For Minnesotans who prefer the great outdoors of our lovely region, social distancing isn’t so bad. While humans are indeed social beings, it’s always refreshing to go camping and take in a bit of solitude among the gorgeous bounty of the Minnesota landscape. But if you’re going to go camping, you have to invest in the proper outdoor gear. A rickety tent and ragged backpack may have been enough for settlers, but sometimes you need something more heavy-duty to keep up with Mother Nature’s unpredictable behavior. Here are some places online to order just what you need to get out and enjoy camping this summer.
As the store name implies, Campmor offers everything you need to camp more. Just about anything you’d need for a summer trip is on their online shop, including sleeping bags and cooking essentials for making meals in the great outdoors. Their website is also easy enough to navigate by separating their lines of camping gear products into everything from tailoring to the cyclist, to appealing to kids, to attire that seems best suited for strolling around the country. With a strong track record for their customer service, they additionally offer free shipping on orders over $50 and a 90-day return policy.
Based out of Park City, Backcountry is considered a giant amid the competition of outdoor gear shops. Distributing from Utah and Virginia, they offer just about everything from top brands with most items being on sale. Given that the majority of their business is online, they take value in the online customer experience by offering a lifetime return policy on unused items. So if you forget about that jacket you bought last winter and have no need for it next, you can return it for a full refund. Used items can be returned within 30 days for store credit. Best of all, orders over $50 get free two-day shipping so it’s a great shop for gear you need on the fly, just in case you feel like going camping THIS weekend.
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As one of the more notable brick-and-mortar stores for outdoor camping gear and equipment, REI Co-op also has a presence online. They essentially offer just about everything, from the apparel of hiking shoes to the smallest of fitness trackers to the most robust of mountain bikes (and, yes, they do ship bikes). The store has a gracious enough return policy of a full year and offers free shipping on orders over $50. Their business is fairly heavy, however, so if you’re seeking name brand items you may want to order soon less they run out of stock.
Though EVO offers quite a bit of outdoor attire and hardware, they mainly specialize in winter sports, water sports, and mountain biking, all outdoor activities that are prime for Minnesota exploration. Based out of Seattle, the online vendor features an easy-to-use interface for finding exactly what you need for exactly the right outdoor fun. The sizing and buying guide is quite detailed and they carry quite the top-quality products for the two areas they specialize in. The only downside is that while they do offer other materials for hiking and camping, they’re fairly limited compared to the competition. But if you just need one item in particular and want a bit more insight into your purchase, be it a surfboard for the lake or a bike for the mountains, EVO is a solid choice to shop given its stellar website.
Could there be a more upper-midwestern company name than Moosejaw? Despite their website being a bit old-fashioned, their stock hasn’t faltered, keeping them on top as one of the best shops to buy camping gear and products. Their selection of everything from biking to climbing to hiking to guiding is surprisingly large not just in selection, but sizes and colors as well. Orders over $50 ship in two days and all items carry a lifetime refund policy for being in sellable condition. Moosejaw is also well aware of the competition by not only offering a rewards program, but also matching prices for their merchandise at other outdoor stores.
If you’re on a bit of a budget, Campsaver is one of the best discount stores to get camping gear and equipment. Not only do they carry a number of top brands such as Salomon, but smaller names as well with the likes of Rab and Hilleberg. They offer numerous items for just about every kind of outdoor sport, but mostly specialize in camping. And considering they offer free shipping on $50+ orders and a 60-day refund on unused items, they’re a great choice for camping when you don’t want your income to get your way of getting outdoors.