Many items that paranormal investigators use today are not tools made for "ghost hunting". You don't need to spend a lot of money . I suggest that to get started, you spend as little as possible, because sometimes the most interested person gets into an authentic haunted site and says "this isn't for me".
You CANNOT be even a half way decent investigator if you are scared , at all. Things can startle you, that's OK, but when you enter a site afraid, before anything even happens, you don't belong there. Sometimes it takes the experience of the investigation to know how you are truly going to respond. It may go away if you are dertermined, but if you aren't out there on a regular basis it will take FOREVER to go away.
So if you want to go out and try , first try with an experienced group.Check them out before you go, just because they go "ghost hunting" doesn't mean they know what they are doing.
Do NOT , ever, pay money to learn how to use equipment or "ghost hunt". Any group in your area will be happy to show you if you want to join their group or see if you are OK with it.
Many people already have a camera that they can turn off the flash or has a low flash option, if you have one of those bring it. Many have voice recorders, bring that too. Don't spend money on K2s or ghost boxes until you figure out if this will work for you.
Remember that there are very few "ghost hunter" only tools. The Frank's Box/spirit box is one and Galka's Mel-meter is another. Beyond that, the tools ghost hunters use were made for other things. K2 meters, recorders, cameras (even night vision), thermometers, tri-field meters, are all used for something else, and none of it is for finding ghosts. These tools then are not infallible and you need to know what you are doing.
You can buy a thermometer for $25, you can buy a regular compass for a few dollars (a compass will show disturbance in the EMF field by moving the needle). You can buy expensive motion detectors, and they are fine to have, but if you know something is moving about , then what? Do EVP and take pictures, but how many other ways can you know something is going on? Use a compass, or yourself as a meter, but again, if you are already afraid being there you will make a terrible ghost alarm.
GO "old school" sprinkle power of the floor (hard floors only!), where people hear footsteps (make sure no one goes in the area and make sure that you clean up afterwards). Use baby monitors and walkie talkies to try to communicate with the other side. They are MUCH cheaper in a thrift store than spending big bucks on a Shack Hack. Buy a deer cam on sale for less than $100 instead of a $500 camera system. You know have a still IR camera.
When you decide "this is for me" then save and buy bigger and better tools, but keep the old ones handy, you will use them!
I have an old recorder that picks up EVPs well, but it takes forever to fast forward through it. I leave it in places to record where we aren't directly investigating, to see if anything happens when we are out of the area. I don't care if it gets broken, stolen, or forgotten (except for maybe missing an EVP). I have an old digital camera and a low light camera. This way I have a back up and I have a camera I wouldn't worry about in the rain, or a place where it may get damaged.
Have fun, and don't spend big bucks becasue someone advertises themselves as a ghost hunting store...there is no such thing, there is mainly just tools that people use in everyday life that have been adapted to paranormal investigating. When you buy from a "ghost hunting shop" you pay extra for things you can find in any store in your town (except the 2 mentioned above). Another thing to keep in mind before you go hog wild buying equipment is, how much can you use? I mean after all, if you are walking around with a camera and a recorder, then you don't have a hand for a meter, or a ghost box. Shop wise my friends (unless of course your name is Trump, then go for it!)
(C)2013 Dr R M Wolf. May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission.