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.