Camping Done Right: 7 Best Outdoor Stores in Illinois

By April Dowling

Camping Done Right: 7 Best Outdoor Stores in Illinois

Choosing the right camping gear is an essential part of planning any camping trip. Whether you’re just going down to the creek for a night under the stars or planning an extended hike through Shawnee National Forest, the proper camping gear is a necessity. Embarking on a camping trip unprepared is both foolish and dangerous. For high-quality gear and expert advice from a knowledgeable staff, check out these seven great camping stores in Illinois. 

1. Uncle Dan's Outdoor Store, Multiple locations

If you’re looking for high-quality camping gear, head to Uncle Dan’s with locations in Chicago, Evanston, and Highland Park. This store offers everything you need for camping including backpacks, tents, sleeping gear, cooking supplies, lighting, camping furniture, tools, and more. Customers appreciate the great selection of gear and helpful customer service. 

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2. WildCountry, Bloomington and Normal, IL

WildCountry is a family-owned business that only carries the best brands in outdoor and camping gear. Their staff is trained in the gear sold in their stores, so you’ll get the best information about the camping products you’re looking for. And if they don’t have the products you need in-stock, they’ll try their best to get it for you. 

3. Champaign Surplus, Champaign, IL

Since 1947, Champaign Surplus has been providing the outdoorsperson with high-quality gear at affordable prices. This store carries everything from tents, sleeping bags, and cookware, to lanterns, trekking poles, and knives and tools. Find all of your favorite brands like Mountain Hardwear, Osprey, and KEEN.  

4. Erehwon Mountain Outfitter, Multiple locations

For the newest, most innovative camping gear, head to Erehwon Mountain Outfitter. They specialize in outdoor apparel and bags, but also offer camping essentials like lanterns and sleeping pads. Here you’ll find the best brands in outdoor apparel such as Chaco, Columbia, and Eagle Creek, and excellent customer service. 

5. Shawnee Trails Wilderness Outfitters, Carbondale, IL

Since 1979, Shawnee Trails Wilderness Outfitters has been providing the community with high-quality camping and outdoor gear at competitive prices. This locally-owned shop is the place to visit if you’re planning on camping in the Shawnee National Forest. They carry hiking and climbing shoes, tents, packs, outerwear, canoes, kayaks, and much more. 

6. Camping Comfortably, Gardner, IL

This store sets out to do exactly what its name implies: Camping Comfortably. The supplies provided by Camping Comfortably are seemingly endless: camping chairs, coolers, tents, bedding, lanterns, stoves, grills, fire pits, heaters, tools, and knives, the list goes on. Find brands such as Coleman, ALPS Mountaineering, Blackpine Sports, and more. 

7. Dunn's Sporting Goods, Marion, IL

For knowledgeable and courteous staff, look no further than Dunn’s Sporting Goods in Marion. This family-owned and operated sporting goods is the place to go if you’re planning on doing any fishing, hunting, or archery on your camping trip. They also offer camping apparel, bags, footwear, firearms, and ammunition. 

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