It's easy to make lists of tiny gear items, but not many will be under $10. These are 3 simple items that will be useful almost no matter what type of photography you're out working on. They add no noticeable extra weight and you get to enjoy that satisfied feeling when you realize you're so clever for planning ahead.
Storm on the HorizonSea, sand, and light rain? No worries for me! Rubber Bands: From securing a white card to your flash, baggies to your tripod, or triggers to your lightstand, there's always a small bag of rubber bands in my camera bag. I usually get a multi-bag for about $2, putting a variety of sizes and thicknesses at my disposal.
Plastic Bags: While this is a newer habit, I usually take a handful of small plastic Ziploc bags, which I use with the aforementioned rubber bands to protect the bottom sections of the tripod from water or dirt. They can also be used to protect smaller pieces of kit, like cables or triggers, from the vagaries of moisture. I'll also take a small white trash bag: if it starts to rain, I can cover my bag easily, or use it to keep debris out on a windy day. In a pinch, it can serve as a diffuser or fill in various types of close-up or macro photography.
Gaffer Tape: My favorite cheapie item and an absolute must-have. The uses are nearly endless: I've used it to secure bounce cards at odd angles, anchor small objects, as a flag on my flash, and umpteen other purposes. I purchased a fairly small 2" wide roll about 2 years ago for $6, and I'm only just now needing to replace it. Bonus? No sticky residue left behind.
Do you have a favorite cheap item that's always in your bag? Share it with us in the comments below!