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

Columbia Sportswear Jacket SALE at the Columbia location!! fb.me/8y3o9kaGb
Drop by this week to take advantage of this great special! Columbia location only. fb.me/3A7bGqzOD
Come experience merino wool base layers from Smartwool. #baaaaa #comegetyousome fb.me/9Ax0zdfeE
The Backpacker is hiring in Mt Pleasant! Join our fun team and gain the expert gear knowledge that we're known... fb.me/898VcJqoS

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

Sundays beginning 11/26 from 1pm to 5pm through Christmas

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