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Anupama Pradeep

16 Tips For Budget Backpacking

Are you on a budget or searching for cheap hiking backpacks and wish to stay safe and comfortable during your outdoor adventures? Well! We will help you out in this. This article will walk you through how to buy cheap lightweight backpacking gears, what you need to invest more on and what not to and so on.

Gear is the most important factor which many hikers need to reach their destination or conquer heights. However, there are many hikers who have conquered heights without having the most expensive pieces of gear. Remember, gear does not get you to the place, you do.

Of course, having the good gear will make things easier and increase morale. Invest some time in searching for the gear either on backpacking stores or via online and choose the one which is light in weight and more affordable. Good gears do not mean expensive. On the other hand, cheaper ones might not be the lightest too. Check for the wide ranges of cheap options available and make the choice wisely.

Don’t Spend Too Much Money On the Below Mentioned Gear List

Rain Gear

Whichever model of backpacking rain gear you hold, you will be having complaints about the lack of resistance and ventilation, weight factor and many more. It is good to buy a rain gear but doesn’t ever go for the expensive models. There are several models like Frogg Toggs and Campmor which can guarantee you with the exact results that the branded ones offer or even triple times much better than that.

Also, there are a few hikers who do not prefer to carry rain pants with them as this could lessen the weight while backpacking. You can also look for the cheap hiking rain jacket which is available online or in the stores for protecting yourself from the pouring rain. One of our recommended pieces is to go for the black diamond double diamond jacket as it comes with soft shell fleece along with interior floral design and black zippered pockets. The jacket comes in a good condition with no defects or stains at all.

rain gear

Go for Plastic Bags

Instead of buying dry bags, try to get plastic bags. A zip-top model is the one which suits all your needs and this is cleanest one among all. It helps to separate and keep the gear always dry, virtually free and weighs just around 0.5 ounces. Obviously, this is not as durable as the stuff sack, but will definitely get the job done well.

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles are an essential item in your gear list. But there is nothing like you should pick the most expensive model itself. If you are going for the trekking poles, then don’t forget to check their warranty policy as well. Even for the cheaper models, some of the companies offer free repairs.

On the other hand, if you can’t afford the rates of the trekking poles, go for ski poles instead of that. A lightweight model of trekking poles will costs around $200 dollars, however, used ski poles are available – you can just check in the parents’ garage, the yard sale of neighbor, or else in the Amazon as well as Craigslist. Even though they don’t offer all the features of the trekking poles and is not that durable or packable like the trekking pole, they cost less and are light in weight too. Above all, just like the Smartwater bottle, ski poles are easily replaceable.

hiking poles



It is very sure that you won’t ever pick a cotton shirt for your hiking needs. Beyond the characteristics, there is no need to buy a hiking shirt worth $80. Check what you have on hand and then go to a local thrift store and find the best poly out there.

Use Plastic Cutlery Instead of a Spork

Spork will cost from $4 to $15, but as far as you are on a hike, why do you want to buy such an expensive thing when you get something similar to that absolutely free of cost? This is the same reason why the hikers huddled on the cook pots with their plastic fork.

Sleeping Bags

A good and best quality sleeping bag is always an investment. Even if you are backpacking on a budget we would never recommend trying and scrimping on this. There are many bags on the market which has got equivalent temperature rating for just half the price. The over synthetic insulation, down packs more – lighter and smaller and thus will be easy to carry in your backpack.

The only important thing is that you should always make sure that it is well dried after every use before you pack it up. Don’t just believe that wearing layers inside the bag will protect you from the cold weather. Keeping it dry is also an important factor to stay warm. You can even Google for costco sleeping bag and make a comparison on the wide ranges of selections before you place your order.


If you are not in a position to pay for the JetBoil, then go for the homemade stoves. They are the good and best alternative for these.

Sleeping Pads

A good night sleep is really important for both your performance and enjoyment during outdoor adventures. Therefore it is vital that you should pick the one with the best performance. You can even make a comparison test and then choose one. As per the ratings, Nemo pad is the testing winning one and has got many features which make you feel safe and comfortable. But if you prefer to choose the ultralight models, then keep in mind that they cost a bit high. The Nemo pad is reasonably light in weight and can be placed inside the stuff sack very easily.

sleeping pads

Hiking Vest

When the temperature drops down, you will need to find the right gear for keeping yourself protected. Right from the wool hats to the down jackets and the thermal underwear, the main factor to stay warm during the winter season is the layering. Down vest is one of the best options to overcome this issue. However, choosing the right model is the hardest job. Don’t worry anymore.

The insane collections of the Patagonia clothing, jackets and vests will find a solution for you. They offer things at incredible rates and free shipping. The cheap patagonia vest is stylish in nature and is best suited for anyone who goes behind style and fit.

Hiking Blanket

Regardless of the season in which you are planning to hike, you need a hiking blanket. During the summer season or during desert hiking, the temperature will drop down at night and the humidity around will definitely make you wake up in between the night hours, thus making you feel uncomfortable. With the help of a backpacking down blanket, you can help cover what the sleeping bag can’t. There are wide ranges of blankets available in the market and you can choose the one according to your needs and climatic conditions.

Things to Consider While Backpacking

Check What You Have

There is no need to go for a new sleeping bag if you are already having one. Check what you have at your home for the shoes and the clothing. Be creative always. Make use of a Gatorade bottle rather than getting a water bladder. Use the old bandana in place of paying for a new buff. Instead of spending money on a new outdoor cookware spoon, take one from your home itself.


Try to get tents which are totally usable and is of decent quality like the Alps Mountaineering. It will offer you a dry night with better comfort. Weighing less is just like a double-edged sword. Carrying less might sometimes leave you at an expense of livability as well as quality. If you are in an intention to save weight on the budget, then pare the size of the tent down to minimal.

You don’t have to worry about the hammock. It will be wonderful while you are in the exact place. However if ever the weather turns bad and you are above the tree line or on a beach, then getting the cheap hammock tarp or an expensive one will not get your job done smoothly.

camping tent

Go for Brands with Warranties

Before you place the order, check for the warranty period which the maker’s offer. The item which you are buying might receive free replacements or repairs. The way in which you communicate with the companies can either make it a hit or a miss.

Based on the dealership with your gear and story, you will receive exactly the product which you wish to buy or you might completely strike out. However, some of the companies with good flexibility may include REI, Gregory, Black Diamond, Salomon, Osprey, Darn Tough and so on. These brands are also found to be cheaper when compared to their competitors without compromising the quality.

Purchase Off Season

If you are purchasing during offseasons, there will be a big difference in the amount which you pay. Rates for the summer gear will fall down during the time of winter.

Buy Online

When compared with the prices which you pay at an outfitter. On the other hand, keep an eye on some of the outfitters as they may host some garage sales or major sales.

Discount Backpacking gear

Do you like to opt for discount backpacking gear for saving some extra bugs? What will you feel if you get an additional 40% to 50 % discount on your gear? Well, then go for the Pro Deal and save your money even after shopping all your necessary items. This is another way to get cheap backpacking gear without compromising on the brand or on the quality of the product.

The clothing or the outdoor gear manufacturers sell the gears to the volunteers as well as to the employees who are involved in the outdoor recreation at wholesale prices which ranges from 40-60% off MSRP. They promote this since the people in these roles will use the gear and will recommend the same to other people as well.

Use Coupons

There are many online retailers will be emailing coupons to those on their mailing list. If you have not yet received any coupons yet, then search online for the online coupon codes available. There are certain sites such as Coupons.com, Vouchercloud.net, and Retailmenot.com who offers coupon codes for several retail websites.

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