Beginning on a Budget

One thing I hear a lot of amongst would be adventuresses, is that they can’t afford to buy the ‘right gear’ to start training for their adventure, or they think they have to have all the gear and equipment before they even start.  This is not the case!  You certainly don’t need a full kit of technical gear to get started.  Passion, excitement and commitment are the only absolute must haves.

Think back way before the whole technical gear revolution, or even look to places like Nepal where porters still trek in not much more than a pair of sneakers and t-shirt.  There’s no doubt technical gear will make your adventure more comfortable, but it’s certainly not a pre-requisite to get started.

So here are a couple of tips to get you started without breaking the bank:

1. I’m confident to assume that every would be adventuress will own at least one pair of comfortable sneakers.  You know the pair I’m talking about!  It doesn’t matter what they look like, or how many holes they have, they are perfect to get started.  In my opinion, a huge factor in foot comfort is socks, and changing them, often, as in every couple of hours.  So if you’re heading out for the day, you’ll need a few pair.  Pop to Kmart and you can get bundles of 3 and 4 pair of socks for less than $10.  They don’t need to be technical material, just try to get pairs that are lightweight and breathable.

2. Start walking in whatever clothes you own.  Leggings or tights are perfect, even old jeans.  The same goes for t-shirts and jumpers and / or jackets. None of these items have to be ‘technical’ nor do you need to ‘look the part’.  Just be comfortable.  If you really can’t find anything, then head to Kmart which has a great cheap range of exercise gear including tights, jumpers and jackets.  Alternatively, check out your local op-shop.

3. If you need other items (for example, you want to start doing day hikes but don’t have a backpack), ask friends if they have what you need, and if it’s alright for you to borrow.  If you can’t find anyone to borrow some things from, again, check out Kmart which usually has inexpensive basic items.  Or search your local op-shop, or look for local ‘buy swap and sell’ groups in your area.

4. If you’ve made your start and now want to do some adventure travel or tour but don’t have the appropriate gear or equipment that’s required and don’t want to have to buy it all upfront (you may not be able to afford to, or are not sure you will like it), then make sure you choose a tour company that either provides the gear or equipment as part of the cost, or offers it for hire.

There is this perception that you’ve got to have all this gear, and it must be of a certain standard or quality, but the truth is that you don’t need anything other than the right attitude, dedication and enthusiasm.  So grab that pair of sneakers I know you have and get started!

Caroline x


Caroline Packer

Caroline is a writer, freedom enthusiast and disciple of the trail.  Since first meeting herself on an 820km walk across Spain, Caroline has become an avid believer in the transformative power to be found outside daily routine, beyond self-imposed limitations and within the completion of individual challenge.  Caroline helps to inspire ordinary women to explore beyond their comfort zones and challenge themselves to complete things they never thought possible.