gcahal wrote:IM on a tight budget. heres my list so far.
Here's the pack list that I actually use.http://hikearizona.com/mypack.php?ver=3&PID=233
For the clothes, ignore most of that on the list think about how comfortable you are with the cold and bring something to cover your head.
For food, forget about the OutSak but remember you need to pack enough food to be comfortable. BTW Walmart has the best price on freeze dried food.
Walking sticks, personal preference but I list two because I absolutely need them and I also use them for the tarp.
The Gear/Camp Sleep stuff... you can dump all of that except the sleeping bag, sleeping pad and ground cloth. Sleeping under the stars is great!
Cooking stuff... for me, most of this is mandatory except for the StrePen because I have the ceramic filter. You just need a stove, a pot, a cup, a spoon and a water container. You'll boil water and dump it into the freeze dried food bag and won't have any cleanup.
Gear/Packs... None of that is negotiable for me. You need pretty much every item like that in that listing. GPS is maybe optional but I bring it as a matter of course.
Hygiene... Another area where every item listed is necessary.
You can get stuff pretty cheap at Walmart. Sportsman's warehouse is a pretty good place. I'd pick and choose things over time and research it. Get one really good item that you know will work every few months when you've saved up enough. Having the right equipment really helps make the experience a pleasant one. The biggest expenses are the sleeping bag and pack. Research the pack and try a bunch of brands. Go to places where you can try them out with weight in them and the people selling them know how to adjust them. The other one is the sleeping bag. IMO you need to get the best possible one you can afford if you're going to do any backpacking when it's even remotely cold. There is a price on comfort in this department. These are the two places you want to think about spending a little more to get something good that will last.
As you start hiking you'll come across camps that are heavily used and people leave trash around etc. It's always good to try and leave a minimal trace. The goal is to camp in such a way that if someone were to come upon the place in a week or so, they wouldn't be able to tell you camped there. Try to always use existing fire rings and submerge any fire you've enjoyed under water and make sure it's dead out. You don't want to be blamed for something flaring up later and burning the forest down after you've left.
The good thing is you've probably stumbled across the best hiking resource in the Western United States with this website. Have fun. I hope to see you on the trail sometime.