Vancouver outdoor shops for camping gear

As Vancouverites, we’re lucky enough to have some of the country’s best campsites and hiking trails right in our backyard. That said, discovering the great outdoors is a whole lot easier when you’ve got the right equipment. From lanterns to tents to doublewide sleeping bags, here are some of the city’s best outdoor supply stores where you’ll find everything you need to set up camp for a night (or week) in the woods.

Valhalla Pure Outfitters

88 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1P2

This West Broadway outdoor and adventure shop carries sporting goods and supplies for all seasons. When it comes to camping gear, you’ll find backpacks, tents, all-weather sleeping bags and mats, climbing gear and much more. Gourmet campers will love the selection of kitchen utensils, cookware and easy-to-prepare packs of pad Thai, lasagne and other dehydrated edibles from Backpackers Pantry. If you’re really planning on going off the grid, check out the GPS and navigation equipment and pick up a universal battery charger or a solar kit to ensure you’ve got some portable power when you’re deep in the woods.

Mountain Equipment Co-Op

130 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1P3

From your headlamp down to your crampons, you can outfit yourself from head to toe at this sprawling Mecca for outdoor adventurers. The store’s comprehensive camping section is stocked with tents, sleeping bags, stoves, cooking supplies, packs, tools, electronics, hydration devices and even a selection of games to enjoy at your campground (think backpacks filled with bocce balls and roll-up magnetic dart boards). You’ll need to sign up a membership before you buy anything at this retail co-op, but $5 for a lifetime membership is definitely worth the investment. You’ll find MEC locations on West Broadway and in North Van.

Taiga Works Wilderness Equipment

3454 Bridgeway, Vancouver, BC V5K 1B6

Also situated on the outdoor-store-strip of West Broadway, Taiga has everything you need for an expedition into the great outdoors. Known for their factory-direct apparel for men, women and kids, the locally made Polartec fleece jackets, vests and pullovers are a more affordable alternative to some of the big name active wear brands. The shop also stocks plenty of camping gear and accessories. If you’re heading out on a winter camping expedition, invest in a good goosedown sleeping bag that is lightweight, water repellent and perfect for retaining heat on those colder nights.

Deakin Equipment Ltd

1361 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1G8

There’s no such thing as roughing it when you’ve got state-of-the-art equipment on your side. This outdoor adventure shop caters to professional exploration crews and adventure hobbyists. The high-end selection of outdoor equipment includes insulated canvas-walled tents, Canada Goose parkas, Leatherman multi-tools, and geo-compasses and GPS units for orienteering. If you need to stay in touch with those back home, satellite communicators are available to purchase or to rent on a monthly basis.

Alpine Start Outfitters

68W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1P2

Fashion meets function at this specialty shop in Kitsilano. Avid outdoorsy types who also like to keep things aesthetically pleasing will appreciate the selection of high-end European camping goods – especially the durable hiking boots and walking shoes from German brand Meindl and the sleek all-purpose Helle Fjallkniven knives that are equipped with a glossy birch handle and a traditional Nordic-style leather sheath. To ensure your campsite style is on point, slip on an old-school Jansport backpack and finish off your ensemble with hipster-approved pullovers, parkas and toques from Toronto-based clothing company Muttonhead.


1625 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC V6J 4M6

Stop in at this Kitsilano shop to outfit your campsite (and yourself) with recreational gear. You’ll find a great selection of apparel and equipment from renowned outdoor brands. Must-haves include Merrell hiking shoes, Eagle Creek packs and Gore-Tex jackets from Marmot. Shop during the end-of-summer sales to take advantage of seasonal discounts and clearance prices.

Army & Navy Department Store Ltd

27W Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G5

Starting from scratch when it comes to camping supplies? Don’t worry about blowing your budget; there are plenty of bargains to be had at this discount department store in Gastown. You’ll find everything you need for your first camping trip: tents, camping cots, coolers, flashlights, fold-up chairs, hydration packs, binoculars, lanterns, survival kits and plenty of outdoor apparel for all seasons. Avid anglers will appreciate the range of affordable fishing rods, reels, tackle boxes, lines and more.

Eco Sports Ltd

792 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1E4

There’s nothing like the towering glass skyscrapers of the core to inspire an escape to backcountry wilderness. Owned and operated by Eco Outdoor Sports, The North Face’s downtown outpost stocks much more than windbreakers. Sure there are plenty of apparel options for men, women and kids, but you’ll also find backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, footwear and other camping accessories.

3 Vets Ltd

2200 Yukon St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 3P2

First opened in 1947, this family-owned military surplus store has transformed over the years into a true outdoor hub. The 10,000-square-foot store in Mount Pleasant has an impressive inventory of outdoor supplies and accessories. Shop for hydration packs, outdoor cooking fuel and equipment, hammocks, sleep cots, and a variety of bags and backpacks for trekkers. Don’t head out to the woods without a pair of durable boots and a quick-drying microfiber shirt – both are pretty essential for rainy West Coast trails.

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