This is the topic that I think makes most people get second thoughts and also might give up and stay home. What should you bring? The list can be long, especially if you ask someone in an outdoor shop – and what they are suggesting is not often any cheap stuff. I want to highlight the simplicity in hiking and how you can put together a pack without it costing you a fortune.
To think low budget is also to care for the environment. We buy more and throw away and buy new things faster than ever before. Shopping second hand is both good for your wallet and the environment! Another reason why you don’t have to get all the things from the stores lists is the weight. A smaller pack is a lighter pack and with that it will be both easier and more fun to hike!
Here are some tips when it comes to putting together your pack.
Make your own packing list. Start simple with what you’ve got and make shorter trips. How you hike and what you need is very individual and the only way to find what you need, is to try things out. Write down what you’re bringing and take time when you’re back to go through your packing list. Was there something that was unnecessary to bring, something you didn’t use? Something that you missed? By evaluating your packing list you’ll be able to reconstruct it after your own needs. You will also notice if there’s something that you feel is worth spending some extra money on. First then, when you know what you really prioritize and value in your pack, you can invest in those things.
Check with friends and family. Maybe someone has an old tent that you can borrow for the weekend? Maybe even a sleeping pad, a backpack, stove and all other things you’ll need! Many people has sometime in their life engaged themselves in outdoor activities and you don’t throw away for example a tent that you spent much money on. But you’ll be happy if someone can use it!
Shop second hand. Both online, in stores and on garage sales there’s plenty of outdoor gear for a small amount of money. Sure, it might been used a couple of times and it’s hard to know how much, but you will find what you need faster and much cheaper. If you are new to hiking it’s a bad idea to spend money on an expensive sleeping pad, just to realize after a few hikes, that its not the kind of sleeping pad that fits you.
Visit an outlet. What the stores sells is the newest products on the market, but plenty of them have outlets where you can find previous seasons gear for a lot less money.
Try out your gear. If possible, test your equipment and clothing at home before you set out on a hike, especially if it’s a longer one. It’s not fun to realize that your pants doesn’t fit well and sliding down all the time, once you’re miles into the wilderness and won’t return for a couple of days.