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Newbie, camping clothes


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Hello friends,

Buying serious camping gear for the 1st time. Since Im starting from scratch, spending a bit. Been buying bit by bit at REI with some help from them. I live in Georgia so winter will be over in a couple of months, however, I dont know if I may backpack in colder areas later this year (North Carolina), California,. Backpacking trips may be weekend to a week+. Going for not ultra light, but pretty light.

Now all I need to buy is:

Rain pants

Rain jacket

Bottom layer

Middle layer

Outer layer



Thermal pants

Winter pants

Summer pants?


Organization bags (must be water proof?)

Backpack cover

Waterproof sleeping bag cover

Which of these items, I can Walmart/Target it? I realize with some items im better of getting the serious brands.

Thank you!

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I normally don't link to my own website from here, but I've written many articles on budget backpacking that may be of use...


The highlevel summary is that for basic layers (socks, underwear, thermal layers) discount stores such as Target or Walmart or even ebay and amazon equivalents work well. 

If you don't want to hunt through too many links from above, read these two articles:



The first one is for real slim budget. The next is for a bit of a bigger budget and probably a more well rounded kit. I don't claim these are the BEST choices, but rather they may help kickstart putting together your own kit.

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I have very little hiking experience but more outdoor photography experience that has forced me to hike and spend some time in the outdoors. The articles of clothing that I can vouch for that have proven themselves to me are;

Darn Tough socks. At $16-$20 a pair I consider them expensive but well worth the investment. 

Patagonia base layer capilene shirts and pants. I've found that even if I do sweat a little in cold weather while trying to get to my setup or muling up hill, once I stop they seem to wick away the sweat before the chills set in. 

I got a arc'teryx epsilon LT jacket last year for a teton trip and when used in conjunction with my base layers it really worked well in 40-60° weather range while hoofing it. Really light, stops the wind well and doesn't take up much room when packing it away. 

Pretty much everything else I wear is made from cotton and in allot of cases not the best for my situations but I'm working on the upgrades as money allows. 

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Probably similar although the option above would be much more stylish in my opinion and probably arrive with a couple free stickers. :) In any event, during warmer weather, I like a synthetic short sleeve shirt, combining it with a lightweight, breathable long sleeved shirt for a layer against the sun or bugs when needed.

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Thanks. Not clear from Paul Mags kit list....

-For winter do I wear a shirt over the polypro top, polycotton shirt? What do I wear over the polypro bottom?

-For summer, what repellent? what sunblock?  (light weight)

-So in winter, wear the C9 running socks to hike and the merino wool socks for sleep only?

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