if you havent been camping before see if your friends have any gear you can borrow. I've always camped just myself and my daughter with a small car. So ease and pack ability were high options.
Shop around I brought a latern at the markets for $20 16 years ago still going , a green metal table that has been left out in the yard year after yaer still going strong 15 years latter. St vinnies is also a geat place for kitchen stuff or kmart $3 for metal knife and fork set? $2 for bbq gear? I leave all my camping gear in platic tubs so before a trip i take out what i dont need ( depend on power/non pwer, caravanpark/nat park, lenghth of stay etc) also makes storing gear neat and tidy.
My essentales would be
tent , stretchers or airbed ( you can use quilts etc at first) , chairs and a table , tarp or gazabo- we used a $30 gazabo in a storm it was the only shelter standing - yep all those beaut tarps collapsed
, cooking gear and some toys for the kids.
Have fun !!! Just remember its the mistakes that make camping the most fun and memorable