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Looking for budget outdoor gear that won’t break the bank? Here is the best cheap backpacking gear plus top tips for buying quality, inexpensive gear.

When I first started Bearfoot Theory in 2014, backpacking was one of the ways that I became immersed in the outdoor world. Each backpacking trip I went on pushed me to grow beyond my comfort zone and I always came back with a greater perspective.

I believe that these experiences in the outdoors should be accessible to all people, regardless of who you are and where you come from. So over the years, I’ve asked many people about what obstacles stand in their way of getting outside more. A good majority of the answers I received revolved around one thing: money.

I get it, money is a real and necessary part of our society, but I don’t want it to stop you from exploring our public lands and beautiful places. While there are certain items necessary to stay safe and comfortable on a backpacking trip, it’s not always necessary to buy the newest, most high-tech outdoor gear on the market.

Below is my list of the best cheap backpacking gear to help you acquire the necessary gear you need to stay safe and feel comfortable without breaking the bank.

Check out the full guide from Kristen Bor on Bearfoot Theory's website here.


December 3, 2023

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Bearfoot Theory

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An outdoor travel blog on a mission to inspire and empower you to get outside with a strong skill set

Hi! I’m Kristen. Thanks for stopping by! If you love to travel and spend time outside, you’ve come to the right place. I am here to inspire you to get out there and to help you plan your next adventure.

I started Bearfoot Theory because I wanted to dispel the myths that prevent many people from getting outside. As a late outdoor bloomer myself, I’ve found it easy to be intimidated by adventure websites and magazines that feature people skiing off cliffs and kayaking class 5 rapids. You might think, “if that’s what being outdoorsy is, then that’s not me!”

But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be a risk-taking, adrenaline junkie to have an awesome outdoor vacation. You also don’t need the most expensive gear, to plan for weeks on end, or do things that are beyond your comfort level.

My mission with Bearfoot Theory is to be a source of inspiration and information for everyday people looking to have an authentic outdoor experience. I’ll show you that an outdoor lifestyle is easy, inexpensive, accessible, and fun. I’ll share with you my favorite outdoor off-the-beaten-path destinations in the West (and occasionally elsewhere), tell you what gear you do and don’t need, and help you build more confidence in your outdoor abilities.

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