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Thatguy
02-14-2011, 11:50
A friend of mine wants to meet me on the AT this year and hike with me. The problem? He's put off of backpacking because of the expense. I've tried to tell him that you can get some great deals on good used gear and you don't have to buy name brand items. You can get cheaper items without the name that do the trick. Right now he says expense is the only thing keeping him from spending a few weeks on the trail. Can anybody suggest something to let my friend know he can backpack a few weeks without all name brand equipment and NOT bust his budget?

sixguns01
02-14-2011, 11:57
A friend of mine wants to meet me on the AT this year and hike with me. The problem? He's put off of backpacking because of the expense. I've tried to tell him that you can get some great deals on good used gear and you don't have to buy name brand items. You can get cheaper items without the name that do the trick. Right now he says expense is the only thing keeping him from spending a few weeks on the trail. Can anybody suggest something to let my friend know he can backpack a few weeks without all name brand equipment and NOT bust his budget?

First- Write down his essentials! What he needs to survive.
Ask around and see if he can borrow. Rent!

Second- What do you have that you can split? Stove, pots, extra clothing, water filtration?

Third-- Ebay or Gear sawp forum on Backpackinglite.com has some good deals.

Fourth- Become a REI member. Buy all your new gear. Use it. Return it to REI for full price. (NOT ETHICAL BUT AN OPTION)

Fifth- other than the essentials, most gear is stuff you or he or we have laying around our homes. Maybe not the lightest but practical!

takethisbread
02-14-2011, 12:04
You can all used gear. Buy it right here on the forum.

You don't need much to hike the trail. I saw thru bikers without a backpack, sleeping bag, many without tents, it's
How comfortable you want it to be.

There was a guy last year who hiked with all his stuff in a pillow case and he carried it in his arms. I guarantee that cat didn't spend more than $50 on his whole hike! (how many bags of rice to main? )

leaftye
02-14-2011, 12:17
Tell him to buy a used sewing machine and to learn how to use it....well, maybe it's too late for that. You don't have to spend a lot of money on gear.

If he wanted to buy new, he could do it fairly cheap by getting:
$165 Bear Paw Tents tarp and inner net tent
$120 Campmor 20F down sleeping bag
$150 for an ultralight pack
$20 Cabelas down jacket

Going cookless will help him save on cooking gear. Talk him out of boots right now--sneakers are good enough or better, and much less expensive. The rest doesn't cost much at all if you can get him to go ultralight instead of packing lots of non-essential gear.

wornoutboots
02-14-2011, 12:44
Tell hime Brands Don't Matter:

Backpack = a bag to carry stuff
Tent = a place to keep you out of the weather-carry a tarp/stay in shelter as much as possible
Sleeping bag & pad= very essential good sleep is a must(buy clearance or on here)
Footwear= don't skimp here! this is the mode of transporation
Clothing = clearance deals on must have's

tell him to be prepared to make adjustments along the way just in case some of his starting items aren't working, he'll have that frontside coinage & if it all does work he then has extra $$ for towns/food/etc

garlic08
02-14-2011, 13:00
I just did a search and came up with these: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/search.php?searchid=9500759

Somewhere in there is an interesting thread about the $300 challenge. It doesn't have to be expensive. Also look up Granny Gatewood, who threw a shower curtain into a newspaper delivery bag, put on some high-top sneakers, and successfully hiked the AT.

Sailor (The other one)
02-14-2011, 13:32
Excellent article on hiking cheap here:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=206678#post206678

Mags
02-14-2011, 14:01
Quality Gear on the Cheap: If you read those glossy outdoor magazines, you'd think you need a $300 pack, a $300 shell and a $300 fleece. You do not need expensive gear to enjoy backpacking. Often the brand name gear, besides being expensive, is heavy, bulky and overkill for what is supposed to be for the simple joy of walking.
Though written for the Appalachian Trail, the general concepts apply for quality gear on the cheap:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=206678#post206678
Some additional information I will add is that you should invest in a decent sleeping bag. The Campmor down bag is rated to 20F and is known as a good budget bag.
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___40065
(http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___40065)
Need long underwear, hats, gloves, socks, etc? Check out Warm Stuff Distributing (aka The Underwear Guys) (http://www.theunderwearguys.com/) . Run, in part, by the well-know thru-hiker Fiddlehead, it features the basics for very reasonable prices. It is mainly surplus, seconds and irregulars. I find this type of clothing is not functionally different from the Patagucci clothing, is sometimes lighter and it is always less expensive!
If you are looking for a light, compressible and warm jacket check out an army liner jacket
(mentioned in the above article, but deserves to be emphasized)


If you don't mind a bit of sewing, you can make a Montbell Thermawrap clone for less than $20 with the above liner jacket. A men's large comes in at 12oz! Conidering a Montbell Thermawrap is $150 and weights 10oz, the cheap way is nice for those on a budget on who need something warm, light and cheap!
Check it out: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=41034


For high altitude/desert hiking I suggest a long sleeve synthetic shirt for the princely sum of $4 from many thrift stores. (Old uniform shirts, acrylic shirts from Blair, rayon blends, heck,,.even the 65/35 blends are fine!) I've used this type of shirt for literally several thousand miles of backpacking.

Sickmont
02-14-2011, 14:17
Also look up Granny Gatewood, who threw a shower curtain into a newspaper delivery bag, put on some high-top sneakers, and successfully hiked the AT.

Hmmmm.....a shower curtain, eh?

fredmugs
02-14-2011, 14:26
A also have a friend who wants to hike with yet he always has a reason why he can't go.

Thatguy
02-14-2011, 14:28
Thanks to everyone who has responded !

This is definately the place to go for good suggestions on any backpacking situation.

Every suggestion is deeply appreciated.


Thatguy

sbhikes
02-14-2011, 14:36
If after all this your friend still can't afford it, he's just trying to find a kind way to say he doesn't want to do it.

Gipsy
02-14-2011, 14:44
Overstock.com has some good deals on sleeping bags and other equipment. The bags may be a little heavier but way cheaper. I think the biggest problem is the price vs weight issue. However if he is only going for a few weeks he should be ok with the few added pounds.

Majortrauma
02-14-2011, 14:57
Don't buy new. I've found more stuff on my local craigslist than anywhere else and I've also bought gear here.
Not a single complaint with anything I've purchased from here or craigslist.

Spider
02-14-2011, 15:10
I agree with everyone else's thoughts, but why not have namebrand stuff at a non namebrand price? Just keep a look out for good deals on name brand products. Theclymb is a great place to look, you can get good savings on REI overstock, or just keep a lookout for coupons and promotions.

Tuckahoe
02-14-2011, 15:23
Whenever I hear anything say that they have not gotten into a hobby or some activity because of expense it clearly tells me they are not really interested.

Truth is that of all the hobbies I am involved in, backpacking is the cheapest. The initial outlay for gear is pretty cheap even if purchasing equipment new. Once you have the gear, the expense of backpacking is pretty low.

skinewmexico
02-14-2011, 16:42
I think most of what is considered mainstream brand names suck any more, so that makes it easy for me. If it's owned by Vanity Fair (or Columbia), it's probably not that good.

harryfred
02-14-2011, 18:33
The Coleman Max and Outdoor Products gear they sell at Walmart. I have found to be cheap, functional and surprisingly durable. The same for the Northwest territory and Coleman products they sell at K-Mart. They do tend to be on the heavy side but not that heavy. I also haven't seen a sleeping bag I'd use for backpacking at either store, Too bulky. If you go that route you will probably end up with your tent and blue foam sleeping pad strapped to the outside of your pack.
Lots of good stuff on here on making your own gear which I have done a lot of. Also making do with stuff you already have around the house.
It is worth repeating keep you eyes open and keep checking thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets and Craigslist.
I'd be careful on EBay about half the no name off brand stuff I have bought started out OK then turned out to be junk. A lot of the discount name brand stuff for sale often has a starting bid higher than what I can get it for at Campmor or even right off the manufacturer. That's not to say I haven't seen some good deals but you got to have an idea what you are looking at and how much it goes for new and are you capable of making minor repairs.

flemdawg1
02-14-2011, 18:40
Big 4 from Wal-Mart for 10lbs of weight carried and $78.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/lightweight_backpacking_wal-mart_style.html

mweinstone
02-14-2011, 19:39
"look into grandma gatewoods methods and gear"lmao.

STICK
02-14-2011, 22:07
Steep N Cheap