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Those items that mark the difference between a miserable experience and a joyous one—pit zips on jackets being a prime example. They are often taken for granted and usually the work of a brilliant designer.
There are countless little things that make a big difference on a mission. Here are four.
Zip ties: Ratcheting plastic straps that enable innumerable quick fixes, such as reattaching a derailleur to a mountain bike mid-ride.
Lip balm: A substance applied to the lips to prevent them from drying out. Forget your Chapstick on a high and dry hike? Earwax will get the job done.
Sharpie: A pen with ink that, when given time to set, will make long-lasting marks on plastic bags, all manner of clothing, and human skin.
Instant coffee: Ground beans that create a caffeinated solution when dissolved in hot water. Does exactly what you need it to when the real thing isn’t available.