Earlier this week I committed to my first backpacking trip. A friend of my dad had a spot open on a permit for a 2 night trip on Boucher/Tonto/Hermit (April 16-18) and my dad offered to help get me outfitted so I figured I better jump at the chance. I've hiked with my dad's friend before, he is an experienced Grand Canyon backpacker, and is very level-headed and responsible, so I feel reasonably comfortable taking on this trip having no backpacking experience prior. Before this thread turns into an all-out hammock fest, I must say that I'm basically broke and don't really have $ to go spending on ultra-light gear or luxury items. Basically, right now I'm just looking for a list of bare, absolutely essential items that will get me through my first three days as a backpacker. I looked at the gear list article here on HAZ, but it looks a little too comprehensive, so I'd like something a bit more pared down.
As for what I already have, today, my dad helped me out on an internal frame pack (Mountainsmith Lariat 65), a Thermarest mattress, and a new pair of Vasque boots (for better ankle support than my low top Ahnu boots that are about to die anyway. I have a friend at a outdoors shop that gave us a nice discount on that gear thankfully. Additionally, my dad is letting me borrow a 15 degree REI sleeping bag and a small propane stove. I'm not planning on taking a tent, but will have a tarp with rope to use as a shelter if need be. My friend at the outdoors shop will sell me his used mesh bivy for $20, but it has no rain-fly so I would need a tarp anyway in case of rain. I don't really have money to buy a tent otherwise anyway. That's basically all I've got, I just want to know what essentials I'm missing and what I can leave at home. Also, my company on the trip is planning on rehydrating freeze-dried food for pretty much the whole the trip, just wondering what you all would recommend along those lines? I also don't mind taking cans of soup, or easy snack foods (granola bars, peanut-butter cracker packs I both have at home). I'm not really a ramen person though. I would just like an idea of how much food to bring without running out but not over doing it. Hopefully, my first trip will be an absolute success, and I can eventually become a hammock-toting, raging ultra-lightaholic (or something like that), but for now I just need a bit of help identifying the essential items on an extreme budget.