Waste Not Your Ointments

By Norman Chan

Good tip for creating single-serving packets for day trips.

The TSA will let you bring a 3 oz container of liquid on a flight, but for some people, even 1 oz is too much for day trip. That's apparently the case for ultralight backpackers, who are always looking to shave off every little bit of excess weight for hikes. Brian's Backpacking Blog has a cool tip for sizing down unnecessary container weight by creating tiny single-use packages out of plastic drinking straws. Just squeeze a desired amount of liquid--like antibiotic ointments or lotion--into the straw, snip it down to size, and the seal both ends with a lighter while holding the seal closed with a pair of needle-nose pliers. It's a little bit of extra work, but the result is convenient and cost effective.