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TOMP
02-16-2012, 18:08
This topic recently came up for me when I was talking to a friend about backpacking costs. He wanted to know how much it would cost him to outfit himself for a 4 day backpacking trip. So knowing that he is a day hiker and doesnt have anymore more gear than a platy for water, clothes, trekking poles, and boots I was unsure but I knew it would be a lot.

I first thought it would cost 300 dollars to buy a bear bones setup and only but the cheapest of items in each category. But then I thought on this some more and thought that maybe this wouldnt be possible either.

So my question is what is the cheapest cost to completely outfit yourself for a multi-day hike, in warm weather, not including food? Also assume you cant MYOG and you want to be reasonably comfortable, so no just a knife answers.

flemdawg1
02-16-2012, 18:51
Sgt Rock had a $300 challenge on his website a couple of years ago. Buying thrift store clothes and walmart gear its wasn't too hard to beat. It definatley helps if you keep your costs down on your big 3 (tent, pack, sleeping bag).

TOMP
02-16-2012, 19:38
Still I thought about the Big 4 minimum prices, $50 boots, $75 tent, $25 bag, $40 pack. Doesnt leave much room for for other stuff. Yeah you could buy a tent at 25 bucks and shoes for $5 but would these items be realistic to use.

I think I should repharse my question: What is the cheapest amount of money you could spend to outfit yourself, with gear that you could reasonably use and last for atleast 2 years if not more, on a multi-day hike?

Rasty
02-16-2012, 19:46
About $500

Tent $90
Pack $80
Bag $80
Pad $20
Stove & Aluminum cookset $60
Rain gear $50
Everything Else $140

I purchased basic gear for four people for about $1500 four years ago.

q-tip
02-16-2012, 20:22
The lighter the more expensive. My ultralight gear is about $3,000. And thats just for the CT. I have about $8,000 total gear, hike, trek, alpine.

Energizer Bunny
02-16-2012, 21:39
I have been starting to build up my gear so I can start the overpm trips. I am finding great deal for the end of year sales. I got a $200 pack for $80 from golite.com and a $100 bag for $60 at backcountry.com. Now is the time to look for the deals. Hope that helps.

hikerboy57
02-16-2012, 21:55
you can rent gear from places like REI or EMS before you go out and invest any sizable chunk of change. the setup i carry today, is certainlynothing like what i carried 2o years ago. your gear is almost always a work in process, you're always refining. ive got a whole room filled with gear, most of which i dont use anymore, and even though im pretty set at this point, im still a gear hound, and still shop regularly to see what i dont need.

MuddyWaters
02-16-2012, 21:58
If you want good, lightweight gear that will serve you well, and you will enjoy owning, yes it will cost a lot more.
But you dont have to have that stuff. It does make it all much more enjoyable if you pack for 4 days weighs 17 lbs rather than 35 lbs though

Duramax22
02-16-2012, 23:12
I kinda feel like its better to spend your money once if your sure your gonna continue to hike. Buying cheap gear now is basically wasting 500. Better to take your time work some extra hours and buy it once rather than 3 or 4 times. Also you may wanna try Craigslist I seen I few people over the years selling their whole set up for 300 or 400 dollars.

ParkRat09
02-16-2012, 23:32
Duramax22 beat me to it...buying the cheapest of everything is a waste of money if you ask me. Unlike some other stuff the cheapest backpacking stuff really is **** and will not last long or perform well from day 1. My ultra-light complete outfit came in at about $3,000. I'm not saying you need to spend that but if backpacking is something you'll continue to do, get at least the middle of the road stuff. I work at an outdoor gear store if you have any specific questions about gear (kind of a gear nut). Craigslist is a great alternative as well. I got a $350 MSR tent for $175 on CL.

TOMP
02-16-2012, 23:47
Ok, ten posts this about the point in most threads when everything worth saying has been said and it gets redundant so to avoid that I will redirect. A couple posters mentioned that they have spent several thousand dollars, do you mean that is what you spent on all your gear in your life or on the gear that you currently use? If it is only the gear that you currently use is the amount like a huge closet of stuff most of which is rarely used? And finally what is the cost of the gear that you would use on one multi-day hike? If you can itemize costs and provide brand names it would be helpful to know but whatever you can provide is fine.

Papa D
02-16-2012, 23:57
cheap man spends the most - I hate this post - why would anyone BUY all gear necessary to be a backpacker for a 4-day trip - hire a guide service or rent gear - if you PURCHASE gear, buy the best available, period.

Sassafras Lass
02-17-2012, 00:05
I would expect $400-$600 for better-quality (non-North Face, etc.) stuff that's reasonable in weight. You talkin' the whole kit and caboodle - carry, camp, clothing?

TOMP
02-17-2012, 00:11
cheap man spends the most - I hate this post - why would anyone BUY all gear necessary to be a backpacker for a 4-day trip - hire a guide service or rent gear - if you PURCHASE gear, buy the best available, period.

Its a 4 day trip with the intention of continuing to do multi-day backpacking trips. So its not for just one 4 day trip. I hope that makes more sense. I originally just wanted to know how little was possible for my friend to spend without buying disposable junk.

TOMP
02-17-2012, 00:13
I would expect $400-$600 for better-quality (non-North Face, etc.) stuff that's reasonable in weight. You talkin' the whole kit and caboodle - carry, camp, clothing?

Pretty much everything, I mean my friend is currently a day-hiker so he has stuff for day-hikes. Or you can treat this as a hypothetical and just mention everything if you want.

Badspeller
02-17-2012, 00:35
6- pairs of Merrell Shoes, 25 - 1 foot square shipping boxes, 200 - dry meals, 4- pair of ex-officio boxers, 4- Ice-Breaker Smart Wool Shirts, 4- Champion running shorts,2- Osprey Packs with pack cover, 2- pair of North Face Rain gear, 6- Smartwool PHD outdoor socks,2- sets of walking poles, 2- blue solid core sleeping mats, 1 compass,1 guide book, 1-Snow melt cook pot, 1- roll of toilet paper, 2 - Hennessy Tent Hammocks, 2 - 40* sleeping bags, 1 - Steri-pen Water wand, 2 - 103 lumen head-mount flashlights, 2- waterproof wet bags, 1 - Appalachian Trail guide.1 - Pocket Rocket Stove, 16 oz of stove fuel, 1 - wool Indiana Jones Fedora. 2- plastic sporks, 4- light weight tent stakes, 1 bottle of 100% Deet, 2- compression sacks,1- Gerber pocket knife, 1- lighter, 1- small first aid kit and 50 feet of light weight cord.

This is for two people and has been purchased over the last year, There is a cat-stove that I no longer use and swapped out for a rocket stove, My base weight with both packs is 15lbs for my son and 15lbs 6 oz for myself. There is a few things missing but this is many of the essentials.

$2203.00 that is after a 20% discount.

Badspeller
02-17-2012, 00:44
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2637399060065&set=a.1382014356232.145952.1408144249&type=3&theater <~~ might work, its a pic of all my stuff.

MuddyWaters
02-17-2012, 00:59
Example Prices :

WM Ultralite $385
Trail runners $100
Hiking poles $100
UL pack $200
R1 $120
nanopuff $130
Neoair $130
UL 1p Tent $275
Stakes $25
Groundcloth $7
2 pr socks $30
Rainsuit $25 (driducks = cheap)
Houdini $130
glove liners $30
Stove $60

PLus a lot of miscl stuff.

So Id say $1500 -1750 is do-able.

Juice
02-17-2012, 01:10
Roughly $1300 for under an 8lb base weight. Some items at retail price and some were at discount.

Leanthree
02-17-2012, 01:23
Current 2.5-season Setup which is about 14 lbs base cost $220 for tent (+$7 groundsheet), $160 for bag, $140 for pack, $70 for pad, $30 for pot, $1 homemade alchy stove, $20 for stuff sacks, $3 for bear rope. So $511 total. Those are the main expenses to upgrade from a reasonably outfitted day hiker to a reasonably lightweight and high quality set of gear. Clearly, money can be saved in places but I also shopped around, waited for sales and used Steep and cheap so to put all of my gear together overnight would probably have cost $150-$200 more.

I have enough overnight gear to outfit an additional friend and have taken a few people on their first excursion. Some loved it and went and bought their own gear, others keep mooching, others are one and done. All depends on the person. Try renting for a first timer.

Smooth & Wasabi
02-17-2012, 01:38
Gotta agree that renting or borrowing gear makes the most sense in this case. I also agree that once bitten by the backpacking bug it makes sense to take a little time and money to buy good stuff. As an intellectual exercise however you could get a pretty cheap but decent setup. op said buddy had dayhike gear so assume clothes and shoes.Backpack Golite pinnacle/Jam on sale $80 (these are on sale every year) or go all out for an ULA CDT $135
Sleeping Bag Kelty lightyear 20 xp $80 (campmor) or down 40 $100
Sleeping pad blue foam $10 (big box store)
Tarp 10x10 nylon $45 8x10 sil nyon $80 (campmor)
bug net cohglans bug net $5.69 BigSupplyShop.com (http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.bigsupplyshop.com/product.asp%3Fitemid%3D17649&usg=AFQjCNFJqsUGqmHFw1upOd5i28BXb7AMSw&ei=yto9T6ryOvCssgfc4L3uDg&ved=0CC0QqxIwCQ)
groundcloth Painters drop cloth cut down $3
line masons line $4 200'
stakes steel skewers $3.50
pot open country 1 qt aluminum billy $6 (opencountry.com)
stove cat food can alcholo stove with alminum foild windscreen and reused drink bottle for fuel $3 ( a little more if you can't beg or borrow the hole punch)
spoon light my fire spork $2 (campmor)
Waterbottles reuse gator aide 2 $3
lighters x 2 mini bic $2 (big box)
purification repackaged bleach $4 including repackaging
knife cheap pairing knife $3 big box
compass Brunton 9020G $6 sails marine
headlamp Petzl Tikkina $14 Campmor
Total $ 273.50 For a decent and lightweight set up minus clothes $345.50 upgrade to down bag, sil nylon tarp, and ULA pack

And if you don't have clothes

running shoes and 2 pairs synth socks $50 (discount web sites)

synth t-shirt $10 (big box)
synth shorts $10 " "
nylon running pants $10 " "
synth boxerbriefs $10 " "
fleece $15 " "
baselayer top $15 Campor
baselayer bottom $15 " "
rain jacket $25 coated nylon $40 WP/B Campmor or save a few bucks with driducks but deal with durability
Fleece/acrylic hat $5 bigbox

$165 head to toe or $180 with wP/B Totals Head to toe $438.50 or $563.50 with ULA,down,sil nylon, and WP/B jacket


You could probably come in around 15 lbs baseweight, not bad and low enough to keep total pack weight around 30 lbs with 4 days food and typical AT water needs, Definately doable for the packs mentioned. Drop that by several punds if you spend the extra $125 on the better options. This kit would be up for a thru hike and keep most hikers happy. If you insist on a full tent you will have to compromise on weight, price, and quality but you could still be in the same ballpark.

Theosus
02-17-2012, 08:07
It amazed me how quickly it added up. I did a lot of online shopping around x-ma$$.

North face cats meow bag - $140
Deuter 75L pack - $200
Hennessy hammock - $139
Keen hiking shoes - $100 (I use them every day so I basically just replaced my old sneakers)
Snow peak giga powet set (stove, pot and fork) $85
Poles $100 (50 with my gift card)
Camelback 3L "unbottle" $40
Synthetic shirts $40
First aid kit - $13
Lots of small misc stuff.... Around 150 total (paracord, stuff sacks for gear, some food, head lamp, compass, camp towel, that kind of crap)

hikerboy57
02-17-2012, 08:16
Its a 4 day trip with the intention of continuing to do multi-day backpacking trips. So its not for just one 4 day trip. I hope that makes more sense. I originally just wanted to know how little was possible for my friend to spend without buying disposable junk.
My point is that experience teaches you what works for you . My fully loaded pack for 3 seasons is probably in the area of $900 to $1000, and if i had bought everything on sale, maybe 20% less?. and it took me a few grand spent before to get there.you can rent gear before you make any investment, and if the intention is to continue to backpack long term, theres no doubt you'll end up replacing your current gear.and in the longrun, durability and weight are the cheaper way to go, although more costly up front.

Gray Blazer
02-17-2012, 09:03
I'm not one of the 1% so here's how the other side does it ...

Make a hiking stick ... save $100
Make a blanket roll ... save $200 (The civil war soldiers did it and went a lot further in one day than most thrubees)
Barter for your gear ... (I've traded Winton Porter some of my art for sleeping bag and tent) save $400

I'll be back ... my first class just walked in.

hikerboy57
02-17-2012, 09:27
up to 70%off at EMS:http://www.ems.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=3712724&emssrcid=Email:021712AH26B
i do not work for ems, nor do i receive any compensation from them.

Gray Blazer
02-17-2012, 10:05
Alright-planning period now

Pair of Columbia Hiking Boots $45 at shoe outlet ... save $50 to $100 (you will slip and fall down on the hardened mud in running shoes)
Backpacking Stove (returned because someone did not know how to use it) on sale $20
Hooded windproof rainjacket on sale $20
Gatoraid bottles-free after I drank the gatoraid-saved $??

You can start getting out in the woods and you don't have to spend $1000 to $9000
I'm not knocking anyone who does want to spend that much. You will need to spend some money if you are doing winter hiking (in FL we don't have to worry that much although there was a guy who froze to death on the FT a few years ago).

You will be looked down upon by some of the elite hikers, but, they wouldn't have liked Daniel Boone that much either.

WWGGS? (What would Grandma Gatewood Say?)

garlic08
02-17-2012, 10:28
I'm with Gray Blazer. I bet anyone over 50 remembers when there wasn't an REI or Campmor or Leki or North Face and you went out in your old street shoes and dad's old rucksack and wool blanket, you picked up a walking stick from the ground, if it rained you just got wet and you made a bigger fire. You didn't need "gear" to go hiking. John Muir would sure wonder about it--see my signature line.

I also can't believe the preponderance of the myth that it costs more to go with lighter gear. Since I started gearing up with lighter stuff, my gear costs decreased (except for the sleeping bag, but that's worth every penny). My UL frameless pack only cost $80. My Tarptent Contrail only cost $200 full retail. My CCF pad was only $20. My entire eight-pound AT kit, including an excellent Marmot Helium 15F bag, only cost $850 including clothing but excluding replacement shoes. That same stuff has many seasons on it, about 6000 miles of long trails, and it's still going. And I'll stress it's only eight pounds.

double d
02-17-2012, 10:45
there exist many models of strategy to enjoy hiking while saving money on gear, but......one has to be smart not to pay a lower price for cheaper gear that is cheaply made, because a hiker will just replace that gear with upgraded, higher quality gear (and of course at a higher price). Look for great sales online at REI-EMS-North Face, Campmor, Etc. but like anything one buys, shop around and do your research, look for quality and price that will fit your needds. Once the hiking bug bites, your hooked, so make your first gear choices count towards long lasting, quality gear for your hiking trips.

Ender
02-17-2012, 10:46
Did a search through Campmor.com and came up with a list:

About $210

Wenzel tent: $30
Pack $55 (OP Zenith pack)
Sleeping bag $50 (30* Eureka)
Pad $12
Stove & Aluminum cookset $10 (K-Mart grease pot and pepsican stove)
Rain gear $2 (emergency poncho)
Everything Else @$50 (headlamp, fork, etc etc etc)

WillyStyle
02-17-2012, 10:57
I think it is valuable to ask what kind of 4 day hike your friend is doing and who is going.
If two people are going you will both only need 1 tent, 1 stove, 1 cook pot, 1 water treatment system. Does one of you already have this stuff?
Maybe your friend only needs a pack, bag and pad and can share the rest with you. If so $300 is plenty.
Start small and accumulate over time seems to be the consensus.
I usually buy new gear based on what my planned adventure will include (e.g. crampons for snow, tent for rain/cold, etc.) so figure out what is needed to do the hike and then figure out what you have that will do it and then figure out what you need to buy.
I look at websites like REI, Backcountry.com, MooseJaw, Tahoe gear something, Amazon and craigslist.

birdygal
02-17-2012, 11:08
After day hiking and wanting to try backpacking this is what we did, didn't want to spend a lot because we did not know if we would like it.
I bought a ledge 20 degree featherweight bag for $40, Walmart 2 person tent for $25, Teton Sports backpack for $50, Wenzel inflatable pad at kmart for $25. coleman light canister stove,and 4 pot set for another $50. I decided I really like it and gearing up for a thru hike the end of March, The only thing I am still taking is the 2 of the pots . The best purchase out of what is listed is the $25 tent , We used it 10 days , It fit 2 people are gear and a small dog , We don't have to replace it because we went with Hammocks for an upgrade but still have something less than 5 lbs we can tent with for 2 people. I would suggest they borrow or rent first or buy used and cheap. Backpacking is not for everyone. If I was going to section hike I would not replace alot of what I had purchased . I upgraded only because I need to carry it for 2200 miles

louisb
02-17-2012, 11:41
Look for used or slightly used gear and you can save a lot. I picked up a near new BA SeedHouse UL2 w/ footprint for under $200 last week. Got a steripen for $40 a few weeks earlier. Another option is sale items. It takes some time and some looking but deals are out there. Backpackers are gear whores and we churn equipment on a regular basis. Also be sure to check out gearbuyer.com for deals. I found my Marmot rain jacket for 50% from there.

--louis

lemon b
02-17-2012, 11:54
I go off at just about a grand these days.

Farr Away
02-17-2012, 12:35
I spent about $400 when I was in that situation about 5 years ago. My big purchases were a Hennessey hammock, and a Gregory Tega pack. I still use both, although I prefer my newer, slightly bigger Gregory Jade pack that has waist-belt pockets. The two together were less than $300.

I had tried out a friend's hammock before I bought my own, so I knew I'd like it.

I already had an LL Bean sleeping bag that I used on my first overnight. For the rest, I relied a lot on ideas I found on Sgt Rock's website.

Your friend probably has a lot more gear than he thinks. Things don't have to have a 'hiking label' on them to work just fine in the woods.

-FA

Lyte-w8-hyker
02-17-2012, 12:42
Anyone have a link to some cheap gear lists. I used to maintain enough gear to equio a newbie or two. I have since sold off a lot of that and now a buddy wants to goin me on a section hike in april.

Lyte-w8-hyker
02-17-2012, 12:44
http://www.lytw8.com/Gear_Lists.html

Sassafras Lass
02-17-2012, 13:00
So . . . . . I grossly underestimated what it takes to get going from the ground up. And this is of course assuming you're not renting or borrowing or being gifted anything.

BIG 4

Tent $225 Tarptent Rainbow (proprietary)
$190 Sierra Designs Stash (Moosejaw)

Pack $65-200 Too personal to list

Bag $230 Marmot Arroyo 30 (down, Campmor)
$140 Mt. Hardwear UltraLamina 32 (synth, Campmor)

Pad $120 Thermarest NeoAir (Campmor)
$50 Big Agnes Clearview (proprietary)


CLOTHING

Shoes $50-100 Too personal to list

Socks $21-22 Darn Tough Full Cushion Crew (Campmor Hot Deal)

Light Baselayer Top $44.00 Icebreaker (STP)

Light Baselayer Bottom $37.50 Icebreaker (STP)

Top $31.00 Icebreaker (STP)

Bottom $18.00 Saucony w/ liner (STP)

Wind top $60.00 Mt. Hardwear Shadowland (Moosejaw)

Rain top $80.00 Marmot PreCip (L, Gargoyle @ Moosejaw)

Rain bottom $56.00 Marmot PreCip (STP)

Insulation top $280 Western Mountaineering Flash jacket
$120 Marmot Zeus 1/2 Zip (L, Gargoyle, Moosejaw)
$87 Moosejaw Randy Pistachio Down jacket


KITCHEN

Stove $35 MSR Pocket Rocket (Campmor)
$6 MSR IsoPro fuel canister

Free Pop can stove
$.15/oz Denatured alcohol refill

Pot $30 Primus 1.0 Litech Kettle Pot (Campmor)

Pot stand Free Clothes hanger or other metals lying around the house

Wind screen Free Materials lying around the house

Cutlery $18 Optimus Titanium 3-pc set (Campmor)

Lighter Free Lying around the house

Gatorade bottles Free Lying around the house

Water treatment $70 Steripen pack (Campmor)
$99 MSR Hyperflow
$99 Platypus Gravity Works


OTHER

Hiking poles $55 Komperdell Highlander Cork (Campmor)

Bandannas Free Lying around the house

Toiletry kit Free Lying around the house

Knife $15 Swiss Army SD knife

Paracord $3-18 Rothco Type III Paracord ($ depends on 50 ft. vs. 100 ft. and color, Amazon)

Trash bags Free Lying around the house

Headlamp $40 Too personal to list


Tent + pack + bag + pad + shoes are anywhere between $495 - $875 alone.

The rest of the gear = $753 - $968.

So figure you're going no-holds-barred = $1,843. Budget-conscious = $1,248.

And this all assumes that you don't want a tent more than 3 lbs (really more than 2.5, if you can avoid it), and that you want both a wind shell and rain shell (instead of doing double-duty with the rain) and that you want rain pants (I know I sure need them). Want a halfway decent point n' shoot, you're looking at another $200+.

Interesting exercise, I'd never really added it up before . . . . mostly because I didn't want to weep when I added up my own gear purchases from scratch. :)

Sassafras Lass
02-17-2012, 13:03
Whoops - WhiteBlaze doesn't like extra spaces . . . . hope it still makes sense!

TOMP
02-17-2012, 14:38
I'm not one of the 1% so here's how the other side does it ...

Make a hiking stick ... save $100
Make a blanket roll ... save $200 (The civil war soldiers did it and went a lot further in one day than most thrubees)
Barter for your gear ... (I've traded Winton Porter some of my art for sleeping bag and tent) save $400

I'll be back ... my first class just walked in.

So what did you have to give him for it? wink wink. haha

Ender
02-17-2012, 14:59
So figure you're going no-holds-barred = $1,843. Budget-conscious = $1,248.

Gah. Way too much. I pulled together a similar list, without clothes, for $210. See a few posts above. For an entry level weekend hiker, you can get by with $200, and probably much less with creative shopping.

BFI
02-17-2012, 15:05
I have a tendency to break inexpensive gear, so this to do this hike I bought good stuff; Pack, one man tent, water purifier, boots, playtapus, trangia small stove, shorts, socks, and smaller stuff, $1,800.00 (Zamberlin boots were $400.00). Then I've still got 350.00 in Air Fare and have to get home when I'm done, plus food and accomodation will add another $2,500.00....so thats $4,300.00 for the hike. :eek: Don't let my wife see this.....

Gray Blazer
02-17-2012, 15:11
So what did you have to give him for it? wink wink. haha

As Richard M. Nixon used to say, "Let me make this perfectly clear." It was some of my AT pics with Appalachian barnwood frames.

TyTy
02-17-2012, 15:27
I have a friend thinking about gearing up to try so I have recently thought about this. I would recomend someone not spend too much at first, go on a warm weather overnight to see how they like it, upgrade if they end up loving it and see themselves going. So I would plan for a late spring/early summer trip...low in the 45-90 degree low/high temp.

GoLite Pinnacle - $80 (on sale right now)
Eureka Spitfire 1 - $80
buy a kids size or twin down blanket at WalMart, lightest you can find, cut some off, resew - $30
(or if warm enough, summer, just bring a fleece blanket)
WM blue pad or ZLite Pad - $30?
use tennis shoes you have - free
wear shorts you have
wear old long sleeve cotton button up collared shirt or buy one at goodwill - $4
bring fleece jacket you have - free
bring rain jacket you have or driducks - $20
trash compactor bag inside pack - $5
borrow some of my aquamira - free
borrow a couple esbit tabs from me - free (use with 3 found rocks stove)
wear nylon business socks or buy at WM - $3
buy 2 pack bandanas at WM - $3
aluminum mug for pot from WM - $6
mini bic lighter - $1
whatever pocket knife you own - free
3 pack waterproof stuff sacks from WM - $15
taco bell spork - free
baseball cap - free
sunscreen - free
toothbrush - free
2 bottles of gatorade on the way to the trail - $4


TOTAL: $281 so far, I'm sure I am forgetting a few things.

If they don't like it, they can easily sell the backpack, tent, and pad and get most of their money back.

TOMP
02-17-2012, 16:12
Thanks for all the replies, some really great posts and information. And also a good amount of stuff I didnt think of. In general it would be great if I could go with him on his first multi-day and we could share gear but I will be attempting a thru-hike this year and wont be able to go out before I leave. So he will be on his own for the most part. I have a couple back up gears that he is free to use so i will leave it with him.

I started to think about what my first backpack setup cost a few years back, I bought a bunch of stuff to do my first multi-day hike in the grand canyon AZ. I had never done a multi-day before and had extremely limited camping experience (less hiking experience) and that was car camping so I was pretty unknowledgable at the time. Here is a list of what I can remember bringing. I decided to mainly buy expensive and good name gear in an effort to not have to replace it.

Black Diamond 65L pack- $100 dollars on sale (used until I tore a hole in the bottom on a bouldering trip, I duct taped it up and now it serves as my gear closet)
Scarpa Mountaineering boots- $200 on sale (good example of buying something I didnt need but didnt have the knowledge to know it. But I ended up using these boots for about 2k miles after this trip and love em. I just bought replacements for my upcoming thru hike but these boots still have plenty of miles in them, just to heavy for my thru)
Flashlight not head lamp (3 C batteries)- $10
Camelbak 2L bladder- $20
All clothes I already had (socks were white cotton and pants were jeans, shirt was a hoody and cottom tee).
Rain gear was an emergency poncho $1
Eureka spitfire solo tent- $90 (still a great buy and a light tent but I replaced it with something roomier)
Hard plastic but waterproof stuff sacks- for food
Sleeping bag "30" degrees- $25 (still use in the summer)
Berreta lock back 3 in. knife- $20

Total $465

And this was literally all I had. No water purification (not useful on that trip anway all water sources are fountains at camps anway, no trekking poles, first aid, rope, gaiters (if any trail ever needed them it was this one, the mud puddles were unbelieveable the gear I did bring still has dirt on them and there was snow), sleeping pad (didnt buy one for the longest time after this trip either what was I thinking), stove, kitchen). I showed up at the trail head at 3pm and it was snowing and 5 inches of snow on the ground, the guy I picked up my camping permit looked at me like I was crazy and said,"you know your not getting to camp until after sundown, right?" And he was right I rolled in about 11pm after 3miles of flashlight hiking, that is the most alone I have ever been 3 miles from any living person in any direction (it was more dark than ever and completely overcast). But I learned so much on that trip and it was 70 degrees at the bottom of the canyon where the camp was so I was in "good" shape. Next day I woke up bright, sunny, warm, and had a blast.

So for me what has been said here was true, almost everything I originally bought has been replaced at this point, some broke and some just werent a good idea. But even the brand name stuff has been replaced so maybe the most expensive isnt always worth the money (maybe I just abuse my gear). But one thing is for sure, he will start off alot better than I did.

Badspeller
02-17-2012, 16:13
I have a friend thinking about gearing up to try so I have recently thought about this. I would recomend someone not spend too much at first, go on a warm weather overnight to see how they like it, upgrade if they end up loving it and see themselves going. So I would plan for a late spring/early summer trip...low in the 45-90 degree low/high temp.

GoLite Pinnacle - $80 (on sale right now)
Eureka Spitfire 1 - $80
buy a kids size or twin down blanket at WalMart, lightest you can find, cut some off, resew - $30
(or if warm enough, summer, just bring a fleece blanket)
WM blue pad or ZLite Pad - $30?
use tennis shoes you have - free
wear shorts you have
wear old long sleeve cotton button up collared shirt or buy one at goodwill - $4
bring fleece jacket you have - free
bring rain jacket you have or driducks - $20
trash compactor bag inside pack - $5
borrow some of my aquamira - free
borrow a couple esbit tabs from me - free (use with 3 found rocks stove)
wear nylon business socks or buy at WM - $3
buy 2 pack bandanas at WM - $3
aluminum mug for pot from WM - $6
mini bic lighter - $1
whatever pocket knife you own - free
3 pack waterproof stuff sacks from WM - $15
taco bell spork - free
baseball cap - free
sunscreen - free
toothbrush - free
2 bottles of gatorade on the way to the trail - $4


TOTAL: $281 so far, I'm sure I am forgetting a few things.

If they don't like it, they can easily sell the backpack, tent, and pad and get most of their money back.

Hey, hurray if this works out OK, but I hope this list does not redefine the bar and is viewed as an exception, not the standard.

TOMP
02-17-2012, 16:25
Hey, hurray if this works out OK, but I hope this list does not redefine the bar and is viewed as an exception, not the standard.

Is there a bar? Everyone is pretty much doing whatever suits them from what I have seen.

gazerstar
02-17-2012, 16:35
How about doing this trip on donated equipment from one or more of the 'old-hands?' I'll bet that most folks on here have a shelf full of the stuff (some older and heavier than other).

The worst possible option would, of course, be to borrow this gear.

Glen

Badspeller
02-17-2012, 16:47
Is there a bar? Everyone is pretty much doing whatever suits them from what I have seen.

I would say that going on any trip expecting to borrow anything and not plan for yourself is what I am speaking to. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Presentation... or If it is to be, it is up to me. I think the Scouting prase of "Be Prepared", did not plan for expecting someone else would have the things you need.

TOMP
02-17-2012, 16:49
How about doing this trip on donated equipment from one or more of the 'old-hands?' I'll bet that most folks on here have a shelf full of the stuff (some older and heavier than other).

Sounds nice in theory, but this isnt a charity case he's got plenty of money. I wouldnt want to put anyone out. Plus based on what I have seen him spend on other hobbies, I doubt he would be interested.

Amanita
02-17-2012, 18:43
What style of backpacking do you think he'll end up falling into? Location (climate, shelters, crowding), miles/day, shelter preferences (tent vs hammock vs just a tarp), philosophy (traditional, boy scout, lightweight, UL), ect all play a role in what every individual carries in their pack, and what kind of pack they want to put it in.

I consider pack comfort to be tied with shoe comfort as the #1 priority when backpacking. A pack that doesn't fit, doesn't carry the load properly, or is just plain too heavy is going to make for a rough trip no matter how good the camping is. So I'm going to go against the typical advice and say have him get the pack first. Go into REI, EMS, or wherever and have him try on packs until you find one that fits, is less than 4 lbs (preferably less than 3) and 50-60 liters. The reason to do it this way is so that you can tell him not to bring anything that wont fit in his pack. There is no room in a 50 liter pack for a solar shower, coffee press, "extra" whatever, or "packable" what's it the big box store is selling now. There's space for everything you need for solo backpacking (as long as your sleeping bag isn't huge synthetic), but not too much spare room for extra junk.

I think most people fall into the trap of buying all the things they think they need based on the fully stocked shelves of "camping accessories" and then learning that they don't really need all that stuff after all. It is a natural process, and one that your friend will need to go through on his own. But starting with a moderately sized pack will help him go through that process maybe a little faster, more comfortably, and without needing to replace his pack until he finds his "niche."

Other than that, I would say encourage him to hold off on buying things til he's sure he "needs" them. All those little accessories add a lot of $$$, especially if they get left at home after 1 trip.

My rough advice would be to invest on the pack and the sleeping bag (get the best fit/lightest they can afford) and then cheap on the shelter and pad (blue tarp and closed cell foam). For everything else I would encourage using stuff already owned (clothes, flashlight, first aid), goodwill purchases, or myog (alchy stove, grease pot, aluminum wind screen).

TOMP
02-17-2012, 19:11
What style of backpacking do you think he'll end up falling into? Location (climate, shelters, crowding), miles/day, shelter preferences (tent vs hammock vs just a tarp), philosophy (traditional, boy scout, lightweight, UL), ect all play a role in what every individual carries in their pack, and what kind of pack they want to put it in.

Very good advice and thank you. I think it would be hard to assume anything about the type of backpacker he will be even knowing a little bit about his personality. But judging on what he does on day hikes, he likes to go on hikes that have alot of big view payoffs. He is my Catskills NY hiking partner which is low miles (5-10 miles), huge elevation changes, and great views. But this may be because he is limiting himself to day hikes. Although he once told me he hates the AT because its boring and low payoff to miles ratio. Philosophy, work smarter not harder but can handle some tough terrian. And I am sure tent, he has very picking sleeping habits and this is the main reason he didnt start overnight trips sooner. I cant imagine him dealing with the comfort level of a tarp or hard shelter.

leaftye
02-17-2012, 19:37
$7 walmart pad
$3 tyvek pants
$60 poncho tarp
$90 20F Kelty Cosmic down sleeping bag
$85 custom pack from Alter Ego Gear
$20 Cabelas down vest
$2 bandana

TOMP
02-17-2012, 19:42
$7 walmart pad
$3 tyvek pants
$60 poncho tarp
$90 20F Kelty Cosmic down sleeping bag
$85 custom pack from Alter Ego Gear
$20 Cabelas down vest
$2 bandana

I guess, but I think we have much different opinions on what is reasonably comfortable.

leaftye
02-17-2012, 20:05
I guess, but I think we have much different opinions on what is reasonably comfortable.

Other than the pad, which I'm not crazy about, what on that list isn't reasonably comfortable in your opinion?

Amanita
02-17-2012, 23:01
I hate tents because you can't see what's going on around you. It makes me feel vulnerable to not be able to see what's making that rustling noise, or casting that weird moving shadow. Even if it's only a mouse or a funny shaped bush. So I much prefer the three sided shelters or tarping over tenting, but some can't feel secure without a tent. If he is very picky about his sleeping habits then he probably won't fall in the ultralight or below category. But if he's willing to spend the $$$ you can be very comfortable with a fairly light load.

I would suggest that the neo airs are very popular with people who want more comfort, and not much heavier than blue foam just more expensive. I've got no suggestions for a tent, as I said they're not my style. I stand by my pack suggestion, just find what feels good/fits in the 3-4 pound 50-60 liter range. Empty pack space will always attract useless junk.

TOMP
02-17-2012, 23:47
Other than the pad, which I'm not crazy about, what on that list isn't reasonably comfortable in your opinion?

Sleeping in a poncho sounds like an acquired taste. Also no kitchen. Its possible I guess but its super bare bones and doesnt seem like a complete setup to me.

leaftye
02-17-2012, 23:56
Sleeping in a poncho sounds like an acquired taste. Also no kitchen. Its possible I guess but its super bare bones and doesnt seem like a complete setup to me.

I haven't slept under a poncho...yet. Tomorrow might be the first time, and it's supposed to rain. It shouldn't be much different from sleeping under a tarp, albeit, a small tarp. I am supplementing it with an umbrella and bivy. My quilt is water resistant too.

I could bring a kitchen, but I wouldn't use it. If I had food that required eating, I wouldn't eat. I'd starve. I just refuse to stop to cook and clean up afterwards when I'm hiking.

Sassafras Lass
02-18-2012, 00:04
Gah. Way too much. I pulled together a similar list, without clothes, for $210. See a few posts above. For an entry level weekend hiker, you can get by with $200, and probably much less with creative shopping.

Sorry - I thought the list was for 3+ days, not a night or 2, of long-lasting items.

leaftye
02-18-2012, 00:16
Sorry - I thought the list was for 3+ days, not a night or 2, of long-lasting items.

I don't see that there's much of a difference, if any, between gear needed for a 2 day hike or a 30 day hike. Maybe another pair of underwear and socks.

MJW155
02-18-2012, 00:16
Surprised so many people are saying they had to spend so much. Before I decided to hike the AT this year, all my stuff combined was maybe $300. I bought a tent/pack/sleeping bag combo at Wal-Mart about 3 years ago for $110. Take your normal sneakers that are already broken in. Most of the clothes I already had. All free. Well not free but not extra money either. It's not something I'd trust for a 6 month hike, but week long trips it is just fine.

Even now with my planning and going light it's cheaper than what some have mentioned. Tent-$215. Merrills-$80. 20 Degree Bag-$140. Pack $110. Clothes/stove/ect. $200. I thought I'd be spending at least $2,000 on gear. I'm spending less than $800. I'm looking for bargains but I'm not skimping either. I was planning on spending $200 on shoes and the pair of Merrills that I liked cost $80. I'm not paying for stuff like a hiking stick. That's just silly. I'll make one the 1st day out. A lot of expensive stuff is totally unneccessary.

Sassafras Lass
02-18-2012, 00:17
borrow some of my aquamira - free

Sure - but it's not substantiated as being effective against giardia n' crypto.

Sassafras Lass
02-18-2012, 00:29
I don't see that there's much of a difference, if any, between gear needed for a 2 day hike or a 30 day hike. Maybe another pair of underwear and socks.

Really? I wouldn't use cheap or inappropriate gear for longer excursions if I depended on them heavily, not least of which for financial reasons; why buy something twice? That means no cotton, no Wally World trash, etc. Put a few dollars towards quality, and you're setting yourself up for success. I'm the first to say "Expensive doesn't equal quality or useful" but there is a world of difference between a cheap-o $60 Wal-Mart 5 lb.+ tent vs. Tarptent/Marmot/etc.

I've been hiking for weekends and far longer with stuff that is too heavy - doesn't fit right - annoys - and it's discouraging. Why encourage someone to explore and then do the bare min. to get there?

TOMP
02-18-2012, 00:43
I haven't slept under a poncho...yet. Tomorrow might be the first time, and it's supposed to rain. It shouldn't be much different from sleeping under a tarp, albeit, a small tarp. I am supplementing it with an umbrella and bivy. My quilt is water resistant too. I could bring a kitchen, but I wouldn't use it. If I had food that required eating, I wouldn't eat. I'd starve. I just refuse to stop to cook and clean up afterwards when I'm hiking.

I dont mean to discourage you but these are somethings that make camping comfortable for most people, atleast those I have encountered. I used be stoveless in my unenlightened period, but I find I carry alot less food weight with a stove than without. So a 2.5 oz plus fuel stove is worth it for me. Sleeping under a poncho might work if it didnt rain or rained lightly, but during a windy raining night I wouldnt want that setup. Especially if you have to pitch it in the rain which I do more than I like to.

leaftye
02-18-2012, 00:47
I'm well aware of what works for me, aside from the poncho that is.

Nutbrown
02-18-2012, 10:44
I go on 4 day trips each year. I started out with a peak 1 tent for $70, but switched to the hammock. I have also just made a diy pack (for about $15) that I will use my next trip, but I think my gear is both (almost)ul, and quality. I will never scrimp on socks though.

$20- craigslist eno hammock
90-Osprey 50 on supersale
160-tq and uq. It is diy, but about = the cost of a bag and mat.
40-trail runners used from ebay
40-tarp. again, it's diy, but REI sells an emergency tarp for a bit less...
40-stove(diy) and pot
30-darn tough socks
60-pants
50-4 days worth of food
90-platy gravity filter (can't really remember how much it was...)

=$660..if I did that right. And it took me 4+ years to get it the way I wanted.

Ender
02-18-2012, 12:42
I don't see that there's much of a difference, if any, between gear needed for a 2 day hike or a 30 day hike. Maybe another pair of underwear and socks.

I agree completely.

TyTy
02-19-2012, 13:55
Hey, hurray if this works out OK, but I hope this list does not redefine the bar and is viewed as an exception, not the standard.

Why wouldn't it work out?

This is for a warm weather trip in the southeast, one or two nights. What wouldn't work on this list?

TyTy
02-19-2012, 13:59
Sure - but it's not substantiated as being effective against giardia n' crypto.

Okay if you don't like aquaria obit this http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sawyer-Inline-Water-Filter-with-34-Ounce-Bottle/8283710 it's a sawyer filter, fill up the bottle and drink or remove the filter and put online in a hydration bladder to drink or make a gravity setup into a Gatorade bottle. Although there are a ton of people that don't filter at all and a ton more that use aquaria and are fine.

BlakeGrice
02-19-2012, 14:29
sew it yourseld G4 pack $35. Tarp from wal mart- 5 bucks. The running shoes you have- free. water bottles from Quick stop- $2. homemade alcohol stove- $2. Sleeping bag- depending on the temp

tuswm
02-19-2012, 14:59
assuming you have boots, poles, carry water.
make your own kitchen out of beer cans free from youtube
$7 wally world blue foam pad
$25 wally water proof tent http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mountain-Trails-6-x-5-Tent/15111446?findingMethod=rr#Specifications
$10 sleeping bag http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-40-60F-Sleeping-Bag/14504291(or just take a fleece blanket from home)
water purification bleach and a dropper or boil
strap it all in to or in a regular back pack.
$.99 ponch

Now I admit i am making some assumptions to make this gear list. like its warm out and for four days a begginer will not go out if the forecast looks bad. or how much could you borrow from friends? that way they can find out if they even liked it. The thing that all most turned me off to back packing when I was starting out was the weight of all my junk that I dont even take any more and the cost of all the junk I dont even use anymore.

Also i organize trips for first timers as a side business.
I WOULD SAY THAT 9/10 OF FIRST TIMERS I TAKE SPEND LESS THAN $150 on gear.

TOMP
02-19-2012, 17:18
Why wouldn't it work out?

This is for a warm weather trip in the southeast, one or two nights. What wouldn't work on this list?

I think it would work, but badspeller explained that he doesnt like the idea of borrowing/ replying on others for gear. And not that it matters but its a northeast warm weather trip.

takethisbread
02-19-2012, 17:26
If I went with my cheapest gear:

The tarp I'm actually using $50(clearance)
Bag-$30 REI garage sale
Pack-$45 Used
I don't carry a tent
Pad- $40 old thermasrest
I could do well, but I don't use much stuff.
When u run into clothes it gets a bit tithes but I have some salomon shoes I bagged for $9 at REI garage. Shorts are like $15 socks $3 a piece . Regular t shirt $5, and a coat. I don't own a cheap coat.

ScottP
02-19-2012, 22:51
This topic recently came up for me when I was talking to a friend about backpacking costs. He wanted to know how much it would cost him to outfit himself for a 4 day backpacking trip. So knowing that he is a day hiker and doesnt have anymore more gear than a platy for water, clothes, trekking poles, and boots I was unsure but I knew it would be a lot.

I first thought it would cost 300 dollars to buy a bear bones setup and only but the cheapest of items in each category. But then I thought on this some more and thought that maybe this wouldnt be possible either.

So my question is what is the cheapest cost to completely outfit yourself for a multi-day hike, in warm weather, not including food? Also assume you cant MYOG and you want to be reasonably comfortable, so no just a knife answers.

All you need is a children's school backpack and a plastic 6x10 tarp. $30

TOMP
02-20-2012, 03:05
All you need is a children's school backpack and a plastic 6x10 tarp. $30

As I said to Leaftye, I think we have much different opinions on what is reasonably comfortable. But if you can make it work, dont let me discourage you.

TOMP
02-20-2012, 03:14
Okay if you don't like aquaria obit this http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sawyer-Inline-Water-Filter-with-34-Ounce-Bottle/8283710 it's a sawyer filter, fill up the bottle and drink or remove the filter and put online in a hydration bladder to drink or make a gravity setup into a Gatorade bottle. Although there are a ton of people that don't filter at all and a ton more that use aquaria and are fine.

Pair this item with aquamira and youll be set for anything. This filter alone misses more things than aquamira, but does pick up protozoans. There are also a ton of people that use nothing and are fine, but I wouldnt recommend it.

TyTy
02-20-2012, 10:25
Pair this item with aquamira and youll be set for anything. This filter alone misses more things than aquamira, but does pick up protozoans. There are also a ton of people that use nothing and are fine, but I wouldnt recommend it.

It is my understanding this Sawyer filter removes everything except viruses and viruses are really nothing to worry about in the US unless you think there is human waste in your water source.

http://www.sawyer.com/water.htm

mister krabs
02-20-2012, 11:28
Holy cow, thank God for Ender, Garlic and F-stop. What happened to all the smart people on this forum? Doesn't anyone read Weathercarrot's or Sgt. Rock's documents anymore? I laughed out loud when someone up thread said that light is more expensive. They need to look at any manufacturer's line of packs and rethink that calculation. Light is mostly about bringing less, how can you spend more if you bring less?

Seriously, the OP asked for a 4 day gear list cost and some of you folks are outfitting him for Denali.

OP needs only 2 threads, Weathercarrot's "ideas for an inexpensive through hike" and Sgt Rock's $300 challenge. He should disregard anyone who tells him that he *needs* an MSR or Northface or REI anything.

TyTy
02-20-2012, 17:25
Holy cow, thank God for Ender, Garlic and F-stop. What happened to all the smart people on this forum? Doesn't anyone read Weathercarrot's or Sgt. Rock's documents anymore? I laughed out loud when someone up thread said that light is more expensive. They need to look at any manufacturer's line of packs and rethink that calculation. Light is mostly about bringing less, how can you spend more if you bring less?

Seriously, the OP asked for a 4 day gear list cost and some of you folks are outfitting him for Denali.

OP needs only 2 threads, Weathercarrot's "ideas for an inexpensive through hike" and Sgt Rock's $300 challenge. He should disregard anyone who tells him that he *needs* an MSR or Northface or REI anything.

I agree. Most everything I have bought from REI is no longer in my pack. My $300 Zamberlan hiking boots are in my closet and have been replaced by hiking shoes (tennis shoes with more tread).

Some other things that are lighter/better...

mini bic vs magnesium fire starter
powerade bottles vs nalgene or hydration bladders
handerchief or bandana vs REI pack towels
wal mart polyester t shirts vs Patagonia or Columbia same
target polyester boxer briefs vs ExOffico or whatever from REI
synthetic socks from WalMart vs expensive wool socks
mini swiss army knife vs fixed blade knife
driducks vs goretex
trash compactor bag vs expensive stuff sacks

Especially if it is a warm weather trip. As long as you are warm, relatively dry, have enough calories and stay hydrated you will probably have a good time and learn if you (A) want to make a hobby of this and (B) what you personally want and value in the weight/comfort trade off.

ScottP
02-20-2012, 17:35
As I said to Leaftye, I think we have much different opinions on what is reasonably comfortable. But if you can make it work, dont let me discourage you.

I did a hundred miles or so on the AT with nothing but food and a space blanket (in vermont, I believe). I was very weak from Lyme disease and even carrying that much was difficult.

I have a few good (but old) threads in this vein, give me a bit to look them up.

ScottP
02-20-2012, 17:39
Just to give people some ideas, here's a cheap and dirty gearlist for the broke lightweight hiker. Probably good from late-April on.


Pack OR Dry peak bagger 29L $55, 9 oz
Bag Western Mountaineering cloud 9 comforter $225, 20 oz
Pad cut up ridgerest 8 oz $20
Shelter etowah 6x10 flat silnylon ($70), 9 oz
10 REI hook stakes stakes 3 oz $15

$400ish, 50ish ounces

Cooking&other:
homemade alcohol stove ($1, 1 oz)
bic lighter ($1, 1oz)
REI 1.3L pot, no lid 5 oz $50
spoon from your drawer (Free, 2 oz)
2-3 gatorade bottles (free, 4 oz)
dropper bottle of bleach drops (1 oz, $3)

Photon keychain LED 1 oz $7
O2 rainwear $30, 5.5 oz

20ish ounces, $100ish dollars


500ish dollars , 4.5ish pounds (will be higher once socks, etc. are added in)

Pretty similar to the way I roll, but I have a few slightly nicer things.