@Mac well, we're somewhat biased, but we'd recommend starting exactly where you did - REI and this community!

A few thoughts:

And finally, you can always ask us specific questions here in the community and REI employees (and other community members) will weigh in! It's helpful to include some specifics about you - where you're going, how long, gear you already have, specifics about you for product fit, etc. Hope this is helpful without being overwhelming!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.