The Backpacker Quality Gear, Inc. started in 1973 as South Carolina's first outfitter. Supporting 3 generations, The Backpacker has grown into a family business that provides the best hiking, backpacking and outdoor gear in the industry. We're more than just an outfitter, though. At The Backpacker, we're runners, paddlers, hikers, climbers, trekkers and, above all else, we're gear heads. We don't just stock outdoor equipment from your favorite brands, we actively test it.
Whether is gear from The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot, Chaco, Keen, Osprey, Gregory, Vasque, Merrell, Vibram, Big Agnes, Kelty, MSR, Columbia Sportswear, Royal Robbins, Mountain Hardwear or Salomon, we wear it, we stress test it, and when it's good, we recommend it. And we back it all with our Rock Solid Customer Service.
I got involved with the Ultimate Hike in 2013 after receiving an e-mail from The Backpacker. I was intrigued by the challenge of completing the 28.3 mile hike in one day on the Appalachian Foothills Trail. I was also curious about fundraising. It wasn’t hard to make the commitment. The issue of children’s cancer was very personal to me, as one of my former students, Catherine Sherpy, had lost her courageous fight with leukemia on June 17, 2013. Meeting and training with the Columbia team is something I will always cherish. By the end of my first hike weekend, there was a sense of true accomplishment. I completed the hike and far exceeded my fundraising goal.