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Budget Ultralight Backpacking Gear List (Under $1,000)

Ultralight backpacking can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. When friends ask me how much they need to spend on gear to start doing multi-day backpacking trips, and I tell them that my backpacking gear cost upward of $3,000, they are understandably hesitant. That’s a lot of money to spend on a new hobby before you even know if you will enjoy it.

The good news is, you can get started lightweight backpacking for less than a third of what I spent. Here is an example of a high-quality, budget gear list for beginners. This list includes everything you’ll need for multi-day hikes in 3-season conditions, without breaking the bank.

It has a base weight of only 13 lbs (28 lbs fully loaded with five day’s supplies) and costs under $1,000. You can probably spend even less if you shop around for deals online.

Packing & Camping Gear

Total Weight: 8.4 lbs, Cost: $530

BACKPACK: ULA Equipment Ohm 2.0 Backpack
Weight: 2 lbs
Cost: $210
More info…

SHELTER: Eureka Spitfire 1 Tent
Weight: 2.7 lbs
Cost: $140
More info…

SLEEPING BAG: Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag
Weight: 2.8 lbs
Cost: $150
More info…

SLEEPING PAD: Therm-A-Rest Ridgerest SOLite
Weight: 14 oz
Cost: $30
More info…

CLOTHING WORN

Weight: 4 lbs, Cost: $171

SHIRT: Champion Powertrain T-Shirt
Weight: 6 oz
Cost: $11
More info…

PANTS: White Sierra Convertible Pant
Weight: 12 oz
Cost: $40
More info…

UNDERWEAR: Champion Tech Boxer Brief
Weight: 3 oz
Cost: $9
More info…

SOCKS: Adidas Athletic Quarter Socks
Weight: 2 oz
Cost: $3
More info…

SHOES: Merrell Moab Ventilator
Weight: 2 lbs
Cost: $80
More info…

INSOLES: Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
Weight: 5 oz
Cost: $12
More info…

HAT: Camo Coll Outdoor Boonie Hat
Weight: 3 oz
Cost: $12
More info…

SUNGLASSES: 3M TEKK Safety Glasses
Weight: 1 oz
Cost: $4
More info…

CLOTHING PACKED

Weight: 2.3 lbs, Cost: $140

BASE LAYER TOP: Duofold Varitherm Shirt
Weight: 7 oz
Cost: $18
More info…

BASE LAYER BOTTOM: Duofold Varitherm Pant
Weight: 7 oz
Cost: $18
More info…

INSULATED JACKET: 32Degrees Down Jacket
Weight: 10 oz
Cost: $50
More info…

RAIN JACKET: Frogg Toggs DriDucks Rain Jacket
Weight: 6 oz
Cost: $15
More info…

WARM CAP: Microfleece Watch Cap
Weight: 2 oz
Cost: $9
More info…

GLOVES: Microfleece Gloves
Weight: 2 oz
Cost: $10
More info…

SPARE SOCKS: Adidas Athletic Quarter Socks
Weight: 2 oz
Cost: $3
More info…

CLOTHING SACK: Outdoor Research Stuff Sack 15L
Weight: 1.5 oz
Cost: $17
More info…

Cooking and Hydration Gear

Weight: 1 lb, Cost: $62

COOK STOVE: Etekcity Canister Stove
Weight: 3 oz
Cost: $10
More info…

COOK POT: Stanco Grease Pot
Weight: 4 oz
Cost: $6
More info…

CUP: GSI Outdoors Cascadian Mug
Weight: 2.5 oz
Cost: $7
More info…

SPOON: Light My Fire Spork
Weight: 0.3 oz
Cost: $3
More info…

WATER CONTAINERS: Two 1L Aquafina Bottles
Weight: 3 oz
Cost: $2

WATER PURIFICATION: AquaMira Purifier Drops
Weight: 2 oz
Cost: $17
More info…

FOOD SACK: Outdoor Research Stuff Sack 15L
Weight: 1.5 oz
Cost: $17
More info…

Survival and Miscellaneous Gear

Weight: 1.3 lbs, Cost: $81

COMPASS: Coghlans Map Compass
Weight: 1 oz
Cost: $7
More info…

LIGHT: Energizer 3 LED Headlamp
Weight: 2.5 oz
Cost: $10
More info…

KNIFE: Swiss Army Classic
Weight: 0.8 oz
Cost: $14
More info…

FIRE STARTER: Mini Bic Lighter
Weight: 0.4 oz
Cost: $1
More info…

BACKUP FIRE STARTER: SOL Fire Lite Kit
Weight: 0.6 oz
Cost: $8
More info…

EMERGENCY WHISTLE: SOL Slim Howler
Weight: 0.2 oz
Cost: $2
More info…

SIGNAL MIRROR: SOL Signal Mirror
Weight: 0.6 oz
Cost: $9
More info…

TAPE: Duct Tape (50′)
Weight: 0.8 oz
Cost: $2
More info…

FIRST AID KIT: Adventure Medical 0.3 Kit
Weight: 3 oz
Cost: $9
More info…

TOOTHBRUSH: Folding Travel Toothbrush
Weight: 0.7 oz
Cost: $1
More info…

WASH RAG: Packtowl Personal (Small)
Weight: 0.7 oz
Cost: $7
More info…

CELLPHONE / CAMERA / MUSIC: Your Smartphone
Weight: 6.5 oz

DITTY SACK: Outdoor Research Stuff Sack 10L
Weight: 1 oz
Cost: $11
More info…

Weight & Cost Summary

Category
Packing and Camping Gear
Clothing Packed
Cooking and Hydration Gear
Survival and Miscellaneous Gear
Base Pack Weight:
Consumables (5 Days Food, Water, Fuel, Supplies)
Full 5 Day Pack Weight:
Clothing Worn
Skin-Out Weight:
Weight
8.4 lbs
2.3 lbs
1.0 lbs
1.3 lbs
13.0 lbs
15.0 lbs
28.0 lbs
4.0 lbs
32 lbs
Cost
$530
$140
$62
$81
-
-
-
$171
$984

Have a question or comment about this gear list? Please post your comments below…

3 Responses to “Budget Ultralight Backpacking Gear List (Under $1,000)”

  1. Gene is Lucky Reply

    Hey Eric, excellent budget list. Your post is a real service to us hikers. Might add a pot lifter for the grease pot. Thanks for the great post.

  2. Steve Ghan Reply

    Well done! A lot of people don’t have wads of cash to purchase Cuben Fiber gear. You’ve shown they can get ultralight gear at a much more affordable price. This is a great service to the community. Thank you.

  3. Shannon Reply

    Very good information. Maybe could lighter with a Six Moon Designs Tent. Awesome list, thanks