Basics: GearFor Beginner bacpacker, you must have to know commonly basic gears. Here are the basics gear:
You want a quality midweight boot with good support. Try them on at the end of the day (feet swell during the day), and wear your hiking socks.
Fit is very important; your heel should fit snugly without slipping, and there should be plenty of wiggle room for your toes. Walk around the store for awhile with the boots on to see how they feel; if you experience any discomfort, keep looking.
Unless you'll be hiking in a hot, dry climate, I recommend waterproof hiking boots. Hiking in wet socks is no fun.
Using a cloth tape measure, measure your torso length from the c7 vertebrate (the one at the base of your neck that sticks out when you tilt your head forward) to your waist at the iliac crest (the top of your pelvis).
Use this measurement to choose the right length backpack.
For an overnight or weekend trip, you'll want a pack with a 3000-4000 cubic inch volume.
Consider buying a rain cover if you expect wet weather; you can also use a thick plastic bag (like a trash compactor bag) as a liner.
Tent dimensions vary considerably; set it up and get inside before you buy, especially if you are a tall person.
Down bags are more expensive but lighter and longer lasting. Synthetic bags are cheaper and better for wet weather (down loses its insulating power when it gets wet).
Look for a lightweight sleeping pad that is at least 1 1/2 inches thick.