50L backpacking list for $300?

by Christian Millet

For many of us is almost impossible to find a good backpacking set without spending a lot of money but luckily many years and miles have gives us a different insight. We all want the best gear under perhaps the wrong ideology. We think, that expensive gear might perform better and to some extend that is completely accurate but not longer true, due to the  huge competition among manufacturers.

So we set the challenge, can we actually assemble a good backpacking set under $300?…our answer is yes, but like anything else will have some trades offs when comes to quality and durability.

Backpacking is an expensive hobby and the business is booming allowing manufacturers to hijack their prices based on demand….so for your average newbie a good set is literally impossible  unless you are willing to risk a good chunk of cash not knowing if you will stick to it.


I’m going to present you a list of items that your expensive guru backpacker will hate or love but will give you a starting point without burning your pockets. Additionally this base weight set (does not include clothing, food, water or accessories you should carry with your self like a knife and trekking poles) will serve you well down to 50F, below that temperature your sleeping system will need to be upgraded to a lower degree. Regardless we do advice you to always carry a thick fleece or down jacket 60F and below.

This full set should provide everything you may need to start, but always make sure of  any other upgrades needed regarding your final destination and temperature.range and make sure to consult with an expert before heading out.

Backpack: 36 oz $70

Jansport Khatadin 50L (2015 version) 36 oz  $70 (amazon, ebay)

Sleeping System: 85 oz $95 

Magellan Outdoors Scout                                   32 oz $25  (Academy)

Ozark Trail mummy 40f                                     40 oz   $25  (walmart)

Thermarest Z Lite sol small                               10 oz  $30 (online)

Klymit cush pillow sit                                          3 oz   $15 (klymit)

Note:We recommend to upgrade the stakes of the scout for MSR groundhogs ($20 additional expense) or coghlans ultralight stakes ($6)

Cooking system: 23 oz  $52

Etekcity ultralight with piezo igniter stove   3 oz $10  (amazon)

Tbera aluminium cook-set                                  7 0z $17  (amazon)

Magellan collapsible cup                                      2 0z  $2   (academy)

Light my fire spork                                                 1 oz  $2   (any outfitter retailer)

Water: 6oz $24

Platypus Hose 2.0 L Bladder   3.5 oz $20   (any outfitter retailer)

2 Smartwater 1.0 L bottles            2.5 oz  $4 (anywhere)

Accessories: 25 oz $58

No rinse Bathing wipes                                          7oz  $4  (rei)

Aurelle TOOD brush                                                 1 oz   $6 (rei)

Silva Compass                                                            1 oz    $6  (academy)

Rei emergency Whistle                                            1 oz    $5 (rei)

First Aid kit                                                                  6 oz    $10 (any outfitter retailer )

Energizer vision  HD 80 lumens headlamp      6oz     $10  (homedepot)

BIC lighter                                                                     1 oz      $2  (anywhere)

Sawyer mini filter                                                       2 oz $20  (any outfitter retailer)

Total                                                                            175 oz  $299


It is possible to rig an affordable set for $300 but also make it light (10lb 9oz) among your friends, with a bit more of cash we will suggest upgrading to a sleeping bag ( marmot nano 45F around $60) and a different shelter if you don’t like the bivy style tent. (Eureka spitfire 1, $130, six moon designs scout $120)

If you have any questions , leave us a message.

Note: all items can be found online using amazon, rei, ebay, academy and sports authority sites.















4 thoughts on “50L backpacking list for $300?

      1. browse for Golite jam 50…likely you will find it use as they are ultralight, unframed with large capacity and adjustable. if you are a 21″ torso that will make you a size large. Also look for High Sierra summit 45, heavier around 4lb but sturdy and you can trimmed down by removing some of the belts to 3lb…you can find it online around $80
        visit steepandcheap.com they are running a sale on backpacks. Good luck.


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