His list is generalized a bit, while I was shooting for specific items. This is significant difference to me. I really appreciate the encouragement for making this an article. I will give it some thought and look to ways to expand from David's article to compliment it without trying to reproduce it. For example adding strategies for finding gear at a discount, buying used gear, or making your own gear. First, I want to commend you for an excellent list!
We need budget options for young people such as college students starting out as well as for those impacted by the recession! For many of us, unless we have money to burn, it's not a good idea to invest a lot of money in an activity until we're sure that's something we really want to do. I did quite a bit of research a year ago for my then year-old grandson who was looking for budget gear. Some of us dislike and avoid Walmart, but athletic departments in other discount stores will have the same or similar stuff at similar prices.
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Athletic departments in discount stores will have just as good socks avoiding cotton. Costco for members or those who can get a member to shop for them has excellent quality merino wool socks. I've found good bargains on socks and other items at big-box sporting goods stores, too—just need to be careful about quality and weight and, of course, fabric content.
Minimalist Travel Packing – Clothing
Most people own some kind of running-type shoes anyway; unless they have slick soles, they'll be fine for backpacking. That's zero cost! Many will have at least some components of their clothing system already in their closets, which should be checked first before going shopping—as long as it isn't cotton! Thrift stores often have clothing particularly polyester fleece and synthetic fabric shirts for a lot less!
Often you can pick up lots of other gear items there. Maybe even a used pack! Several trips to several different stores are apt to be more productive. Military surplus is another good place to look. Comfortable and wore like iron I still have mine! Never mind that we looked like a uniformed group! I have a problem with relying on closeout sales for low prices because the same item is never available later on. It is a good idea to watch for and take advantage of sales and especially check the various outlets REI, backcountry. Sometimes a cheap big box store pack will fit just fine; it's worth taking a look, as long as the beginner remembers that comfortable fit is far more important than price.
A number of items are available at the local hardware store—blue tarps, mason's cord, gutter nails. You could even make tent stakes for free from metal coat hangers! Here's one from WhiteBlaze may be the same as the Sgt. I hope these help! Thanks again for an excellent addition to the literature on low-budget backpacking gear! If you can gather some of the other info linked here into an article to go with your list, that would be wonderful to have a single, up-to-date source!
Loved this list! I'm a big fan of using things I already have, or can get my hands on easily…thrift stores are one of my favorite places. I've found items at thrift stores that were specialized, yet the store employees had no idea how valuable they were, so the marked prices were insanley silly low….
But when you find them, it's like striking gold. Order some polycro for ground cloth. Just get a frostking sliding glass door kit and that will make a couple. Nothing wrong with what you have though. I would also fork out for some 1. You can glue tyvek so its not that bad. The one I made weighed 7 oz. In the future a MYOG hammock is very easy and cheap if you want to try that out. Get some 1. My local walmart right now has 1. Just made a shorty and a long. Also picked up enough green noseeum there to do a bug net.
Forget the wendys spoon and buy something like a light my fire spork.
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A lot tougher. I would carry something more reliable than a book of matches as a fire backup. Maybe get a steel and striker or carry a spare lighter and some waterproof matches. If you want a real knife anytime a Mora is really nice with a 4" fixed blade and weighs 4 oz. I like the carbon steel models. They hold and edge really well. The becker necker is also a good knife. One is definitely for me an emergency blanket.
They are cheap light and at least of your bag gets wet you will have something. Can also use it inside your bag for a vapor barrier etc. Every day I carry a small altoids can filled with the items shown and listed and and keyring. Just that gives me 3 ways to start fire.
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Also carry a lighter so I guess that's 4. Must be that time I ran out of matches and my lighter died. Pic of the can and my keyring. The short stubby cord is tinder a 6 braid hemp soaked in salt peter. The tiny waterproof alum container is a pill container from CVS.
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List of whats in it and the extra stuff I carry besides. This is just emer and medical. A lot of it is overkill, but it might give you some ideas. The altoids tin and key ring are always in my pocket so I am carrying 6 oz in a pack with this setup. In small altoids can 1. Key ring 2. Space blanket Gorilla tape Rubber bands 8 water tablets Signal mirror 2 pc wp paper Micro pencil 50' Kelty triptease Extra fire tinder Sparker Lighter whistle Safety pin.
A milsurp poncho tarp weighs about the same as the blue wal-mart tarp and is a possibility for those not expecting much rain. Of course, if you use a poncho tarp and expect heavy rain then you need a bivy of some sort. I never had it out in a real deluge but it worked well enough for the more normal rain showers. I just ran some 18 masons line makes excellent guy lines too! I didn't even use cord locks — I just scrunched it up and wrapped the loose ends around it to make a foot box and tucked one side under my sleeping pad to hold it in place. It does help if you tie something on the ends to keep the cord from working its way out of the poncho.
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What to Pack For Backpacking Light – A Minimalist Travel Packing Guide