Buying outdoor gear in person, in a brick-and-mortar store, is a less frequent occurrence than it was 10 years ago. Sites like Backcountry, Moosejaw and Sierra Trading Post put every piece of gear that you could ever want right at your fingertips. No longer are you limited to the brands that your local shop carries, or what it happens to have in stock. But those who advocate for this type of shopping experience (yes, oftentimes you can save money, and that’s cool) are missing the point. 90 percent of the outdoor-gear-shop experience is person-to-person interaction. The folks at your local gear haven have unique local knowledge that gear sites don’t. Looking to take on an overnight hike close to your house? No problem. Not only do they have the gear you need, they can help to recommend a route as well. If you’re looking to stock up your outdoor kit with a side of local knowledge, try one of these stellar outdoor stores across the country.

Additional contribution by Bryan Campbell and Michael Finn.

The Shops

SUMMIT HUT – Tucson, AZ
OZARK OUTDOOR SUPPLY – Little Rock, AR
ADVENTURE 16 – San Diego, CA
ALPENGLOW SPORTS – Tahoe City, CA
HAUTE ROUTE GEAR & APPAREL – Avon, CO
NEPTUNE MOUNTAINEERING – Boulder, CO
TRACK SHACK – Orlando, FL
THE ELEPHANT’S PERCH – Ketchum, ID
KITTERY TRADING POST – Kittery, ME
SWITCHBACK GEAR EXCHANGE – Grand Rapids, MI
SPORTSMAN & SKI HAUS – Kalispell, MT
INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT – Conway, NH
TAOS MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS – Taos, NM
ROCK AND SNOW – New Paltz, NY
PARAGON SPORTS – New York, NY
NEXT ADVENTURE – Portland, OR
REDPOINT CLIMBER’S SUPPLY – Terrebonne, OR
HALF MOON OUTFITTERS – Charleston, SC
ROCK/CREEK – Chattanooga, TN
BACKWOODS – Austin, TX
PAGAN MOUNTAINEERING – Moab, UT
OUTDOOR GEAR EXHANGE – Burlington, VT
THE MOUNTAIN GOAT – Manchester Center, VT
SECOND ASCENT – Seattle, WA
TETON MOUNTAINEERING – Jackson, WY


Summit Hut

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Tucson, AZ: 43 years ago, Summit Hut started out as two 15-year-old boys slinging backpacks and hiking gear out of their bedrooms. Today, it has become a local favorite outdoor gear retailer serving the greater Tucson area, and it recently received a “Retailer of the Year” award.

5251 E Speedway Blvd | (520) 325-1554 | summithut.com

Ozark Outdoor Supply

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Little Rock, AR: A humble little outdoor shop operating out of what appears to be a house, Ozark Outdoor Supply feels like more than just another outdoor shop — it’s an unpretentious gathering place for like-minded outdoorsy folk.

5514 Kavanaugh Blvd | (501) 664-4832 | ozarkoutdoor.com

Adventure 16

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San Diego, CA: Adventure 16’s knowledge of outdoor gear goes alot deeper than just being able to sell it well: They claim that 50 years ago they invented a major feature of all modern hiking packs, the weight-to-hip transfer belt. Today, they have five locations scattered throughout California, and are still passionate about cutting-edge gear.

4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd | (619) 283-2374 | adventure16.com

Alpenglow Sports

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Tahoe City, CA: Lake Tahoe has a tendency to instill in people a proud and passionate love for the outdoors, but the folks at Alpenglow might love Lake Tahoe more than anyone else. They serve the people of the Tahoe region, acting as a hub for outdoor enthusiasts and slinging some of the highest-quality gear in the region.

415 N Lake Blvd | (530) 583-6917 | alpenglowsports.com

Haute Route Gear & Apparel

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Avon, CO: Nestled between Vail and Beaver Creek in Avon, Colorado, Haute Route is laser focused on carrying the best alpine gear available. La Sportiva, Scott, Fischer, Hagan, G3, Plum, Voile, Camp, Leki, Suunto, Pieps, Osprey, Altra, Lowa, Dynafit, Saucony, Rab and Outdoor Research are just a few brands you can always expect to see on their shelves.

82 E Beaver Creek Blvd | (970) 949-1282 | hauterouteskiandrun.com

Neptune Mountaineering

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Boulder, CO: Boulder, Colorado is known as an outdoor adventure town, and it’s specifically known for its rock climbing. From the Flatirons to Boulder Canyon, easily accessible climbing makes Boulder an outdoor destination for dirtbag climbers everywhere. Neptune Mountaineering is located minutes from the Flatirons and offers everything from cams and ropes, to shoes, harnesses and bouldering pads.

633 S Broadway | (303) 499-8866 | neptunemountaineering.com
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Pack a snack, a water bottle and hit the trail. Read the Story

Track Shack

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Orlando, FL: Track Shack may not have the mountains and canyons of some of the other outdoor shops on this list, but the sheer number of races, 5K’s and marathons they host is incredible.

1104 N Mills Ave | (407) 898-1313 | trackshack.com

The Elephant’s Perch

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Ketchum, ID: The Elephant’s Perch is owned and operated by Bob and Kate Rosso, husband and wife, outdoor enthusiasts. But it’s no surprise that the couple and their expert staff love the outdoors since the shop is at the base of Bald Mountain, at the foot of the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The location also makes the local hikes, runs and rides they host some of the best in the state.

280 N East Ave | (208) 726-3497 | elephantsperch.com

Kittery Trading Post

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Kittery, ME: Kittery Trading Post, or KTP as it’s colloquially known, is a local shop with the benefits of a big-box retailer. Looking for fishing, hunting, running, cycling, hiking and camping equipment all in one place? Then KTP is your spot. Pro tip: In the summers, Kittery Trading Post hosts a number of outdoor tent sales with bargain-basement prices.

The Maine Outlet Shopping Center, US-1 BYP | (888) 587-6246 | kitterytradingpost.com

Switchback Gear Exchange

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Grand Rapids, MI: While Switchback offers a ton of bicycle equipment, don’t overlook their other outdoor gear. Switchback’s key focus is the customer experience, catering to the less knowledgeable consumer and making outdoor sports more approachable — which, in turn, gets more people outdoors.

2166 Plainfield Ave NE | (616) 259-9609 | goswitchback.com

Sportsman & Ski Haus

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Kalispell, MT: Since Sportsman & Ski Haus is flanked by Montana’s two biggest national forests, the shop also acts as a fantastically located rental shop. And, being surrounded by some of the county’s most serious wildlife, Sportsman & Ski Haus also has must-attend events like the Glacier Challenge & Whitefish Lake Run and Counter Assault Bear Spray Demo.

145 Hutton Ranch Rd | (406) 755-6484 | sportsmanskihaus.com

International Mountain Equipment

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Conway, NH: Not only does IME offer a great selection of gear, but they also offer comprehensive climbing courses to help you go from climbing 5.8 to 5.11. They emphasize safety, the most important thing to have in mind when climbing out at the crag.

2733 White Mountain Hwy | (603) 356-7013 | ime-usa.com
The Best Hiking Boots of 2016

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This is the ultimate guide to hiking footwear. On this list you’ll find 20 of the best hiking shoes and boots. Get a pair and take them to the trail. Read the Story

Taos Mountain Outfitters

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Taos, NM: In the ’70s, Taos Mountain Outfitters was the first store in New Mexico to stock products from Chouinard Equipment — what is known today as Patagonia. They still carry Patagonia products, but have expanded to carry a number of other outdoor brands as well. TMO is an easy stop on your way up to the ski mountain to stock up on any outdoor essentials.

113 N Plaza | (575) 758-9292 | taosmountainoutfitters.com

Rock and Snow

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New Paltz, NY: Rock and Snow is an historic shop located in a tiny storefront on New Paltz’s Main Street. It specializes in rock climbing equipment, and is the perfect place to pick up any odds and ends you might have forgotten on your way to the Gunks. Pro tip: Be sure not to miss the small climbing museum in the entryway, featuring pieces like original Chouinard ice axes.

44 Main St | (845) 255-1311 | rockandsnow.com

Paragon Sports

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New York, NY: Paragon is New York City‘s premier local outdoor shop. Paragon offers brands like Smartwool, Patagonia, Oakley, Marmot, Filson and Arc’teryx and also operates a full-service ski- and snowboard-tuning shop in the winter. Whether your travels take you through New York City or you’re a local who’s never been, Paragon is worth a stop.

867 Broadway | (212) 255-8889 | paragonsports.com

Next Adventure

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Portland, OR: From whitewater kayaking, to disc golf, to skiing, Next Adventure carries it all. If new gear is a bit out of your price range, Next Adventure also offers a massive assortment of used gear for rock bottom prices.

426 SE Grand Ave | (503) 233-0706 | nextadventure.net

Redpoint Climber’s Supply

Terrebonne, OR: Located roughly seven minutes by car from Smith Rock, Redpoint not only has every piece of climbing gear you could possibly need, but it also offers eights beers on tap, and coffee, to boot. It’s the perfect gathering place for a post-climb beer and a rehash of the day’s adventures.

8222 US-97 #101 | (541) 923-6207 | redpointclimbing.com

Half Moon Outfitters

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Charleston, SC: In addition to brands like The North Face and Black Diamond, Half Moon also carries its own brand of apparel and gear, including stand-up paddle boards. It’s located right in the heart of Charleston and is an easy stop when wandering around town.

280 King St | (843) 853-0990 | halfmoonoutfitters.com
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Rock/Creek

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Chattanooga, TN: Looking for that new Snap-T pullover from Patagonia’s latest catalog? Rock/Creek has the goods, along with hiking, camping and trail running gear. Rock/Creek carries all of the top brands, and offers excellent service and a dose of Southern hospitality.

301 Manufacturers Rd | (423) 265-5969 | rockcreek.com

Backwoods

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Austin, TX: Backwoods has a number of stores, including locations in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas, but their main outpost is located in Austin, Texas. The sprawling store offers everything you need for outdoor adventuring and offers special expertise in adventure travel. Backwoods even has a branch that offers adventure travel trips to destinations like New Zealand, Antarctica, the Galápagos Islands and Nepal.

Hill Country Galleria | (512) 263-3610 | backwoods.com

Pagan Mountaineering

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Moab, UT: Pagan Mountaineering carries gear specifically tailored to the harsh desert climate that surrounds Moab — including gear for climbing the region’s salient sandstone towers. For rock climbers passing through Moab, Pagan is a must stop.

59 S Main St #2 | (435) 259-1117 | paganclimber.com

Outdoor Gear Exchange

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Burlington, VT: Whether you’re looking for new gear or used, Burlington’s Outdoor Gear Exchange is the equivalent of a department store for outdoor adventurers. Located on Church Street in a building that used to house an Old Navy, OGE carries many hard-to-find brands like DMM, Rab, Grivel, Salewa and Trew. Pro Tip: head to the basement for an extensive offering of used, vintage Patagonia gear.

Burlington Town Center, 37 Church St | (802) 860-0190 | gearx.com

The Mountain Goat

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Manchester Center, VT: Located in an unassuming storefront on a quiet street in Manchester Center, Vermont, the Mountain Goat is the perfect place to stock up before heading out on some of the Green Mountain range’s best hikes. Stocked with brands like Buff, Patagonia, Arc’teryx and Ibex, high-end is the name of the game.

4886 Main St | (802) 362-5159 | mountaingoat.com

Second Ascent

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Seattle, WA: If you’re in search of a deal on outdoor gear in the Seattle area, look no further than Second Ascent. The shop is packed to the brim with great deals on lightly used outdoor gear, meaning you can get out into the wilderness for a fraction of the cost of outfitting yourself with all-new gear.

5209 Ballard Ave NW | (206) 545-8810 | secondascent.com

Teton Mountaineering

Jackson, WY: Located right in the heart of downtown Jackson, just down the street from the famed Million Dollar Cowboy bar, Teton Mountaineering is a gear hub for adventurers heading out into Teton National Park. Whether it’s climbing shoes or camp clothing, they have it all.

170 N Cache St | (307) 733-3595 | tetonmtn.com