Saturday, August 04, 2007

Dear Bargainista - #13

Jay from Toronto writes:
I like reading your blog. Do you know where one might find good packs and tents for hiking for a good price?
Dear Jay,
It's been long time since I’ve gone camping but here goes...

Summer is high-season for camping gear so if it’s a deal you're looking for, you’re probably better off waiting until the fall.

You may find different stores are better for specific items.

As for tents and packs, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is always a safe bet. They only sell to members but it's worth the $5 for a lifetime membership. Their products are pricey but you’ll be paying for value, plus you’ll get a bevy of other membership benefits.

Tent tip: When buying a tent, I suggest going to a store with demos and trying them out. Depending on your size, you may find some tents more comfortable than others. From what I understand, MEC has several floor models you can check out in-store and some tips online.

Camp Connection isn’t known for its packs and tents but it’s a fine place for filling in the gaps and finding the smaller items and other basics you may need for your trip. Last time I checked they were well-stocked with knapsacks, including Obus Forme ones at reasonable prices.

Camper tips: If you’re planning on spending at least $200 there over the course of a year, it’s probably worth splurging $50 for a membership - you’ll save 20% off all purchases! It’s a hopping place in June while parents and kids are busily getting all their gear for overnight camp. I suggest buying a membership in June (or July, if you’re kids don’t go to camp until August) so it extends over two camp seasons.

There are several other camping stores in Toronto. What are your favourite camping stores? Do you have any camping shopping tips? Leave a comment.

Dear Bargainista would love to hear from you too! Have a question about shopping, fashion or food? E-mail us.

Technorati tags: camping, Camp Connection, MEC, tents


  1. I love Europe Bound- excellent selection and they tend to carry better quality stuff than MEC.

  2. Alexandra,

    Glad you stopped by, that's good to know. If you have any other camping shopping tips, please let us know.

    Thanks for sharing,

  3. Anonymous1:45 pm

    Taiga makes and sells some great outdoor gear too. They manufacture most of their products in Canada.


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