Going on your first hunting trip is exciting, and gathering the gear can be a lot of fun. But it can also be a little confusing because of all the competing voices you'll encounter, including salespeople wanting to make that sale, your friends showing you what they use, and advice columns in hunting magazines showing off high-tech gear that many or may not be appropriate for your skill level. What you should do is start with a few basic rules in mind and expand from there as you gain more experience.
"Up to Date" Matters for Legal Issues
Don't worry about getting state-of-the-art gear except when "state-of-the-art" means "in compliance with the latest laws and safety knowledge." Hand-me-down hunting clothes, for example, could work just as well as new clothes as long as the older ones fit well and keep you comfortable and dry. There's a tendency with any new interest to front-load purchases, usually packing in lots of gadgets and books that end up not getting used. Start with the basics and don't worry about looking cool. You want to be safe and legal, first.
Yes, You Need Some Emergency Supplies
Even if your first hunting trip will be with a group and in an area that is fairly safe, you should pack some emergency supplies with you. At the very least, extra water, a few energy bars, and things like an extra hat, sunscreen, a pocket knife, and an emergency blanket should be waiting in your car. If you are traveling away from your car, bring those supplies with you. You never know what you're going to encounter when hunting, and you want to be able to give yourself a fighting chance if you find yourself stranded for a while.
Wear Layers -- Always
Weather is unpredictable, and even on nice days you could find yourself feeling too hot as you hike around, or too cold as you remain motionless in the shadows, waiting for animals to pass by. Always dress in layers. It's old advice, but it's true. It's easier to stay comfortable if you can remove thinner layers instead of all of your heavier clothing, for example.
Your friends can certainly help you pick out gear, and don't give up on hunting supply stores. Most are more interested in helping you find the right gear, rather than making sales no matter what. You can get a lot of good advice from staff and customers who have experience hunting as well. Companies like Kidron Sports Center can help you with what you need.