Hi everyone! My name is Sophie, and I just joined the Co-op. I will be attending Lincoln Memorial University's College of Veterinary Medicine as a first-year this upcoming fall. My boyfriend, who lives in Colorado, has helped my love for the outdoors flourish over the past 5 years. I love the outdoors, hiking, paddling/kayaking, horseback riding, and general fitness. I would love to learn how to properly camp and learn how to fish since I will be close to a national park. Since I am a student, I am on a tight budget. If anyone has any product recommendations that aren't outrageously expensive or any tips/tricks, please comment below! Thanks in advance.


Welcome to the community and to the co-op!

You're in a great part of the country to get outside, we have a few folks on here from Tennessee, we encourage you to take a look at the Tennessee board and join the conversations happening there. In regards to your quest for tips and tricks for getting into camping and the outdoors on a budget, we encourage you to take a look at our Used Gear website, or plan a visit to your local REI store during one of their garage sales or to check out their rental offerings.

While it can be expensive, quality outdoor gear can last you many years. You'll find lots of folks here in the community with great advice on what has worked for them in the past!

Hopefully this helps!

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

Hi @sophiec15 and welcome.

Congrats on your upcoming educational journey!

So, I have to agree 100% with @REI-JohnJ .  I have gotten quite a lot of my gear and clothing from the REI Good & Used site, and the Garage in my local REI store.  This includes backpacks (REI Traverse 35 & Osprey Atmos AG65),  a tent (REI Passage 1), boots (Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX), and numerous articles of clothing.  Both packs together cost me less than a new Traverse alone.  And I haven't been disappointed yet.  Maybe a little dirt, or imperfection in the fabric.  The worst thing I came across was a small tear on the sleeve of an Outdoor Research puffy that was cured by a piece of Gear Aid tape.

As to how to "properly camp", there is no one answer.  Camp your own camp.  Just as long as you follow the Leave No Trace rules, and aren't bothering the wildlife or other nearby campers, you can do your own thing.  For pointers, recommendations, and hacks, the REI Expert Advice section and this site will provide you a ton of information.  You need just ask.  

Good luck and enjoy!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.