A Walk in the Woods
June 14, 2007 5:18 PM Subscribe
A few friends and I are looking to start backpacking this summer but on a budget.
posted by god particle to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
A few friends and I (4 or 5 of us total) have decided to start backpacking/hiking this summer (in the southeastern PA area). We've chosen the Conestoga Trail to be our first trip (it is about 63 miles long). I picked up a copy of The Backpacker's Field Manual and have begun working my way through it. We are, however, young and haven't got much to spend, so I am trying to cut our gear list down to the bare essentials. For instance, couldn't we just use a fire instead of a stove? What exactly are the bare essentials when it comes to backpacking?
As of now, aside from the necessary smaller items (map, compass, food, first-aid, fire-starting equipment, water, knife, flashlight, etc), I've got the more big-ticket items of a sleeping bag, tent, pack, shoes/boots, and appropriate clothing. Is there anything else that is absolutely necessary?
Since we're worried about cost, does anyone have any suggestions for cheap (yet durable/reliable, if possible) pieces of gear, specifically for the aforementioned big-ticket items? We will probably be able to borrow some equipment from other friends. Also, I am somewhat overwhelmed by the complexity of clothing and all the different layers and materials and what not. I feel like I'd need to spend a lot of money on just clothing, so again, what are the bare essentials for clothing? In the same vein, there seem to be a lot of different water purification options - what's cheap, yet effective enough for the area? I suspect we won't require industrial-grade water purifiers that are more suited for tropical areas.
Feel free to add any general hiking/backpacking tips.