questionswhat is your favorite store for camping gear?

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1. Campmor
2. Sierra Trading Post
3. Wal Mart.

Campmor has great prices and good customer service. I feel like REI is a bit elitist, but they do cater to the more hardcore outdoors types, so if you fall under that designation, it's perfectly fine.
Sierra has great prices, but selection is spotty.
Wal Mart is used for last minute grabs while on the way to the site (e.g. Tent heaters when the weather turned)

j5 j5
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@j5: The reason I like REI, is that I can go into the store and the staff will spend the time to get you into the correct equipment. You're paying for their expertise. Plus you get back 10% at the end of the year.

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Moosejaw.com

It's entertaining and they price match.

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@mrmucox: Right. I agree with this.
I just cram all my stuff in the pickup and head to the KOA or SAM's, I'm not one to take the family on a primitive trip, so not as heavy a reliance on the gear. That said, my tent and sleeping bags are not the typical "Coleman" fare, but somewhere above that.

j5 j5
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I do research from all the regular suspects to find the right items needed. Then I shop at said usual suspects to get a good price for the item. Typically it was never REI except for the member only sidewalk sales. Recently, though, REI has been just as competitive as others. It's worth a couple extra dollars for their amazing return policy. And, the cash back, naturally.

But most of my stuff has actually come from Sierra Trading Post, http://www.geartrade.com/ or Cabellas.

I do both Car camping and backwoods Backpacking.

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@j5: +1 and to add to your list, Cabelas. Mail order or I have several in my state.

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I enjoy Cabelas, Bass Pro and Gander Mountain. But if I have the time, I usually shop around online, you can almost always find a better product for cheaper than you could in a store.

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Camping World and Academy are two more good ones.

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I end up getting most of my gear online, usually at Campmor but I did find some great towels at Coleman.com in their clearance area recently.
REI is an hour drive from me, so I don't go there very often. But they do have an excellent staff and for big purchases I usually make the drive so I can get their help with the research.
We have a store called Backwoods here, it's a regional chain. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, but their prices are crazy high. I've only bought a few small things on sale/clearance there.