Hi from Louisiana. I found this forum a little late. I read the articles on the home page after buying most of our gear; I bought the pack first, oh well. My wife and I go ďcampingĒ a lot but we have a travel trailer to do it in, A/C, two refrigerators and cable T.V. ant exactly roughing it. We want to try our hands at backpacking but not knowing if we are going to stick with it I donít want to sink a ton of money into gear. Backpacking isnít popular down here so there is no one I can borrow or rent equipment from. We live in central Louisiana so night temps are only in the 50ís this time of year. We are planning a one night stay for the first trip on a local trail. Louisiana only has one trail that I found, the Wild Azalea trail. She has a pack that she got from a St Judeís marathon a while back and I bought a Teton explorer 4000, I have a 22.5Ē torso. I also ordered two Therm-a-rest self inflating pads
I really want her to be comfortable otherwise this could be our first and last outing.
What are some things a beginner needs to bring? TP, Knife, light, fire tools, first aid. I do have an old tent somewhere but itís a pain to setup. I plan on just buying a cheap dome tent from a big box store. If we like backpacking Iíll upgrade, either way the kids will have fun with the cheap one.
What am I missing? What do I need do to make this an enjoyable trip?
A little more info: we are in our early 30ís, both in relatively good physical shape. She runs marathons, I donít but I am very active. The Azalea trail is 31 mi, I donít see us making the whole trail in 2 days so we will go till close to dark and turn around the next morning.
Here is my list of gear to bring if anyone cares to critic it:
*= things I have at this time
Sleeping bag
Sleeping bag comp sac
Sleeping pad*
550 cord*
Mountain House*
Snack bar's*
Other food (hard candy)*
Water bladder*
Stanley multi cup full*
Fire steel*
Cig lighter*
Mag bar with rod*
Lent tender*
Long shirt or light coat*
Baby wipes*
Water tablets*
Map, Description of trail*
Tent repair kit
Sleeping pad repair kit
Trash bag*
Hand sanitizer*

First aid:
Burn cream
Antibiotic ointment*
Pepto tablet
Bug spray*
Gold bond powder
Sun block*
Eye drops
Sting eze
Mole skin*
Fast clot*
Band aid large*
Band aid small*
Butterfly band aid*
Ace bandage*
2x2 pad*
4x4 pad*

Possible Items:
Tarp for under tent
Sam splint*
Thanks for the advice.