drop my ditty bag junk on, but usually it is just carried from place to place and used as a wind screen.
Everyone is different, some highly value dual use. Some are very constrained by the intended purpose. Using a cleaned and dried pot to store your tarp is abhorrent to some. To me, it helps maintain my pot without denting (it just fills it) and protects the tarp against pack abrasion…dual use, besides cooking in it.
Examining the difference between the two, and you find out that there are degrees of freedom with most gear. Some gear has none or little enough to not count. An example of a single purpose item is your actual pack. I empty my pack every night and use the pad/frame for sleeping. I use my pack rolled up and stuffed in my inside-out stuff sack as a pillow. Sometimes I use it under my feet/legs. However, most backpackers cannot and do not use their packs that way. Sometimes I carry a pack with internal stays. Most people do not have a pack with removeable internal stays (with the addition of a sleeve, you can use these as a short tent pole, too.) The back padding is often sewn in, and, holds a shape too well to be rolled up. Soo, I consider this a single use item. The degree of freedom is much lower than say a hiking staff that can be used as a tent pole, measuring stick for mud flats or defensive weapon.
Basically, if the degree of freedom (mentally, you can diagram this like a grade school Venn Diagram) does NOT overlap with another use at the same time, it is a candidate for dual use. You cannot use a dual use item at the same time it is in use for one of it’s alternate functions. Bob, makes my point here with using a found stick to support his shelter when he needs to use the hiking staff for hiking. The alternate function, as a tent pole, needs to be replaced with a stick or the tent will collapse. Soo, you have to remember to model this using fairly exact scheduling of your camp activities, ie using the time you do things as a variable.
Using a computer to help model your activities, against your available items to perform those activities and within the schedule you wish to maintain can help you decide which items are necessary to carry, which items can be dropped from your packing trips. But, using Mathematica or the like can be a complicated programming job. I just use the mental exercise as the Venn Diagrams change over time. It is not like a simple spreadsheet.
Some items I will carry, regardless of how many times I use them. For example a map & compass. I have been along several trails many times and no longer need a map. I bring it anyway. The same for my compass. This is around my neck, anyway. Even stoveless, I carry a lighter. I have a platy in my pack I use as a convenience item, because I always carry it empty, but, I use it every day to keep me from walking down to the local water hole and back. (After a 20mi day in the ADK’s, I am tired!) I always carry a spare Impluse, rather than just a spare set of batteries. The difference is less than half an ounce. And, I always carry a small LST pocket knife and never use it as a stake. Without these items, I think I am traveling “stupid” light. They double as survival and/or convenience gear.
Anyway, most pack trips in three seasons can be done this way. I have been caught out when temps have dipped to freezing my platy fairly solid. But, I am still here to talk about it with no ill effects. Dual use items can be very involved as above. Or it can be very simple, like using a spare stake to dig a cat-hole or using the back of a metal spoon as a screwdriver. Don’t let it intimidate you. Just do it. Worst case, you might be inconvenienced for a week or so.
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