Gear Bags Part III, Improvise!!

There are lots of bags out there, you can spend $50, $150, $300 or more for specialty or purpose built bags.  I’m not going to say they are not worth every penny.  But do you need to dump that kind of dough?   I LOVE Goodwill, Salvation Army and Garage sales.   I stop several times a month and check out the bags section.  I’ve had more great deals on bags than any other item in the entire history of my shopping.    Below is a prime example.   This is a Prince Tennis bag, typically from $59 to $89 or more.  I got it, brand new, unused still had the tag on it for $3.89.  Shop Good will people.     Now what in the hell do I need a tennis bag for?  I don’t play tennis and this bag is odd shaped.  What in the world can I use it for?

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Tennis anyone!!!

So, here I am driving home with this bag and I’m asking myself that question.  What good is a tennis bag if you don’t play tennis?  Got home, threw it in my office with a myriad of other bags and contemplated various uses for about 2 weeks.  Then I was cleaning out the back of my van to move some things around and replace one of the other bags I keep in the van.  I pulled out the two pie irons that I keep with some car camping stuff in the van.  Sat them on the table and then stared at them?  Hmmmmm,  I wonder…..   So I ran inside, grabbed the bag.   Low and behold the pie irons fit into the tennis pockets perfectly!!!.  Pie irons are heavy and this bag is very tough and has no problem with them.  So I got to thinking and decided to make this the “Gourmet” bag.  When we are camping and have the luxury of having a vehicle nearby (or don’t mind lugging the extra weight because this bag is highly portable) we try to bring some basic cooking stuff with us.  I have dutch ovens and a cast iron pan in the van.  But nothing for the spices and utensils.

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Pie irons fit perfectly, no mess, no more loose cast iron sliding around the floor of the van getting soot on everything.


So, I started packing all the other goodies in the bags ample pouches.   We have a bag of various spices, cooking utensils, a separate pouch for soap and washing/sanitation items.    All of these items are separated by the walls of the bag that also happen to be waterproof.  So if the soap pops open, it won’t soak the spices.

So what I’m saying is, don’t get hung up on bags.  Sure if you need the latest High Sierra or Jansport pack, or Maxpedition, go for it.  It’s awesome gear and will serve you well.  But don’t pass up the opportunity a quick trip to the local Goodwill store may present. You may get as lucky as I was.  Happy shopping!!!!

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Dutch oven liners, cooking spray, drying cloth, utensils etc.

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Fire-making pouch (For now).

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Dish cleaning and hand sanitizing pouches.



About Docwatmo

Just an average guy reviewing equipment for the average guy (or gal). View all posts by Docwatmo

2 responses to “Gear Bags Part III, Improvise!!

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