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The Portland Hiking Meetup Group Message Board Gear Talk › Need Hiking Gear Advice

Need Hiking Gear Advice

A former member
Post #: 1
Okay, so I would really like to come out hiking with this group but I don't think I currently have the gear for it. Up until now I've always just hit the trail in hiking boots, jeans, and a t-shirt with my hydration pack and camera bag (six miles is as far as I've hiked thus far).

So, my questions are:
1. What other gear do I need?
2. What brands are good?
3. Where can I get good gear without paying too much?
A former member
Post #: 36
Im an avid hiker, also on a budget. My initial thoughts are: Drop the jeans and cotton. With a little patience, you can find really good deals for non-cotton hiking pants and shirts at Next Adventure's basement - full of used clothing and gear. If you have a little more patience to spare and want to go cheaper, Goodwill is a good option. Lots of synthetic shirts, vests, fleeces, etc. If those options are more budget than you're looking for, Next Adventure tends to have good deals in their regular store area, and REI Outlet and used gear sales are great options. I cant help much with brands, beyond mentioning that good brands like Marmot and Patagonia are often only cheap if you find them used.

Other gear Ive found myself very attached to are gaiters and trekking poles. Also, depending on where you're going, and to be on the safe side, carry your 10 essentials:­
A former member
Post #: 25
The answers to questions 1 and 2 you will get a different answer from each person and it will depend if you what be to a ultra light, light or plain backpacker. As far a question 3 it would be Next Adventures off of NE 3rd and Stark. They have a great team (plus they are all backpackers/climbers/hikers) and some good prices, and the have a used section in the basement. To help a little more try Wilderness Skills PDX it is a meet up group and they have a Backpacking workshop today and 29 July. When I first started I was not sure if I would like backpacking so I went to goodwill for chothes and some other Items, and watch for the sales at next adventures, REI, Oregon Mountain Company, they will be having toward the end of summer, and they have some good deals. Also before I forget REI has used equipment sales, you can go on their wedsite and find out when, each store has there scheduled date.
Backpacker magzine is helpful with equipment reviews, trip planning, making your own meals at home, and many other things, they also have a website
As far as equipment, you will need to ask yourself a few questions, Like will you go backpacking in colder times of the year, like February thru April. Will you go out longer then a weekend, 4 to ? days.
Hope this will help
user 6494937
Portland, OR
Post #: 27
As Greg touched on, take advantage of seasonal sales. Hiking is a pleasure enjoyed year round in the NW as the rain and lack of can bring totally different experiences to the trail conditions and scenery. I shop almost elusively at REI, due to its locality to my home, so I can't give much advice on other sources. Having said that RIE Outlet is a great source for good deals, IF you have the patience. The majority of my outdoor equipment/clothes comes direct from the Outlet and they ship free to the stores for local pickup. They generally have an end of winter sale and end of summer sale. These obviously coincide with the seasonal clothing being cycled through for the next year's entries. You get your cold weather clothes in the early spring sale and your warm weather clothes in early fall. Even larger sales on the Outlet site is often in conjunction withe the general sales. In other words, you can get like 30% off items already marked down.

Brands are particular to the individual. Just be sure to take above advice and stay away from anything made of cotton. This material soaks up precipitation and sucks the heat right out of your body. Synthetics are great, as well is wool. I have a favorite wool cap that I swear actually heats up as it gets wet. Make sure you have a solid shell or lighter-weight shell to go with a fleece jacket layer underneath. Now some might think this is odd, but I tend to prefer shorts all year round. Pants are not a necessity if you have solid layering on your core. I prefer freedom of leg movement while I'm on a trail, unless gaiters are necessary for snow or bushwhacking.

Footwear is a totally different topic. I range from five fingers, to "Teva" sandals (with or without wool socks, even in rainy conditions), to low top boots. Some prefer more ankle protection with higher boots while others swear by the freedom to react to conditions with trail runners. When backpacking, I go with solid boots, but have backpacked barefoot on occasion as well, or with flip flops (not recommended). All depends on what your'e comfortable with.

If you are really budget conscious, keep a close eye on outlet or special web site daily prices. Outlets tend to have daily specials, ie RIE Outlet. I tend to quickly browse for new items almost daily. I have way too much gear obviously, but hey, I love the outdoors! ;-)
user 6494937
Portland, OR
Post #: 28
I would like to add that most outdoor equipment shops, just as most retail shops, have sale racks. You can get some killer deals on really nice clothes and gear by visiting these stores on a regular basis. Call it and excuse to go for a walk and get a little exercise on top of the norm. Shopping for me is a workout. I walk out of a store probably 5 times more often without anything in my hand than with, simply because I wanted to go for a walk.
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