About Us

Started in 1973 by Malcolm and Lewis Jones, The Backpacker Quality Gear, Inc. became the first outfitter in South Carolina to bring high quality outdoor gear to South Carolina hiking, climbing and outdoor enthusiasts. Based in Columbia, the Backpacker attracted an active, experienced staff bent on providing the best service and experience for customers.

Today, the Backpacker remains a paragon in the the industry by continuing to provide both high quality gear and the personal service you'd expect from South Carolina's first and best outfitter. Still owned and operated by Malcolm and Lewis, The Backpacker has grown into a family business and continues to employ experienced outdoor enthusiasts ready to help you have your best outdoor and travel adventure ever!

Over 40 Years of Adventure

At the Backpacker, we've spent the past 40 years hiking, climbing, skiing, paddling and enjoying the great outdoors. And through it all, we've tested the latest gear, provided the best advice, and helped people everyday seek out and enjoy their own adventures. This year, we're celebrating our 40th anniversary. We're going strong, and we're here to help you with your next adventure. Got an old school pic you want to send us? Email us.

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Praise for the Backpacker

Good Morning! My name is Anne Joseph, I am sending this email to praise the assistance that I received from the staff at both the Mt Pleasant store and Columbia store. My 16 yo son will be taking a hiking trip to Scotland at the end of this week. In the process of acquiring the list of supplies we were in Mt. Pleasant at the time and went to your store. The young man Justin that helped us that day was AWESOME!!! Justin not only took the time to listen to us and my son but he was knowledgeable of all the equipment and instructed my son as to how to use everything………..he spent 31/2 hours with us. I wish to send praise of him your way and acknowledge his kindness to your customers. Our positive experience continued as we returned home to Camden and had to engage your Columbia staff. In the Columbia store a young man Adam assisted me. Again Adam had great knowledge of the products along with many helpful tips to assist my son in his travels, due to his experience of backpacking to Scotland at around the same age as my son. My son went alone to your store to meet Adam and grab a few extra things he needed and once again was completely engaged by Adam. As a customer who has invest a good bit of time, money, and energy in preparing my son for his travels I wish to express my gratitude toward these two young men and your store in general……….It was a positive and pleasurable experience!!! Thank you. ~ Anne Joseph, Camden, SC

Twitter stream

BLACK FRIDAY SALE ALL WEEK LONG!! did you miss the Vista Lights sale? No worries-we are running 15% off all... fb.me/1p9xlvNYT
Important Foothills Trail update!! fb.me/ALJDm12o
Thank you Columbia for 44 great years!! Come celebrate with us at VISTA LIGHTS!! fb.me/94pIzWyxa
Happy first day of Buy Local Month in the Lowcountry! We're proud to call ourselves South Carolina's oldest... fb.me/Koh6HvwW

Columbia, SC

1215 Wayne Street
Columbia, SC 29201
803.799.7571 | p
email Columbia location

Mon - Fri: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sat: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Our Story

Started in 1973 by Malcolm and Lewis Jones, The Backpacker Quality Gear, Inc. became the first outfitter in South Carolina to bring high quality outdoor gear to South Carolina... continue reading