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Where to buy decent and cheap camping gear?

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Where to buy decent and cheap camping gear?

Old 10-15-16, 10:15 AM
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mymorningjacket
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Where to buy decent and cheap camping gear?

Planning a cross Canada trip next year and I'll be needing some camping gear.
Was thinking: tent, sleeping bad & pad, portable stove.
So would I be better of buying these things online or should I go in to a store near me?
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Old 10-15-16, 11:51 AM
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Anything can be purchased online these days, but for middle of the road price/weight camping gear, I like brick and mortar (eg REI) for the ability to see, touch, compare, test, and return.

High-end and ultra-light stuff tends to lean heavily toward online cottage industry though, just do good research.
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Old 10-15-16, 12:11 PM
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mec is probably as good a place as any. If you aren't satisfied you can return it. Do your research first,
and take the sales person's advice with a grain of salt. Some of them are very good and knowledgable, others not so much.
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Old 10-15-16, 12:36 PM
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If you are not an experienced camper, the help of a good sales person at a camping store can be quite good to help find the best stuff for your trip. But, it is hard to judge who is really a good sales person, so that can be a tough call. And if you go to the local store for help, try to go there when they are not too busy since you want help from an experienced sales person, such as mid afternoon on a week day. This will cost more than on line but if you get better stuff for your purpose, it may be worth it. And anything they recommend, ask if they use it themselves. If they say no, ask why it is right for you. The point here is to make it clear you are looking for the right stuff for your trip, not just looking to walk out the door with each box checked off of your shopping list.
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Old 10-15-16, 02:29 PM
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Old 10-15-16, 02:29 PM
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Take your time for your research. Don't go out and buy a bunch of stuff because you think you need it right now. Check out the backpacking forums. Think about how much you're gonna use it and what's your budget. There's more to the quality of camping gear than just wt. Decent and cheap are often mutually exclusive. Renting might be an option.
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Old 10-15-16, 03:04 PM
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MEC. If you are in Canada. Check prices against what Amazon.ca has, which isn't much but sometimes works out better. Stay away from extremes, like tents so light you have to roll over wet grass to get into them. Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, will have alternative stores, sometimes accross the road from MEC. Recently hunting stores have started popping up, like Sail, Cabellas, Bass Pro, they are not really the best idea but can have some good deals.
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Old 10-15-16, 03:04 PM
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You can make a lot of gear. Check out Rayjardine.com.
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Old 10-15-16, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mymorningjacket View Post
Planning a cross Canada trip next year and I'll be needing some camping gear.
Was thinking: tent, sleeping bad & pad, portable stove.
So would I be better of buying these things online or should I go in to a store near me?
Not much info in your post. What time of the year, your planned route, elevations etcetera are things you need to consider as well as your planned distances per day. Be very careful not to overestimate the distance you can ride on a day to day basis. Also don't underestimate the amount of water and/or food you'll need.

MEC can be good for some stuff. SAIL is another store that's good but I don't know if there is one near you. I like to look at sleeping bags or tents I consider for touring. That's so I know what there packed sizes are and how bulky and heavy they feel. I can also check the quality in person. I bought a very nice tent (for my needs/purposes) at a Canadian Tire store a few years ago.

Good luck and cheers
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Old 10-15-16, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mymorningjacket View Post
Planning a cross Canada trip next year and I'll be needing some camping gear.
Was thinking: tent, sleeping bad & pad, portable stove.
So would I be better of buying these things online or should I go in to a store near me?

Do you go camping much? If not I'd look into borrowing someone else's gear for a few trips just to get an idea of what you're actually going to want and what your 'style' is going to be. You'll get people who won't shut up about ultralight rigs, but at the same time, those are rarely very comfortable compared to other ways of doing things depending on what your end goal is. Most people compromise based on personal preferences.

Last edited by manapua_man; 10-15-16 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 10-15-16, 06:38 PM
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You have a good deal of time before your trip. Take a look at REI if you can get to one, decide on some options that will work for you, then keep an eye out for sales, and regularly watch craigslist and ebay. In this way you can acquire quality gear for the best price possible.
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Old 10-15-16, 07:34 PM
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Learn about the cottage industries.
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Old 10-15-16, 08:55 PM
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army and navy downtown ($) and three vets on yukon st ($$$) I both prefer to MEC.
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Old 10-15-16, 09:02 PM
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MEC
Local army surplus store
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