I don't know if I can limit it to one! But high on the list:
Hennessey Expedition Hammock CCS Lean 3 (I have only used it in the yard but already like it) Littlbug Senior stove for boiling water CCS Tarp Platypus gravity water filter Cache Lake hash browns and fry bread Boga grip Handheld depth finder
That could be a long list if I started tallying up little things. Extra socks and long underwear, duct tape, spare batteries, etc.
I always have at least one CCS tarp, maybe two and maybe even some nesting poles. The tarps are my favorite item, I enjoy working out just the right rig (engineer). I consider tarps essential though.
But my number one entry for favorite & non-essential would have to be my "Cliff's favorite chair" from Piragis. It's my favorite too. This is no lightweight affair, over three pounds but worth every once IMHO. I've use the chair every day of every trip I've taken since I got it.
quote Merganser: "... But my number one entry for favorite & non-essential would have to be my "Cliff's favorite chair" from Piragis. It's my favorite too. This is no lightweight affair, over three pounds but worth every once IMHO. I've use the chair every day of every trip I've taken since I got it."
I should have added that same chair to my list - it is a real back saver. Likewise a canoe seat with a back. I prefer Sitbacker but the thermarest type work well too.
Camera equipment and a good book. I like taking my camera and wandering into the woods at our site looking for flowers and things to photograph. A good book is the best for wind bound days and lazy afternoons at camp.
All my gear has necessary uses or it does not go. In the context of this question, I guess I'd have to say poncho. When it rains and rains and rains and rains etc...It's nice to have that extra shell layer over everything else. Also, its good for tarping whatever. You can make it into a stretcher if needed too.
At the moment when I am in the BWCA my favorite accessory is a chair. I never regret bringing one. Although, months and years later as the memories of the chair fade away, I am always grateful that I packed my good (heavy) SLR camera. I love looking at the high-quality pictures from trips past.
Last trip, my favorite piece of gear was either my canoe seat (first time with one) or my rod/reel. Next trip, I'm certain my favorite piece of gear will be my sling light chair. My buddy had one last time and every time he got up, it didn't stay empty for long. Glad I now have one in my possession.
quote Koda: "My favorite item is the one I look at and think, "I sure am glad I brought this!" The flip side, of course, is the item that gets unpacked at the end and I ask myself, "What was I thinking?""
Isn't that so true. I try to think, "Okay, we don't need this anymore." I seem to have less and bring more. So it always balances out to be the same. You should see the first aid kit my wife puts together. I keep saying that we don't need some first aide items for 7 days. If something terrible happens, we're heading out.
With her, I try to make it nice and cozy, warm, and shady...
Life is about being outside enjoying God's world...
My Optimus Nova stove. I just love to find an excuse to use it. This is the most reliable and well simmering stove I know.
I have to admit the Coleman Apex ii and 550B is good stoves too, more easy to use, but more "lumpy" to pack. It may be I change to the Apex, but I doubt. For use in a tent, the Coleman makes more CO, but this is only a winter-problem. (The CO production was tested by NATO some years ago)