I have been trying to find one of those coleman catalytic heaters. Walmart had the one you light with a match but I would prefer the electronic. REI carries them but currently they have no stock of them. Does anyone have a good source of camping supplies. I am also looking for sleeping bags etc.
Coleman used to sell direct. Their web site is http://www.coleman.com. I love my piezo start model, but those little spark strikers for starting stoves work quite well on the regular model.
Most of my camping equipment I now get from the Redhead, a division of BassPro. I used to get a lot from Cabela's but they got so lousy with out-of-stock and backorder status, I finally gave up. I was lucky to get ½ of any given order on time. Customer service has gone right down the tubes. When you complained about it, it was always somebody else's fault -- supplier, warehouse, UPS. And God forbid they would actually discount or substitute something else so you didn't have to do without. Redhead & Cabela's catalogs are very similar and both carry the same lines at the same prices.
Redhead is pretty much an upper scale retail store, but they have a web site http://www.basspro.com/ and massive catalogs covering everything. So far, their shipping record has been vastly superior to Cabela's and cutsomer service has been a lot more interested in solving problems than telling me what "their policy is." Plus you can get right to management, whereas Cabela's management won't return calls.
Warning: Do your business with Bass Pro/Redhead by phone and never give them your email. They will spam you to death and refuse to stop, even after formal written notice. It has reached the point it is so bad, we are taking legal action. So far the attitude of the lawyers is 'screw you, sue us.' They finally quit after the Attorney General stepped in!
For tents, backpacks and related items, it's hard to beat Eureka, the premium US maker. Their web site is http://www.eurekacampingctr.com/ -- at least the factory outlet store in Binghamton, NY. Whenever I'm passing that way, I make it a point to detour in for "factory seconds" shopping.
Campmor, in NJ is also a pretty big mail-order firm, and does discount a little, but their catalog is tough to read and figure out what the quality level is.
I don't generally recommend Camper World. They do have many useful items but are geared predominantly for the 3 BR, bath-&-a-half crowd. Prices are high unless on sale and I'm not a fan of their marketing gimmick "President's Club" -- to me just another excuse to charge you to reduce prices back to normal market anyway. They have a web site but it is a nightmare to navigate, especially if you have your security settings require authorization for permanent cookies. It won't take no for an answer and just keeps trying again & again, dozens of times in a simple catalog check.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 08-27-2010 at 11:41 PM.
Being an avid backpacker, I would recommend the following sites for quality camping items:
Sierra Trading Post
Join REI if you wish to purchase from them, as there is an 8-10% discount (2% depends on having their credit card.) If you are unsure of an item, it may be found with reviews at
Another source is Mountain Equipment Co-op which carries an excellent selection of quality outdoor equipment for all types of outdoor activities...climbing to kayaking to cycling and camping gear. You can find them at at www.mec.ca I have a pair of cycling panniers from them that are over 20 years old and still going strong. I also recommend their Gortex jackets. They are a Canadian company but ship world wide. Rhonda
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 08-22-2010 at 07:12 PM.
I often shop at Campmor (http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Home_). We get their catalog, but I also shop online. Good prices. Sometimes SportMart (in California, does everyone have this chain?) has good items for good prices. Small selection, though.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 10-27-2008 at 04:13 PM.
L.L. Bean used to be a very good 'outfitter' for camping and hunting supplies. They have regressed towards the yuppie boutique side of the business but still have some camping equipment, more geared to the backpack market than vehicle campers. Their one-piece rubber boots, shoes and moccasins are hard to beat. I've bought some leather casual shoes from them as well since they are one of the few that will stock for narrow width men. My wife likes their clothes and I've enjoyed the store when I'm passing through Maine. Customer service has been excellent.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 08-23-2010 at 04:48 PM.
Orvis http://www.orvis.com/ is not much for camping equipment anymore but has some good quality clothing. They are the owners and distributors for Gokey http://www.orvis.com/gokey-boots.html custom boots and shoes. Expensive . . . but I swear by them. My pull-on Wellington style Sandanona (arch buckle) boots are now 43 years old and still so tight I have to use both hands to pull them on. They have been resoled twice (by Gokey). These are the boots that I've worn on all of my Westy camping trips including 2-monthers that took us to the Arctic Ocean. My Sauvage oxford tie shoes are 42 years old, also still fitting well and on their 2nd set of soles. My moccasins are the 'new guys', only about 20 years old. Being double sole all leather, I've replaced the outer layer of leather once. I admit I often wore them outside in gravel and concrete, something a smooth leather moccasin isn't meant to take. Still made in the USA and excellent repair service. They have some "standard" sized footware but mine are custom and require a 'fitting' package of tracings and measurements. Well worth the extra money! Divide price by years of service and you're looking at a very reasonable price per year -- well less than Redwings or any other premium brand!
They also have an excellent line of luggage and carriers. I've got several that survived every form of airline abuse and more sea voyages than I care to remember.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 10-05-2010 at 07:07 PM.
Eddie Bauer used to be a top-notch outfitter for camping supplies and related outdoor or expedition clothing. Regretfully, the have turned into a yuppie boutique that sells primarily fashion clothes. I've been to their main store and everything is 3rd world junk. No "Made in America" could be found. Their on-line catalog carries nothing more 'camping' than a backpack & a solar flashlight. Overpriced, under-quality, avoid.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 10-05-2010 at 06:49 PM.