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New to Backpacking and New to this Forum

Hi There. My name is Alex and I’ve just recently gotten into backpacking. I’m one of those “noobs” that got all the gear before actually taking my first trip. I’m always open to learning more about the hobby, good hiking tips, gear recommendations, etc. 

Look forward to reading more and observing! 

12 Replies

Hey Alex.

People will tell you what you're doing right or wrong or create labels, but everyone has their own way of getting outdoors and backpacking. I mean technically you need some gear in order to go, so everyone is kind of in your boat, unless you rent gear through REI, used gear from REI Used Outlet or have fortune of borrowing from friends... Either way, you either do the research and better spend money, or you learn by spending money on items you regret. We've all been there, even AFTER doing hours of research.

Let me start by asking, how much are you willing to put forth for hiking and backpacking? Money, Time, Effort... Those will dictate how long you drive, what park passes you might need, length of trip, types of food, scenery,, amount of gear and what type of gear. 


I'd definitely say that I'm going to shoot for being a "weekend warrior" at this point. I'd love to get out as much as I can, but have some responsibilities as a new father that keep me grounded to the house more than I'd like. I'd like to be able to do 3-season backpacking and look forward to getting out there this Fall. Hoping my gear will keep me warm enough - I tend to struggle with keeping warm at night even in the Summer. I've gone as far as buying some pretty high R-Value sleeping pads to help with that, but still seem to sleep cold. 

We'll see. 



Hi @AlexBrock - Welcome to the community!

This is a great place to find yourself as a new backpacker. Even if you already have lots of your gear, as you've said, there is always new information to take in, tips to learn, and stories to share of your own experiences. We hope that you are able to look through the backpacking board and see if there are any conversations you would like to join in on.

Have you gone on any backpacking trips yet? Or do you have one in the works? It would be great to hear what you're excited about, what gear you chose, and any questions you haven't found answers to yet.

We also wanted to share some posts that might be valuable to look through:

We're excited to have you here in the community and look forward to hearing more about your growth in this new activity. Thanks for taking the time to reach out!

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

Thanks for reaching out. I just recently did my first overnight at Twin Lakes near Mt. Hood, OR. It was beautiful and an overall wonderful experience. I have historically had trouble staying warm throughout the night and that continued to pose a problem during this trip, as well. I've invested in two high R-Value rated sleeping pads and I'm still struggling to stay warm, so that's an ongoing challenge that I'll continue to do research on. 

Also - definitely overpacked, so that'll be something to work on, as well.


Welcome to forum, @AlexBrock . I am/was one of "those" noobs who also bought the gear first. But, in my own defense (okay, how I justified it with my wife) I was day hiking for years and so it wasn't a big stretch to buy stuff. LOLOLOL

I've found a great home here and have learned a lot and, once in a while, have been able to repay that favor by helping out when I can.

Any plans for your next trip?

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

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

No plans for my next trip, yet. Being very aware of wildfires and I have a 6-month old at home, which keeps me inside sometimes. I'm working on getting a child carrier, so I can bring her out, as well. Just recently went to Twin Lakes near Mt. Hood, OR for my first trip and LOVED it. Definitely need to sort out sleeping a bit better, but overall it was a huge success. Can't wait to get back out. 

Nice to meet ya! 


Good FOR you and GOOD for you. Where do you live? <content removed by moderator> What have you already gotten?  Tell us a bit more about yourslf!

Thanks. I live in Salem, OR, male, and I've gotten the following: 


Osprey Kestrel 65L
Osprey Stratos 36L
REI Flash 55

Tent/Sleep system: 

S2S Etherlight XT Extreme 
REI Co-Op Downtime 25
Thermarest X-Therm 
Marmot Limelight 2P
Alps Mountaineering 1P

Cooking Gear: 

MSR Pocket Rocket 
Toaks Titanium 750mL Pot
MSR Isopro Fuel 
Toaks Titanium Long Handle Spoon
Small bear canister 

Hiking Shoes/Boots: 

Merrell Moab Vent 2


Darn Tough Socks
Puffy jacket (Amazon)
Moisture wicking t-shirts + long sleeve (Amazon)
Hiking pants 
Carhartt beanie 
Columbia fleece
Raintree Long Johns


Rechargeable Headlamp (Amazon)
Moji Lantern 


Anker 1000 amp charger
Charging cords 

Comfort Gear: 

Thermarest Z Seat
Helinox Chair Zero


SOL Emerg. Bivvy


GPS (OnX Backcountry)

Water Filter(s): 

Sawyer Squeeze 
Sawyer Squeeze mini 
Iodine tablets


-- This is all I can think of at the moment.




howdy!  well, you're definitely will equipped and headed in the right direction (pun intended)!

Backpacking can be addictive, and getting to a point of having your kit ideal for you purposes is a journey unto itself (more PUNishment)

There's not a backpacker alive (well maybe there are) who doesn't wind up with multiple stoves, filters, tents, bags, etc. etc..

We're always mixing and matching items, trying new stuff, bringing back old retro stuff, it's all part of the fun!

Something we have these days is youtube, with about a million videos to learn about places to go and review almost EVERY piece of equipment ever made.

I have found youtube to be very useful to gather intel on future hiking places.

good luck

ps - here's my latest effort at inspiration (so make that one million and one vids out there, lol)

REI Member Since 1979