For the budget-conscious hiker, shopping for long-distance backpacking gear will be an intimidating prospect. Sleep techniques, backpacks, trekking poles, garments … the alternatives are limitless, and the much less it weighs, the dearer it tends to be.

The Appalachian Path Conservancy estimates {that a} new set of backpacking gear runs $1,200 to $2,000 or extra, and for a thru-hike, that’s on prime of a mean of $1,200 per 30 days in journey bills. Most respondents to our 2023 Appalachian Path thru-hiker survey reported spending between $1,000 and $3,000 on gear.

So many gear selections…

However does backpacking gear must be costly to be just right for you? By no means!

Beneath, you’ll discover a checklist of budget-friendly choices compiled from our 2023 Greatest Gear lists. These gear selections should not essentially the most cost effective of their classes; as a substitute, they’re what we contemplate to be the perfect steadiness of affordability and performance.

As you may see, it’s sensible to outfit your self with high quality gear from scratch for round $1000 and nonetheless come out with a modest base weight. Do be aware that this checklist doesn’t embrace luxurious gadgets, consumables, or specialty gear like a bear canister or microspikes.

The Price range Backpacking Gear Record

*Be aware on footwear: In the case of footwear, match and luxury are priorities. Everybody’s ft are totally different, and holding yours completely satisfied must be your most important consideration. They’re quite vital to the entire enterprise of strolling, in any case. That’s why we’ve kept away from recommending a finances choice. It truly is vital to get the pair that works for you quite than the pair that prices $25 much less.

Shopping for the most cost effective out there footwear can result in accidents in the event that they don’t offer you sufficient help/create an excessive amount of friction/pinch elements of your ft/and many others. As soon as you realize which footwear work greatest for you, it’s doable to economize by shopping for them throughout seasonal gross sales or searching for them at REI storage gross sales.

Don’t neglect to finances for substitute footwear each 400 – 700 miles.

budget backpacking gear

PSA: Don’t Blindly Comply with the Record

It doesn’t matter what gear you select, it must work for you. The checklist above is one instance of a packing checklist that received’t drain your checking account whereas concurrently obliterating your soul. That doesn’t imply there aren’t different inexpensive choices on the market that might work higher for you.

Analysis is essential! You’ll wish to learn up on tech specs and opinions to get a greater concept of whether or not or not a bit of substances is probably going to suit your wants and preferences. Check your gear earlier than embarking on an enormous journey to be sure you prefer it.

Save Cash by Investing in High quality

Whereas backpacking doesn’t must be costly, remember the fact that in case you decide gear based mostly solely on up-front worth, you would possibly find yourself needing to switch it ahead of you’d like with one thing extra comfy and/or sturdy.

You possibly can truly save more cash in the long term by investing in high quality gear that received’t put on out rapidly and received’t must be changed as usually. “Purchase as soon as, cry as soon as,” because the saying goes.

For an important place to start out researching, try our Greatest Gear lists. We offer data on a variety of choices in every class that can assist you construct your backpacking setup:

Save Cash by Carrying Much less

You can even get monetary savings — and weight — just by carrying much less. Luxurious gadgets akin to inflatable pillows, camp chairs, electronics, and many others. can add up rapidly, so it’s price contemplating what you may reside with out.

As an illustration, relying on the situation and size of your backpacking journey and your degree of expertise, it’s doable you received’t want an influence financial institution or a GPS system. The ability financial institution and GPS suggestions within the checklist above add as much as about $170, so in case you’re planning a shorter journey on a well-marked path, you could not must spend that cash.

Likewise, three-season hikers in all probability don’t want to hold an insulated jacket and a mountaineering fleece and might save vital weight and cash by simply selecting one or the opposite.

READ NEXT – How To Afford a Via-Hike: Knowledgeable Recommendation for Saving Cash on Gear, Logistics, and City Bills for a Lengthy-Distance Backpacking Journey

The Backside Line

You don’t must spend hundreds of {dollars} on gear to hike efficiently. Price range backpacking gear can take you a great distance, and this checklist is only one instance of the best way to outfit your self with out taking out mortgage. By doing all of your analysis and discovering the steadiness between affordability and performance, you’ll be nicely in your method to a profitable and budget-friendly backpacking expertise.

Featured picture: Graphic design by Chris Helm.

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