Camping Done Right: 7 Essential Outdoor Stores in Tennessee

By Alli Hill

Camping Done Right: 7 Essential Outdoor Stores in Tennessee

Tennessee offers some of the best camping opportunities in the country, given its abundance of state parks, lakes, and mountain vistas. However, both beginner and veteran campers alike realize that it’s hard to have a successful camping trip without the bare necessities. Luckily, there are plenty of outdoor stores in the know about camping in Tennessee that can help you choose the right gear for a memorable experience. Stock up on everything you need—and maybe a few things you didn’t realize you needed—at these seven outdoor stores in Tennessee. 

1. Nantahala Outdoor Center, Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg is a gateway to the Smoky Mountains, so it’s only fitting they have an epic camping store to supply its thousands of campers. Step inside the lodge-style outpost and you’ll find an array of tents, backpacks, apparel, and other camping gear to complete your experience. Even if you’re not camping anytime soon, the store itself warrants a visit. Kids can enjoy the swinging rope bridge, bear cave, and massive fireplace while waiting for parents to shop. Some of their brands include Osprey, ChacoBlack Diamond, and Camelbak, among others.

2. Cumberland Transit, Nashville, TN

Get all your basic camping essentials in a single stop. Cumberland Transit features some of the best brands your campsite will ever see, including ENO, Yeti, and Marmot. They’ve been in business for nearly half a century, and know the area well enough to offer real expertise and knowledge on how to get the most from your purchase.

3. Four Bridges Outfitters, Chattanooga, TN

Camping doesn’t come cheap, especially if you’re starting to amass your armory of sleeping gear, cookware, and other essentials. Four Bridge Outfitters seeks to change the way people camp by offering gently-used outdoor gear for far lower than retail prices. Think of it as a consignment store for camping stuff—they get new items in every week from their consignors so there’s always something fresh to find on their shelves. They also stock a wide array of brand new gear, too.

4. Outdoors Inc., Memphis, TN

Dedicated to all things outdoors, this store features some of the best in gear and apparel for all types of nature-based adventures. Locals love them because they can always find just what they need for a perfect weekend in the woods, everything from basic tents or hammocks to cookware, pocket showers, and waterproof bags. Some of their bestselling brands include Big Agnes, the North Face, and JetBoil, to name a few.

5. The Gear Closet, Chattanooga, TN

You’ll score major finds at well below big-box prices at Gear Closet. This camping consignment store always has something new to delight campers. They also accept donated items, which mean even bigger savings for you. For those just getting into camping, stopping here first is a good way to get started without investing a lot (especially if you don’t plan to camp often!). Their inventory changes regularly, but brands like the North Face and ENO have been known to make appearances. 

6. Coleman Outlet, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, TN

No one knows campers like Coleman, the brand completely dedicated to helping campers have the best possible outdoor experience. The outlet store is brimming with Coleman-branded gear and products for campers of all ages and interest levels. You can score quality tents, lighting, electronics, cookware, and entertainment in a single shopping trip. Plus, Coleman is your headquarters for replacement parts for lighting, tents, air pumps, heaters, and other items.

7. LifeView Outdoors, Nashville, TN

Take an REI store, downsize it a bit, and you’re left with LifeView Outdoors. Like most good campsites, this store is a bit off the beaten path but it’s well worth the trip. They’ve got one of the best camping selections in the state, hands down. You’ll find all your favorite camping brands, like Black Diamond, Marmot, and Big Agnes, in addition to highly knowledgeable staff who can help you make all your shiny new toys work the way they’re supposed to.

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