You beat me to it with the Walmart comment. Good advice in the article in general but I really hate broad sweeping statements like that. I absolutely agree with the general idea, but if you know what you're looking for there are some backpacking gear things you can get at Walmart or similar stores. Some clothing items for example. Blue foam pad is pretty much a blue foam pad. I bought a water filter in Florida this January while backpacking --- at Walmart.

Most of their "camping supplies" have no business on any backpacking trip I would ever take but that doesn't mean I can't buy a catfood can from them, turn it into a stove with a hole punch I buy from them, and fuel it with denatured alcohol I buy from them. Etc etc.
Brian Lewis