Clothe the poor! One whole outfit for $100?

What would you buy if you could only afford/justify to spend $100 on your whole 3-season backpacking outfit? Socks, pants, shirt/overshirt, bonus points for undergarments (do men actually wear different underwear for backpacking?)

$200 for general 4th season outer gear? heavy socks, jacket, hat and gloves.


Costco and thrift stores. House brands. REI used gear. In this price range there are lots of options but you’re not really looking at household names or models that get talked about by hikers. Also, you forgot rain jacket. It’s easy to spot the Californians when it doesn’t occur to them that it might rain in the summer 😉


I think Costco is the best choice for frugal clothes. Some of the stuff I see there is really nice and really cheap. I've got merino blend base layers + merino long sleeves for $20. Plus they frequently have jackets for like $40, though I've never bought any of them. I've never seen proper robust hiking pants there though, but also I'm a 33 so basically never buy pants there cause they are only 34 or 32.


I literally just left Costco. Got a long sleeve merino tip for $18


I buy a new one every year when I see them there. I've also splurged on a $100 smartwool top... There is very little difference.


Sierra is a good option for low cost merino wool items. Got a pair if smart wool leggings there last year for around $25


Smartwool is massively better than any other merino wool clothing I’ve bought (tops). Just fits wayyyy better. And I also get them on Sierra for $35-40 on sale from double.


They got some really nice hiking shorts this year. Total rip-off of the Prana Zion shorts but actually done well. Like $15 each.


Not really frugal if you have to pay $65 extra just to shop there


i live in costco merino wool socks 24/7 their quality and fit has gone down a little bit but still very good


hm, I'm from ohio and never think about carrying a jacket for rain either. I'd rather waterproof my pack and just accept being slightly wet, or stop and throw up my tarp. I have considered getting a poncho, but I want one that is light and goes over my pack, but they are out to lunch on pricing (like most things in this market)


Frogg toggs are essentially made of paper but they keep water out and cost less than $20, you just need to be aware of how delicate they are. Ponchos work and have a dedicated fanbase. I personally always bring a shell of some kind, aside from rain they are almost too good at trapping heat. Instead of keeping your pack dry, use a liner bag to keep the contents dry, the cheapest option would just be a trash bag, nylofume is $3 and works better. Edit: I just dug around on FB marketplace for fun and could definitely put together a kit for around $100. Here's what I found, it definitely helps that I'm in a notorious outdoorsy city: Shirt: thrift: synthetic running shirt: $3-5? Pants: outdoor research zipoffs: $10. Fleece: northface with some random company on it: $5 Puffy: mountain warehouse 600fp featherlight: $25 Raincoat: company promotional goretex jacket: $15 more realistically there's a Columbia and north face jacket for the same price. Rain pants: mountain warehouse: $9 Shoes: visibly but not functionally damaged salomon boots: $7.50. But let's be realistic again, and say 10~. Baselayer: uniqlo heattech: $14 Socks: brand new wool cycling socks, $3. That leaves some ($4-$7) leftover to buy synthetic underwear because I ain't doing that used. Columbia stretch boxer briefs are $17 for 3 so $5.60 a pair, close enough. A thing I learned from bargain hunting bikes on Craigslist/marketplace is be generic as possible, most stuff was listed as "hiking pants", "rain coat", "puffy" etc.


> Pants: outdoor research zipoffs: $10. Where are you finding these for a tenner? They're > $50 new


Facebook market place like the rest of the list aside from the shirt. Found them listed under "hiking pants" and recognized the OR embroidered on the leg. There was about 10 pairs of pants of equal quality at that price, just used the ones I would've chosen at that pricepoint.


There are a lot of things that can kill you in the backcountry but the one you need to guard against first and foremost is hypothermia from getting wet. Get a rain jacket, and don't buy any thermal gear with cotton in it.


How common is rain there in the summer? I wouldn’t be caught dead without a rain jacket in the western half of the US except maybe on a short hike with a dry forecast. I’ve been rained/hailed/snowed/sleeted on in the summer more times than I can count. There were times when it went from 80F to 45F and rained for weeks. Putting up a tarp to wait it out isn’t an option then 😜. I’d be having a conversation with my hiking partner if they did an overnighter with me without rain gear.


I'm also from Ohio, I have no idea why they wouldn't automatically think of rain gear. It rains here pretty frequently in the summer. Oftentimes for a week at a time.


Yeah, but in the summer there's little risk associated with being wet.


Lol from the Pacific Northwest.




I second ebay. I got a pure alpaca sweater there for £14 delivered. Yes it has a wild 80s pattern on it but I don't care, I'm going to be toasty. and over £100 better off. Uniqlo for mens undies!


This is a story, brother. There are entry point priced items in all categories.


Surplus military poncho is the way to go.


> thrift stores This is the ticket for that price range.


I just scored a like-new mid-weight down jacket for $20 like literally 15 minutes ago. Writing this reminded me to check out my local thrift store.


Nice! I love those finds. :) I've got a ton of really nice wool stuff as well...base layers, mid layers, et cetera. People buy it and then decide it's too itchy, I guess?


Also military surplus if you’re mainly budget focused and not ultralight.


😂 easy to spot someone who doesn’t know a thing about CA weather. It rains and hails all summer in the mountains. Plus it’s a massive state with dozens of climates. Caught gnarly storms in Yosemite a couple weeks ago and had hail and rain in Emigrant last weekend. Loved every bit and I brought a rad umbrella that kept me super dry during the hike.


I grew up in CA, I get to poke fun. It’s a Mediterranean climate except for the Sierra…which is still drier than the Rockies. About 99.999% of Californians live where it doesn’t rain May-September. r/JMT is full of Californians every spring who don’t think they’ll need rain gear. Some complete the trail in a dry spell and still think it never rains up there 😂. I gotta say though, that’s some pretty mild weather if an umbrella kept you dry. I’d invite you out to the Rockies, but even the high Sierra gets storms that warrant full GoreTex. I’ve logged about 5k miles in the Sierra and bring rain gear every time.


🤔 that’s completely incorrect re: Precipitation. Sierras get up to 80in on average per year while Rockies are closer to 60in. My good friend works for FS in CO and also agrees. I’ve spent lots of time in the backcountry in the Rockies including the Weminuche, Pecos, Winds and it’s gorgeous. Love the SW portion in NM and into Durango. Check out Gossamer umbrellas. Rad system for staying dry that’s better than rain jackets from my experience. There’s a few backcountry guides that tested them up to 20mph and my trip in the Sierras two weeks ago was up to about 30mph gusts with rain and hail all day. It’s better than sweating in a rain jacket if you’re moving all day which I was. My trip 4 days ago in Emigrant was rain every afternoon as well but lower wind speeds. And also for other readers the climates vary significantly up north in CA in Modoc / Lassen / Shasta / Trinity. Plus the desert in the south. It’s truly an outdoors paradise here and I’m grateful everyday to have moved here from back east 👍


Why are there so many contentious people on Reddit looking to start arguments? I swear I have to block someone almost every time I try to help by responding in a popular sub. I’m slowly learning that r/campingandhiking is one of the crazy ones where people can’t have normal discussions. Btw the Sierra gets most of its precipitation as snow in the winter (did you follow along with last winter’s snowpack?). Sierra Nevada is actually Spanish for snowy mountains. And no, I’m not using an umbrella. That’s silly ultralight stuff for people who have some weird defiance of normal gear. Quality rain gear doesn’t make you super sweaty if you use it correctly. ie, breathable+vents+cool weather=just fine.


The REI resupply has some insane deals. Got an arcteryx atom lt for $40, stitched up the rip in the sleeve and it has been awesome!! You of course can find even cheaper stuff but even the usually very expensive nice gear is so affordable.


There's usually a pretty good selection of used running apparel at thrift stores. There's really no difference between hiking and running clothing. For more technical stuff like jackets look at REI.com/used, eBay, and Poshmark.


My favourite walking shorts are suuuper cheeap "football" shorts.


When you're trying to get by on 2-3 pairs and rinse them out, wicking/quick-dry underwear is clutch.


Wrangler ATG (sells at Target) makes good inexpensive outdoor clothing. I have a couple of pairs of their hiking pants and button-up shirts, and they're fine. Spend the money on good socks. Lots of fans of Darn Tough socks around here, and I like them, but the two-layer Wrightsock is my go-to. For underwear, any stretchy athletic boxer will do; nothing loose or you're likely to chafe.


outfitters, they usually have used/consignment section, clearance stuff. Also many things can be found at the used clithing stores, got a sweet royal robbins shirt for 10 that is till use 5 years later. try facebook mp and kijiji/craigslist.


Any kind of synthetic pants and shirt will generally work. I wear Wrangler ATGs synthetic pants and some surfing shirt I found years ago, Hanes X Temp socks and under armour boots. No I don't wear different underwear since all mine are the "performance" quick dry kind anyways. All together probably around $125-150.


If I legitimately only had $100 to spend for 3 season: RedHead Cedar Crossing zip-off pants - $40 You already have T-shirts. I know everyone says to avoid cotton but I've never had an issue just wearing my regular everyday shirts. I see tons of people out on the trails and in the backcountry just wearing T-shirts like me too. Go local sports team! Drink at this brewery! You already have socks. Again, everyone says to get special wool socks. It's not a big deal to just wear regular athletic socks. I get mine from Walmart. An extra pair or two don't weigh that much either. You already have underwear. A spare pair doesn't weigh much. You already have a hoodie. I know it's not ultralight, but it's definitely good enough. I've hiked a good many miles in the PNW with a regular ol' hoodie. And save the rest of your money for a good pair of shoes. Then, if you plan your trips around the weather, you really don't have to spend much more clothing-wise. Don't cheap out on winter gear. You'll spend more by replacing gear that doesn't work for you or is uncomfortable. Spend the money on things that might save your life.


This is where I'm at. Until you're going on regular week long trips, the clothes you already have will likely work for the most part, just use that $100 to fill in gaps. And personally I normally forgo hiking boots in place of a comfortable pair of running shoes.


Right. This thread is asking for suggestions on low priced clothing. But if I actually, honestly only had $100... I wouldn't buy clothes at all. I got into hiking in the first place because going on a walk in the woods is *free*. I walked many miles in jeans and sneakers before I even bought hiking shoes. You buy specialized gear because it makes you more comfortable, not because you *need* it.


Yeah, I was in Boy Scouts 25 years ago backpacking in jean shorts and cotton t shirts and using my parents old external frame packs from the 70's and loving every minute of it. Once I had money to spend, I upgraded to a larger and more comfortable internal frame pack rather than clothes or shoes.


Agreed on clothes. I'd go with rainwear, shelter, and something to make fire and food.


> I know everyone says to avoid cotton but I've never had an issue just wearing my regular everyday shirts. Cotton isn't a problem until it is. Casual hike on a familiar trail in good weather? Sure. > It's not a big deal to just wear regular athletic socks. As above. Not to mention blisters. > Then, if you plan your trips around the weather, you really don't have to spend much more clothing-wise. That's the big "if." Plus, if you're going to be out for a few hours, the weather can easily change its mind.


Right. My point was that if you were just starting out and trying to budget, $100 is probably better spent elsewhere. The difference between good shoes and great shoes is $25. The difference between a decent sleeping pad and an excellent sleeping pad is $20. A good sleeping bag and a great one? Again, $30 or so. Add in a raincoat? There's $100.


> The difference between good shoes and great shoes is $25. They didn't ask about shoes, though. Or a sleeping pad.


I'm not sure how to explain better what I mean here. If you only have $100, use it to get better versions of other things, not clothes.


I agree with all but would qualify the socks bit. If the skin on your feet is sensitive to moisture, then a pair of wool socks is worth saving days of itchiness and pain. If your feet don't have this kind of issue, wear whatever strikes your fancy!


I got a lot of my hiking/outdoor rec clothing second hand. Like many are saying, you want thin, synthetic fabrics. Remember, cotton kills! I get cold easy, so wool sweaters (not synthetic, but still holds hot when wet) and fleecy zip ups are also my friend :) I've also managed to find a decent Goretex rainjacket at the thrift as well, and then some rain pants, too. If they don't work very well you can wash and treat them with products made specifically for that purpose and their performance should improve. I used to hike in whatever socks, but haven't cheaped out on my footwear in a long time. If the miles are long and rugged, you want grip and support. I lucked out and found some Salamons 50% off recently and they RULE. If you're gonna cheap out on socks, make sure they're thinnish, a synthetic blend, and bring LOTS. You can stash wet and stinky ones in a ziploc bag to be dealt with later. It's important to keep your feet as aired out and dry as possible, especially on multi-day treks. **For a cheap blister preventative, try Duct tape! Works for me! Just slap it on when you feel the hot spot developing. Make sure there's no creases in the tape.** Tbh tho, the best thing I've bought for my hiking set up recently tho is hiking poles. Got some very light, lower end ones for 50% off and they saved my ass this summer. I performed so much better than usual and my body hurt way less.


Old wool sweaters. Those $80 base or midlayers at REI? Merino wool! So just pop down to a thrift store and find an ugly wool sweater, you get the advantages of the trendy hiking clothes for a dirt-cheap price. I was very warm being a Colorado liftie with a $2 ugly sweater. I looked really weird next to coworkers and guests, but it worked :)


Fyi, wool isn't trendy, it's a fabric that dries fast. Cotton kills(in cold weather, it takes too long to dry when it gets wet, hence wool) so your looking to keep yourself safe with wool and synthetic fabrics.


Yep, guessed I could have made it more clear. The trendy, high-performance gear's key advantage is the material. Smartwool or an ugly christmas sweater, if they are both wool, they will have similar performance. Same with military surplus vs say, $100 pair of rainpaints/cargo pants.


REI garage and sierra.com are pretty good for discounted clothing


I second Sierra, although I prefer to shop in store and try things on. A shirt, pants, and rainjacket will run about $90-100. If you shop the clearance rack, there may be money left over for a second top for layering or a pair of merino socks. BUT before I did any shopping, I'd be checking my closet. A lot of gym clothes/technical fabrics that you may already have can be great choices for hiking.


Agreed. No need to buy a new REI brand hiking outfit when the Adidas brand outfit you already own for whatever other sport is functionally similar.


My best hiking socks were purchased at Costco at least 5 years ago. They are holding up great and I hike hundreds of miles annually. My favorite hiking shorts were purchased for $4 at a thrift store. Wicking t-shirt cost $3 at the thrift store. I think my underwear was purchased at Marshall's. The only item that I spend more than $100 on are a good pair of boots, but years ago I found some Vasque Breeze boots for $79. You don't have to pay REI prices to enjoy hiking.


Decathlon seems to have pretty decent gear that is reasonable in price. And I buy a lot of stuff opportunistically from consignment shops. Watch the zippers on used gear.


Depends. Honestly? I've just used normal workout clothes. I'll have a light coat on me but otherwise, nothing I wear is "hiking" clothing. I wear trailrunners and I've gotten wool socks (honestly, they don't make a huge difference for the casual hiker.) I have a pair of winter pants I got for 60 that are off brand but freakin' great and a down winter coat. The coat is my normal coat (I live in a place with cold/ snowy winters so both these have other uses.) I'm not a backpack camper, though. I'm a campground camper who does a lot of day hikes. I'm lucky enough that I can be at the mouth of a canyon in like 20 or so minutes so I don't need to plan big trips. If this were me, I'd rather spend the money on hiking poles, a comfy pack, a water bladder, and decent shoes.


Not promoting Amazon (I usually shop at the thrift store, especially for activewear), but as examples: -wool socks for $14 https://www.amazon.com/Buttons-Pleats-Merino-Thermal-Charcoal/dp/B0899SHFBG/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?keywords=wool+socks&qid=1695155671&sr=8-8 -short sleeve active shirt for $12 https://www.amazon.com/C9-Champion-Womens-Purple-Heather/dp/B07TYZZR2G/ref=mp_s_a_1_11?crid=3R09SOHRLPNDX&keywords=hiking+shirts+women&qid=1695155827&sprefix=hiking+shi%2Caps%2C223&sr=8-11 -long sleeve active shirt for $18 https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Essentials-Brushed-Stretch-Long-Sleeve/dp/B07FFM26XS/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?crid=213WJ7REHGXU6&keywords=hiking+shirts+women+long+sleeve&qid=1695155909&sprefix=hiking+shirts+women+long+sleev%2Caps%2C1249&sr=8-6 -mid layer jacket for $20 https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Essentials-Classic-Long-Sleeve-Full-Zip/dp/B0972VGXT1/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_ffob_sspa?crid=4VW6IBY9HOJV&keywords=womens+fleece+jacket&qid=1695156158&sprefix=womens+fleece+jacke%2Caps%2C434&sr=8-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9waG9uZV9zZWFyY2hfYXRm&psc=1 -hiking pants for $30 https://www.amazon.com/Singbring-Athletic-Joggers-Lightweight-AGreen88-M/dp/B09YRJ4KQF/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?crid=20F97NP5YC3XR&keywords=womens+hiking+pants&qid=1695156249&sprefix=womens+hiking+pant%2Caps%2C193&sr=8-4


I’ve gotten almost everything thrifting. This is the WAY.


check Facebook marketplace for people selling gear they don't use anymore


100 USD is a very tight budget, so you will have to make some compromises. If you plan to walk a lot I would start with proper underwear, socks and boots. The first layer, closest to your skin makes the biggest difference in terms of comfort, helps avoid moisture and prevent skin irritation and getting cold.


If you're going out in 3 seasons you're going to bed warm gear for nights, like proper layers. You can probably pull something together for $100 but it's not going to be light, breathable, technical, wicking, etc. Even used, good technical clothes are often more than $50.


Jokes on you I'm already wearing an outfit that cost under a hundred bucks for hiking / backpacking.


Fb marketplace, thrift stores, etc


Most fair-sized cities and popular recreational areas have outdoor consignment stores. I've sold a bunch of gear at one in the past year and used the proceeds to buy consumables like fuel, as well as several shirts I like.


I’ve gotten great gear from the REI garage or used gear stores if you have that option. You can get a full outfit for $50 that’s quality, tho worn, gear.


Go to sporting goods thrift stores and look around until I found stuff that was decent


$100: a pair of Danner RAT boots on sale at an army navy surplus store, a pair of wool socks, and a big can of bug spray.


I’ve gotten quality backpacking clothing from eBay at big discount. Definitely worth looking at as many of the larger accounts on there have free returns.


I wear my everyday clothes. But those are pretty hefty duty to begin with. However, if I'm spending money on hiking specific clothes it is a pair of hiking boots. Maybe a pair of hiking pants if I feel like spoiling myself for an upcoming hike.


Maybe I just lucked out, but I picked up some really nice marmot hiking pants for $18 at Costco. One place I wouldn't cut corners is socks: Maybe try to find Smartwool or Darn Tough on sale. Any wicking, non-cotton shirt will do, probably less than $10. I'd use the same underwear to save money. Probably find warm fleece under $20. You'll have to skimp on rain protection, maybe a poncho or something, but I think you could totally do it all under $100.


My favourite hiking pants are British Army CS95 trousers. Can be had in a windproof version. Very comfortable and can be found for like 20 bucks.


Try thrift or military surplus stores. Avoid cotton except in really hot weather, layers is the way to go, something wind and waterproof for the outer.


Sierra clearance is a good place to look in store. Sometimes that stuff also makes it's way to Marshalls. Picked up some smartwool hiking socks for $6 on clearance and a pair of Eddie Bauer light hiking pants for $25. Columbia has outlets. I think they are mostly last season/leftovers and the prices can get quite good in shoulder seasons. Can pick up raincoats and winter coats for a steal sometimes. Same for Eddie Bauer's outlet. You can also set alerts on Amazon and the 'off' colors for jackets, over shirts, etc will go on same at wierd times. Also Moab 3s are on sale right now for a really good price.


Couple of cheaper options. For a budget grid half zip fleece, I found the Condor Base II fleece good quality for the price. Similar to most any 200 gram weight powegrid like fabric. A Dooy Sun Jacket/Wind Shirt has been described to me as a budget Patagonia Houdini Jacket. That plus a dollar store disposable poncho isnt a bad combo. As some other people have mentioned pretty much any synthetic athletic clothing can work if you need a Tshirt and shorts. You don’t need anything special made. Even just a lightweight synthetic base layer shirt can work great for hike. I’ve hiked in Uniqlo Heatech long sleeve tops under a shell or fleece often enough.


Sierra trading post has fantastic deals! Also Poshmark is great for buying really nice second hand items


For rain gear- I'm on the side of with the budget above, better safe than sorry. Be extremely careful if brush comes stomach height or so. Constant rubbing even the best rain jacket against brush for hours will wear off the water resistant coating, which can leave you cold and wet/at risk for hypothermia. Pair a light rain jacket with an umbrella. Pants, shirts, underwear, socks: you can probably find synthetic, non-cotton. Wool also comes in different thickness/not scratchy varieties. Call up friends and family. Free it's for me! Midlayer and outer Boots/Trailrunners: consider buying these and putting considerable thought into comfort/fit/toebox. Break em in. Tldr- Sometimes, a rain jacket will double as a layer. Pair it with a 12 dollar umbrella! Buy boots or trailrunners and take care with fit. Everything else call up some friends and family.




Thrift stores, outdoor consignment, or military surplus. I'm not above asking a gas station attendant for a garbage bag and cutting some holes into it for a one-shot poncho if I'm on the bike and it starts coming down. Honestly, the most difficult thing to find on a budget is decent footwear.


I miss those Kirkland merino wool socks. I think a 4-pack was $16 or $20? That’d certainly help if you can find some old stock out there. I’ve become so reliant on merino, I don’t think I could do under $100, even with second-hand. You’d have to go synthetic-blend for all that stuff, then a cheap (used Columbia?) fleece, and maybe convertible pants? If it’s rainy or windy, maybe a cheap rain jacket from target or something used off eBay. Tough, but doable if you have time to compare prices and don’t need the fanciest stuff.


A lot of my outdoor gear has come from TJ MAXX/Marshall’s. I no longer shop there but I always had good luck with sierra trading post which is also the same company. I will also agree with what others have said with wholesale clubs. Most of my everyday wardrobe (and backpacking clothes) come from Sam’s Club or BJs.


probably some thrifted cargos or levi jeans, their light weight but will still be alright when it gets cold,, definitely a beanie or some kind, bigger tees and maybe a light turtle neck too for layering


$20 darn tough socks or comparable $60 used hiking shoes of a good quality $20 cheap poncho + everything else from Walmart. Take care of your feet.


Consignment stores all the way. You can get most of those items under $5 per item if it’s local. It won’t be new but it’s going in the backcountry to be abused anyway. If you don’t find what you’re looking for locally then eBay for 5-10 year old gear and negotiate.


Splurge on socks


In UK. I would buy everything from decathlon, I got my favourite lightweight rucksack there for 50p a few years ago Amazing quality and so cheap


It weights a lot on your weather tolerant. Purchase those cheap wise weight on this factor. Suffering during the inclement weather is not worth it.


This is geared towards ultralight but deputysean has a good amount of info for those unwilling or unable to cough up top dollar prices. In the UK I will hit u Mountain Warehouse in their many sales and Decathlon for bits they don't carry. Look for top $ items on sale from a few seasons ago, they get much cheaper as each new colour palette comes out. EDIT: Forgot the link https://lighterpack.com/r/89huvt [UL sub](https://www.reddit.com/r/Ultralight/comments/u1zbve/deputyseans_ultracheap_introduction_to_ultralight/)


Used gear. My GF just picked up an $80 sunshirt for $4 at a goodwill. There are used gear shops in a lot of towns too. I have also heard that ski town goodwills are jam packed with awesome gear.


Sierra Trading Post - the T.J.Maxx of outdoorsy stuff


Arc thrift store on Saturdays have multiple discount tags


Dude ive scored so hard at goodwills and other thrift shops. Found rei wool long sleeve, rei puff vest, hiking pants, etc The only cotton thing i wear on long treks is a plain old cotton tshirt. Its more comfortable to me. Plus i dont sweat a lot so im never soaked. I have a rain jacket if i need to not get wet.


Yes men wear different underwear for hiking. Cotton stays dank forever.