To feel relatively safe when I start drawing, I need around me more erasers than pencils. I usually go with three erasers and one pencil, actually.
The paper seems like the least of our problems, but believe me, it will amount to much at the end. The selection of paper greatly depends on what you are planning to do later with your artwork, and how much water you will need to achieve it. You will find a wide range of brands, types and weights, and this can be quite confusing but it's actually not that complicated.
You will need hundreds of sheets of multi-purpose paper for all kind of doodles. It's cheap, they sell it everywhere, you can contraband it from your office in small packs. It represents no pressure whatsoever, and if you make an ugly thing just throw it away and start over. When you are in the very beginning, I recommend this over a sketchbook, it was too much pressure for me and I ended not drawing at all because I didn't want to ruin my gorgeous new sketchbook with my ugly doodles. My friends never had this problem though...
But! this won't work for heavy painting, since it's fragile and for something that will require hours of dedication, even if it's a pencil drawing, I suggest a thicker stronger sheet of a good brand.