I started backpacking with a tube tent and a synthetic bag that was chilly at 32 degrees. But I was young, a little bit stupid and stubborn, and made it work.
I started out with plastic tarps and made them work; I transitioned to a tube tent and was reasonably content...as long as the bugs stayed away.
My sleeping bag was, however too much in every way. It was one of the ancient and now fabled army mummy bags, rated to some hellishly low temperature. I packed to size not appreciably smaller than a compact car, weighed about as much as that car and I sweated nearly to death. In retrospect, I suspect it was a veteran of action at Inchon reservoir.
Ah...to be young and broke.
Eventually I bought an early decent quality Olin synthetic mummy. It did not compress well, but it did the job and did not break my back. And by steps arrived here.