I recommend a good but small flashlight, and a digital voice recorder to start. Expect to spend about $50 give or take to get a decent entry level recorder. You can find them cheaper but most of the one's I've tested below that tend to have too much background noise "built in" to be called reliable. Sony has several good models around that price.
I no longer recommend flash cameras for beginners because the lower end cameras will create orb effects, and a brief look around this and other sites will show how easy it is to assume that these digital errors are paranormal. Flash cameras are handy for taking control shots of your surroundings and having a record of your visit, but it isn't something the beginner needs to worry about.
Maybe even more importantly, buy a good book or two and read up on procedures before hitting the road. Some that I recommend are
Creepy Corners: The Search for Truth In Paranormal Claims by Carolyn Dougherty
Paranormal Technology: Understanding the Science of Ghost Hunting by David Rountree
Thinking Outside The Box: Tips, Tricks & Tactics for the Paranormal Investigator by Paul Browning
Thanks for the response, Wes. All good advice, and thanks for the book references. I've been wanting to get a book or two. :)
Hi my name is Andrew and i am a paranormal investigator for Beechworth Ghost Tours Australia. We run about 5 investigation tours a week and we have alot of first time investigators come along. I would say a good light, a voice recorder or video camera (yes they catch evp just as well as a voice recorder) and a Kii or emf meter. For helpful tips and evidence captured check out my youtube channel geo7150 and you will learn some of the approaches to investigations etc.
Hey Andrew, thanks for the reply. I'm checking out your youtube channel now, looks like you have lots of good stuff on there. I'll subscribe. Thanks!