Camping Done Right: 5 Essential Outdoor Stores in Indiana

By Gabby Davis

Camping Done Right: 5 Essential Outdoor Stores in Indiana

If you are planning a camping trip soon, it’s best to stock up on all the imperative tools and supplies you might need while you’re out in nature. The local shops and high-quality, big-brand stores of Indiana offer everything you could ever want or need. Here are five essential outdoor stores in the state. 

1. JL Waters & Co., Bloomington, IN

JL Waters & Company is Indiana’s oldest, and most extensive, outdoor store. Serving adventurers, thrill seekers, and campers alike since 1973, JL Waters & Company is the place to go for all your outdoor camping needs. Whether you need a backpack, sleeping bag, tent, or everything in between, JL Waters has it all! They carry everything from brands such as Gore-Tex, Marmot, Nikwax and Snow Peak. If you’re new to camping, JL Waters has trained and experienced employees that will teach you how to use your camping gear, and which gear is most appropriate depending on your trip. 

2. REI, Indianapolis, IN

Another great store in Indiana for all your outdoor essentials is Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) in Indianapolis. REI believes that a life outdoors is a life well-lived. Not only do they provide campers with the best of the best with products such as YETI coolers, REI Co-op tents, and medical kits, they also donate 70 percent of their profits to REI members, non-profit partners, and their staff. They donate millions of dollars each year to support conservation efforts and send some of their own to help build trails, clean up beaches, and restore local habitats that have been damaged. REI has also earned a place on Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” every year since 1998.

3. Rusted Moon Outfitters, Indianapolis, IN

Rusted Moon Outfitters in Indianapolis, Indiana, started with just a few ideas: The right brands, the right gear, fair pricing, and amazing customer service. When you come to Rusted Moon, you’ll find a friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff ready and waiting to help you with all your camping needs. It’s that hometown camping store every city should have. With over 75 brands to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Rusted Moon carries brands such as PackTowel, North Face, MSR, and Patagonia. For all things camping though, be sure to talk to Brad and Jake! And before you leave, make sure to say hello to the store mascots, Townes and Charlie. And be sure to bring your four-legged friends, as dogs are welcome here!

4. Academy Sports + Outdoors, Terre Haute, IN

Academy Sports + Outdoors got its start in 1938 when Max Gochman opened his first store in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, the store has grown to over 230 throughout the Midwest and the southern part of the U.S. It’s the one stop shop for all your camping needs, with brands such as Magellan, Mr. Heater, Nalgene, and so much more. They also carry a small assortment of snacks and protein, such as Lenny and Larry’s cookies, and ThinkThin Superfruit bars. 

5. Cabela’s, Noblesville, IN

Cabela’s got its start in 1961, when Dick Cabela came up with a plan to sell fishing flies he purchased in Chicago. Cabela’s started out in direct-mail fashion, and in 1969, Cabela’s was operating out of a 50,000-square-foot facility in Nebraska. Today, Cabela’s ships to all 50 states and 125 countries outside the U.S. Cabela’s in Noblesville offers high-quality outdoor clothing and other supplies for all your camping needs. From Jetboil camping stoves to Columbia Whirlibird jackets to keep out the cold, Cabela’s has it all. Cabela’s embraces the philosophy of putting their customers first, and strive to create that perfect experience to keep customers coming back year after year. 

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