I second what JP said about gear being just a tool that is used to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It isn't about your stuff, it is about seeing the scenery and having good experiences. The BPing tools just get you further on the trails than the dayhikers go.

At the Gossamer Gear website, there are BPing gear lists, including some for less expensive gear. Read bulletin boards at gear shops for used stuff. Search on eBay for several weeks to get a feel for the prices on what you need. Be patient. Look at the thrift stores in college towns for off-season gear. Shorts are cheap now, down jackets are cheap in Phoenix during the summer. Read both sides of the tags in clothing to find the fabric composition, to avoid cotton. Those Campmor bags are good until you graduate and can afford to spend more. Don't go snow camping, it takes too much good gear that you don't own yet. Gearing up is an on-going process, you don't ever graduate, you just keep learning what does and does not suit your trips.