I am definitely new to the whole backpacking thing. There is no denying that. Maybe it’s the hundreds of websites I’ve visited recently looking for information that gave it away. Or the countless hours I’ve spent watching YouTube videos. I’m almost an expert without having done any backpacking. However, it is something that I’ve been wanting to get in too for awhile now and I’m jumping in with both feet. Well maybe not jumping, maybe it’s more like toe touching the water to see if I like it or not.
The one thing that I’ve noticed, is that backpacking involves a lot of walking. Not only is there a lot of walking but you’re also carrying stuff in a backpack. I guessing that’s where the name comes from, I don’t know. I guess we will see if I’m up for the challenge or not.
I’d venture to say I’m not going to be a pro backpacking if there is such a thing. I can not afford it. While doing my research I realized that this is expensive. I also realized that with a hefty price tag comes lighter equipment or gear. Lighter gear equals less weight, which means less pain and strain. I believe you get the picture by now. I, on the other hand can not afford all that, so I will be moaning and groaning and in all kinds of pain. I’m going to be taking the cheaper Walmart version route of backpacking. Mixed with a few amazon items. In the end I have extremely high hopes of the overall same results.
Pack: Your going to need one of these. Unless you plan on carrying your stuff in a grocery bag or something. The size is important, not to big, not to small, but just right. You need to be able to carry all of the stuff, but having too much pack will leave you wanting to fill it up with stuff you don’t really need. Not to mention the added weight of an oversized bag and useless gear.
I went with an Ozark Trail 45L from Walmart for about $50. As far as I can tell right now this pack seems like it will do the trick. I’m able to fit exactly what I need inside without having to much extra room. It seems durable enough but I haven’t put it to the ringer yet, but will be here soon.
Tent: So in all honesty you do not have to go with a tent at all. You have a few options here. A tent being one of them. There is also a hammock. Both are great options and accomplish the same goal, something to sleep in. Both range in price from $20-30 to in the hundreds. Then there is what is referred to as cowboy camping. Natural sleeping under the stars kind of thing. There are some cons to this style of sleeping arrangement. The main one being insects. This can be remedied by a mosquito net or a bivy sack. Some pros, it’s lightweight, open and brings you closer to nature.
I personally did not go with the cowboy camping or hammock, although I’d like to someday. Instead I went with a two person “A” frame style tent from Wenzel (insert link here). It only cost $45 on Amazon. It weighs just over 2 pounds if you do not include the carrying case and tent stakes that come with it.
Tent Stakes: I opted to purchase aluminum alloy tent stakes instead of the smaller stakes that came with the tent. These were just slightly lighter and only cost about $10 for 10 of them.
Sleep Pad: I choose to go with the Klymit Static V inflatable sleep pad. It says it takes 15 breaths of air to inflate it, however it takes me more around the 20-30 range. The price tag is around $50 which isn’t to bad for a good night’s rest. Just laying on this right out of the package was worth it. It keeps you off the ground and comfortable.
Sleeping Bag/ Blanket: So because it is the summer months I decided not to go with a sleeping bag, but instead went with a fleece blanket. I thought about this choice a lot, back and forth. There are pros and cons to both. So the reason for me was both comfort and price. I bought a twin xl fleece blanket for $6 at walmart. You can not find a sleeping bag that cheap. It’s so soft and keeps you warm. I believe for me it’s a good choice.
Foam Pad: I did buy one of those lightweight blue foam pads. Nothing fancy, the ones that are like $8 at walmart. I figured that because it is so lightweight that I could bring this along as a sitting pad at camp and if I needed to slide it up under my inflatable pad if need be it was there. Not really much to say about it, we’ve all seen them.
Stove: So I do have two stoves. I bought a cheap version of the MSR pocket rocket. I couldn’t see spending $40 on the Pocket Rocket so I got one for $10 on Amazon. It works, and does what it’s suppose to, but over an extended period of use I’m not sure how it will hold up.
My second stove is an alcohol stove that I made myself from some videos on Youtube. To be honest I like using this more than the propane stove. It’s quick and easy to use, and didn’t cost me a dime to make. I also made a wind screen out of cardboard and aluminum foil. Altogether with the fuel it only weighs about 4 ounces. I believe this will be the stove that i’ll be carrying on most my hikes.
Pot: Again I went with a cheap 18 ounce pot with handle from walmart that cost about $5.
Utensil: I choose the “Light My Fire” spork. It’s lightweight and cheap.
Alright, that is all I’m going to go over for now. I did leave out my clothing, first aid and toiletries. I may discuss those at a later date but for now I think that I’m just going to leave it where it’s at. Some of these things may or may not change depending on how I feel after using them. Like I said before, I’m just getting into hiking and backpacking so I will learn more as I go.
So I hope everyone enjoys this little write up. Please leaves some comments and suggestions. Have a great day and God Bless.