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Save Deletion is a Glitch available to most versions of the OrangeBox Engine and only to version 4044 of the Source Engine 2006. It is also present on the newer 2011 version of the Engine, which Portal 2 uses. It is used to replenish health, ammo and required vehicles or items to continue with the game. This trick is similar to doing the "map" or "restart" command in the console.
When you first enter a map, save once then reload to that save. Then delete the save from the menu and either reload to that save again using the "reload" command or kill yourself and respawn. You should now be put back to the beginning of the map with weapons and health.
Why am I at the start of the map?
When you do "reload" in the console or kill yourself and respawn, the game will simply reload your "current" save that you're on. But deleting your "current" save and then reloading to that save (using the "reload" command) or respawning after killing yourself will make the game confused because it is trying to load a non-existent save. Because the game doesn't know what to do, it reloads the entire map, placing you in the default spawn position.
Where did these items come from?
In the game, every map is equipped with "newgame" spawners which spawns entities when the map is loaded fresh. Those entities could be health, energy, weapons and especially vehicles or items required to continue progressing through the game. These "newgame" spawners were placed for testing out maps. Because of this, when you do a Save Delete you will most likely be put at the beginning of the map with appropriate weapons and vehicles or items that a player should have when reaching the map when playing the game casually. This is very obvious in the Water Hazard chapter of Half-Life 2 as Save Deleting on any of the maps in the chapter will result with the airboat also spawning in with you. The same could be seen in chapters Highway 17 and parts of Sandtraps in Half-Life 2.
However this trick will not help you in games that do not have "newgame" spawners and you will only spawn with no weapons or the suit. This can be seen when you Save Delete on the map "d2_prison_05" of Half-Life 2.