Gearing up for under £100!

Best Cheap Backpacking Gear

Backpacks, trekking trainers, technical clothing, guide books, medical supplies; getting everything together for your backpacking adventure can be a nightmare. Worse still, it can cost an absolute fortune.

I myself have probably spent close to £1000 over the years on all the bits and pieces I thought I might need for my adventures. The good news is I have become a master at narrowing down any backpacking equipment list to the absolute essentials. In just two months time I am headed to South America for six months of adventuring with my brand-new-to-backpacking girlfriend, Alice.

I decided that this would be the perfect chance to test my theory that you can get absolutely everything you need for under £100! We had gotten lucky as Alice had been bought an Osprey pack by her family for the trip so we didn’t need to buy a backpack. Besides the pack however she had absolutely nothing useful and we were going to have to buy a fair bit of stuff.

We started off by wandering around local charity shops and we made a good find almost straight away. We managed to find a pair of North Face trekking trainers in great condition (and Alice’s size!) for just £8. Even better, after looking around a ton of charity book shops we found the Lonely Planet guide we were looking for, costing just £1. Bam! We were off to a flying start.

Next, we headed into poundland where we bought a ton of bandages, plasters, painkillers and other medical bits and pieces to make up Alice’s first aid-kit, all of this came to just £5. We also picked up a power adapter, roll of gaffa tape and a sewing kit for £1 each.

We then headed to Cotsworld Outdoor, one of the biggest outdoor shops in the UK, but we found that everything was very expensive so we started to look around the cheaper, outlet style, Mountain Warehouse. We stocked up on technical clothing and got Alice a long sleeved baselayer, mosquito repellent trekking trousers, micro-fleece and quick-dry travel towel for £68.

Next, we ventured online where we got a hanging wash bag for £6 on Amazon and a silk sleeping bag liner off of eBay (imported from Vietnam) for £8 including the postage.

Finally, we ordered an alp-kit headtorch (one of the best budget torches around!), for just £10.


Alice already owned a camera, a small daypack, flip flops and day to day clothes (obviously) so there really wasn’t much else that she needed. All she was lacking was a combination pad-lock and stuff sacks, both of which I am able to lend her.

Breakdown of costs

Item From Cost
Trekking trainers Charity shop £8.00
Lonely Planet Travel Guide Charity shop £1.00
First-aid Kit Poundland £5.00
Sewing Kit Poundland £1.00
Gaffa tape Poundland £1.00
Power adapter Poundland £1.00
Long sleeved baselayer Mountain Warehouse £15.00
Trekking trousers Mountain Warehouse £30.00
Micro-fleece Mountain Warehouse £18.00
Travel towel Mountain Warehouse £10.00
Hanging wash bag Ebay £6.00
Silk sleeping bag liner Ebay £8.00
Headtorch AlpKit £10.00
Flip-flops Already owned Free
Camera Already owned Free
Day bag Already owned Free
Stuff sacks Leant by a friend Free
Total cost: £92.00


So you see, you can in fact equip yourself pretty damn cheaply if your willing to put a bit of time in looking around. I can’t think of anything else which Alice will need for this trip (besides toiletries, which she can buy out there) but if you disagree and think we have missed anything that’s completely essential tell me about it in the comments!

What’s the stupidest thing you have ever taken backpacking? – high heels, suitcases, super expensive phones? Spill the beans and let me know in the comments section.

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