Great but cheap gear

Hey... I'm new here but I like the concept of the site. I'm a backpacker and fly fisher and really like trying out/evaluating my gear. Over the years I've found stuff that works well for me, and quite often the gear I end up using permanently are things that are cheaper options, even after trying out the "high end" stuff.

So I'd like to see what gear you use (either EDC, when camping/hiking/backpacking/etc or otherwise) that isn't the most expensive option but for you is the best.

I'll mention a couple as examples:

Mora Clipper/Companion (newer replacement) - Excellent but cheap knives. They can be had for about $15. These are carbon steel, but there are stainless variants if you prefer. Really excellent fixed blade knives that are cheap enough to be abused but robust enough to be included in anyone's kit. Easily compare to $150 fixed blade knives.

Trangia alcohol stoves - I've tried all kinds of different backpacking stoves, but I keep coming back to my good old trangia stove. I have what used to be called the "westwind" model which I paid $19 for. Great stove. You can make your own which is lighter but a little less convenient.

Victorinox Soldier/Wenger Standard Issue - the knife that really was issued to swiss soldiers. these run for about $20. Really excellent knives. "Alox" aluminum scales, really useful reamer (as opposed to the ones normally found). Great knives. I've carried one for about 10 years.

So what kinds of cheap-but-excellent gear do you guys own and use?


+1 Mora for fixed blades, I canĀ“t see any reason to buy a more expensive knife besides pure interest in knives. As a tool, Moras does it all. And the scandi grind (no secondary bevel) is so simple and easy to maintain, even if you dont know what you are doing. For folders, I go SRM and Enlan, they are good enough for their price (my most used knifes are: Mora Bushcraft Triflex, SRM 763, 710 and Enlan EL-02B).

Also have a trangia, but if I'm going to an area where I'm allowed to light a fire, I bring my wood-stove instead together with the trangia pans. Keeps weight down (the wood-stove is lighter and fuel is on the ground!)

But function and quality is very important for me. Mostly I try to find second hand quality brands, or surplus items, that I can fix up. But as you say, the items I can afford to loose is the items I mostly brings.

Some items I can think of right now:
*Household rubber gloves. Awesome as an outer layer when weather goes bad. I wear thin powerstretch gloves inside to keep my hands warm.
*Microfiber carwash type of cloth, takes up minimal space but acts as a cheap "travel towel".

And of course budget lights :)

(I'll have an inventory check and see if there's something I missed that could be of value.)