I am going to look at this in a few stages… The least expensive route and the narrowest involvement in the hobby, to a high level of enjoyment.
First I will say that I have decided to steer away from HT’s (Handheld Transceivers). I own a couple they have their place but prefer radios with more weight.
After looking at most of the radio on the market today I came up with an Yaesu FT-2900R, it is a 2-meter rig capable of 75 watts output. Currently priced around $165.00.
Next on my list that stands out in my mind is the Yaesu FTM-10R, this is a dual band rig capable of 50 watts output.
It is available for around $350.00.
The next 3 radios are neck to neck in pricing from $600 to $750 to $900. They are the Yaesu FT-817D, FT=857D and the FT-897D. They are HF rigs, (High Frequency Radios) also covering 6-meters, 2-meters and 440 centimeters.
FT-817ND FT-857D FT-897D
The most important choice to make in buying and setting up you rig is the Antenna ! I am basically looking at two of them. the Yaesu ATAS-25 which is a very good match for the FT-817D. Also The Mini-Buddipole looks nice at the same price of $230.
A more portable Antenna is the ATX Walkabout it is a mini all-band antenna from PowerPort,
As you can see it is quite portable fitting into a nice little pouch. With a pricing that is a bargain at $130.
Next thing you need is power! PowerPort again has quite a few answers here, I am looking at the PowerPort-312 as a source of power. For extended stays away from a AC/DC charging source I am looking at the Solar Cell SC-12F.
Since I am a Cyclist owning a recumbent tadpole trike from Catrike named Onyx. I would like to be able to put this rig in a nice pack. Again PowerPort comes to the rescue with their product called WorldPack II priced at $72, that is not bad at all. The pack also comes with a power pack add-on as well.