Backpacking Hacks / A tiny hair tie hack

It's the tiny things that make a difference - in life...in backpacking.

When I first saw this one, I was a bit skeptical, but I'm now a believer. This one's another one from Trenton from the time he taught survival during my WEMT class. 

All it is, is a hair tie and with a small duct tape flag on it. It's great for: 

  • Keeping gear organized without taking extra bags
  • Pulling the tab to get the hair tie off, when your fingers are cold and don't move well
  • Finding your hair tie if you drop it

Tiny hair tie hack
Weighs 0.1oz for three
Made from this hair tie and some bright orange duct tape


I used to use a rubber band and keep it around my wrist in case I ever needed it right away. It would eventually break down and become a piece of trash I'd have to carry around. This hair tie hack provides a bit more reassurance of it's effectiveness. Plus, it's always a back-up hair tie in case your hair tie breaks. 

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Footprint with Bag vs. Hair Tie
5.2oz vs. 5.0oz

0.3oz vs. 0.0oz
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Footprint Bag vs. Hair Tie


PRODUCTS USED to make hair tie hack

Backpacking Hacks / Waterproof Matchcase Hack

What do you carry your matches in?

Mine typically live in a little ziploc bag that put inside my "survival" bag (which reminds me I really need to get a new edition together). Anyway, the other day, I was looking for something to hold my matches, besides my usual baggie, but didn't want to buy the heavy waterproof case that's out there. Upon looking for long cylindrical cases, I realized the Tenacious Tape case was perfect and super light! AWESOME. 

NOT AWESOME: I put in a piece of paper in the case and put it under the faucet, and water poured in rather easily. It was disappointing to see that it wasn't waterproof, but it can easily be cured by putting the matches in a small plastic bag.


So here's what the weight difference is for the plastic container versus the Tenacious Tape container. 1.1oz versus 0.4oz. AWESOME!


Using this container does mean you need to purchase a roll of Tenacious Tape. I use it all the time for repairs, so it's a great tool to have in your repair kit.

What do you hold your matches in?

Backpacking Hacks / Flag your tent stakes

First, a game.
Can you find the tent stakes? (click IMAGE for the answers)

Have you ever walked away from a tent site and wondered if you remembered ALL your tent stakes? Or were down low to the ground looking for that one stake you couldn't find? If you haven't had the experience yet, it can be annoying. 

I mean, if you've already left camp, do you hike back? But that would mean more miles and time...or maybe you can do without one tent stake?!? Arghh..."Why are they designed to be camouflaged?!"

Tent stakes are strangely easy to forget if you don't systematically collect each one. They're also hard to see. To aid the process, here's a little tip for how you can make your tent stakes stand out without adding any additional weight! Just add flagging! 

I tested reflective flagging, pink, and without, and found that the regular (without reflective strips) was really effective.


How to make them


(1) You might not have those convenient holes in your tent stakes, so I encourage you to play around and see how you might think of a way to make your stakes stand out.
(2) Reflective flagging isn't necessary; regular flagging works great, as you can tell in the game above.
(3) My tent stakes are for the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent. They come it at 0.4oz/stake.