Let's say your on a real tight gear budget (not just food and hiking expenses, like me). You may want to look at the following for some ideas of how to make or buy lightweight equipment at low cost.
- Take a look at Mags' Backpacking Gear - the color commentary. He has the same baseweight as I do, but often has cheaper gear. If you're on a tight gear budget, some of his solutions could help you out a bit.
- Ray Jardine pioneered the use of many homemade gear items on the PCT. His book Beyond Backpacking, as well as his website, which sells kits, are the best sources.
K-Mart: cheap lightweight gear
- Grease strainer (as an UL cooking pot): 1 liter, 107 grams, $7
- Generic blue foam pad: 50 x 182 cm, approx. 300 grams, $7
- Two kinds of ponchos: emergency and multiple-use ($1-5)