Budget Backpacking Gear List – Go Camping for $250

Budget Backpacking Gear List. Go camping for under $300 – Tarp Camping, Tent Camping, & Hammock Camping options shown.

Check out my live gear list on LighterPack.com for weights, prices, descriptions and product links.

Simplified Budget Backpacking Gear List:



Sleep System


  • Bear Bag Line (25′ guyline leftover from tarp setup, and small carabiner)
  • Bear Bag – 13 gal trash bag
  • Zip-lock Bag – Sandwich
  • Zip-lock Bag – Gallon

Cooking & Eating

Water Treatment & Storage


First Aid

  • First Aid Kit
    (Adhesive bandages, 1 gauze bandage, superglue, neosporin in straw tube, tealight wax candle, 6 doses benedryl, 10 doses ibuprofen, spare water bottle cap)
  • Sunscreen – 30 SPF 10ml bottle https://dutchwaregear.com/product/eye-dropper-bottles/
  • Fire Starter, DIY (dryer lint and wax, or cotton balls with vasoline)
  • Bug Spray – 100% Deet Mini Bottle 

Clothing (Packed, not worn. For spare, sleeping, rain)

  • Frogg Toggs Ultralight Rain Jacket 
  • Underwear – Synthetic (1 Pair)
  • Shorts
  • Shirt, Long Sleeve -Lt Wgt
  • Shirt, short sleeve
  • Hat, Beanie – Lt Wgt Fleece
  • Wool Socks – Lt Wgt (1 pair)



  • Toilet Paper
  • Toiletry Kit
  • Wet Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer

Additional Budget Backpacking Gear Options Discussed 

Approximate Costs for Each System

  • Tarp Camping version $248
  • Kelty tent version $317
  • Hammock Version $352


2015 Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

A look at my current sub-10 pound, 3-Season Ultralight Backpacking Gear List.

In this video we’ll take detailed look at all of the items in my current 3-Season Ultralight Backpacking system load-out.  This is the exact same load-out that I used in West Virginia during early October for the Ultralight Backpacking in the Cranberry Wilderness video.  On this trip the overnight and morning lows got down as low as the mid-thirties and I made it by using the gear seen.  Now, I wouldn’t take this load-out for sustained expected temps in that range, but in a pinch, at least I know I can get by.  This is pretty much my go-to backpacking system for everything except for winter, from Tennessee up to Maine.

As seen in the video, I use a hammock camping system, running at 9.5 pounds, but I’ll show you some modifications for ground sleeping as well as warmer weather options to save weight (as low as 7.5 lbs), in both the video as well as my different gear lists, which are available on the Gear Lists page of my website, for those who wish to see specific weights, categories, and item descriptions.  Below is a simplified list of the items seen.

Backpack – Osprey Hornet 46
Jacket – Montbell UL Down Parka
Shirt, Long Sleeve  – Md Wgt
Underwear – Synthetic (1 Pair)
Shirt, short sleeve
Hat – Fleece
Cookset Stuff sack
Pot Cozy
Spoon – backup, disposable
Stove – Esbit DIY
First Aid
Sunscreen -Travel Size
Spare AA Batteries
Headlamp – Fenix HL21 w/ battery
Hammock – Dream Hammock Darien w/ suspension
Under Quilt – HG Incubator 40
Top Quilt – HG Burrow 40
Bear Bag Line
Zip-lock Bag – Sandwich
Toilet Paper
Toiletry Kit
Wet Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Knife – SOG Blink
Lighter – Eddie Bauer
Sawyer Filter Bag – 64oz
Water Bottle – 1.5 Ltr, Disposable