Outdoor Equipment Sources, Suppliers, and Information

Updated February 20 , 2005


Focus. 1

Suppliers. 1

Manufactures. 2

Information and Other Links. 3


These links focus on year round non-mechanized outdoor activities including:


They lean towards foul weather gear because around Seattle if you want to keep strolling the parks in the cold foggy freezing drizzles of winter (or even in summer) you need a complete shell of ventilated breathable waterproof fabric from head to foot (and to finger tip) with a layer of synthetic fleece covering everything under the shell. Then you can be warm and dry and happy and out of doors 365 days a year.


These links also lean towards the technical side because one day it occurred to me that strolling around the high mountains in the winter carries more risk than strolling around a city park in the summer, and so better and more technical gear is required to reduce the risk of strolling along the Cascade Crest in the dead of winter.


You can also find equipment for the desert in the summer through these links, but in this case, knowledge and training is more important than specialized, hard to find equipment.


An often overlooked option is wearing a wet suit and continuing your favorite water sport 12 months a year.


There is enough clothing technology available now, and research into how to apply the technology, that you can do just about any outdoor activity you want regardless of the weather.


I’m really serious about wanting to be outside in all weather in all seasons in all climates :)


www.backcountry.com Includes user comments about backpacking products they sell

www.cabelas.com “The world’s foremost outfitter: hunting, fishing, outdoor gear” (Midwest oriented, leans towards heavy-duty base camp sites, and has sizes for tall and wide people)

www.campingworld.com Has useful equipment for car camping

www.campmor.com Has the broadest cultural, activity, and price range

www.freshette.com “The Feminine Urinary Director” – disposable and reusable funnels for urinating into a container when you are storm bound in a tent

www.ironmanwetsuits.com “Ironman Wetsuits, the world leader in triathlon and multisports wetsuits”

www.mec.ca – Mountain Equipment Co-Op, a Canadian group that has the feel of REI from the old days and will ship to the United States; they are based in Vancouver BC and so are a good re-supply point when traveling north from Seattle

www.mgear.com Mountain Gear – if they don’t stock a technical item from a manufacture’s line, you need to carefully think twice about why this might be so before buying something else because this group of people is very serious about technical mountain sports

http://moontrail.com Has extensive on-line photographs and product descriptions of their merchandise

www.mountaineersbooks.org The Mountaineers Books: “The nonprofit publishing division of The Mountaineers Club” – these are generally the best technical reference books I’ve found for the subject areas covered

www.nrsweb.com “First On the Water” – has everything for white water rafting and kayaking expeditions; their camping gear is also great for lightweight car camping

www.rei.com Has an incredible wealth of information in the section “How to Choose Gear: Expert Advice”; explains current technologies and advantages and disadvantages of different styles; and provides detailed product comparison charts

www.rockabuybaby.com Has reusable menstrual products including the Diva Cup from the International Sani-Fem Company

www.sahalie.com formerly www.earlywinters.com has outdoor clothing and gear

www.terratech.net Has the “Rite in the Rain” spiral notebook which is made of waterproof paper


www.biblertents.com Performance single wall tents

www.blackdiamondequipment.com “Climbing, mountaineering & backcountry performance gear”

www.cascadedesigns.com Cascade Designs brands:

www.msrcorp.com Mountain Safety Research “From water to shelter to cookware” (no clothing)

www.thermarest.com Portable sleeping and seating products

www.platypushydration.com Flexible hydration packs, bottles, and carriers

www.seallinegear.com Portable storage products to keep your gear dry

www.trackspoles.com Walking staffs and trekking poles

www.campk9usa.com Dog beds and trail pads

www.columbia.com Columbia Sportswear Company, based in Portland Oregon

www.danadesign.com Packs and tents

www.ecco.com Shoes and light hiking boots

www.landsend.com Has a zippered fleece parka with a hood; it’s listed in the woman’s clothing section, and works just fine to keep men’s bottoms warm too

www.leki.com Skiing and trekking poles

www.marmot.com Performance outdoor products: packs, tents, sleeping bags, clothing, etc.

www.mountainhardwear.com “Innovative, technologically advanced tents, outdoor clothing and sleeping bags”

www.nalgene-outdoor.com Bottles, containers, and hydration systems

www.outdoorproducts.com Source of a hard backpacking sunglass case with strap attachments, other accessories, and packs

www.outdoorresearch.com Technical textile based equipment

Outdoor Research Retail Store -- 2203 1st Ave S Seattle WA 98134

www.princetontec.com Technical Sport Lighting

www.rei.com REI also manufactures clothing and equipment to provide some inexpensive alternatives where there are none, provide simpler versions of moderately technical equipment where others provide only very fancy very expensive options, and in some cases to provide items not covered at all by other product lines.

www.smithsport.com Sport optics; goggles

www.spenco.com Inexpensive insoles can significantly improve the comfort of many boots

www.suuntousa.com Source of great orienteering compasses and other navigation equipment

www.thenorthface.com Gear leans towards the social recreational use rather than the technical

www.tubbssnowshoes.com Has snowshoes for all sizes from children to large adults, and for a wide range of terrain

www.turtlefur.com Very soft fleece accessories

www.wintersilks.com Gloves and long underwear that don’t dry out your skin by wicking the oil out along with the water

www.zamberlan.com Mountain and Trekking boots

Information and Other Links

www.backpackgeartest.org Provides user comments on different backpacking gear

www.backpackinglight.com “The Magazine of Lightweight Hiking & Backpacking”

www.gore-tex.com Provides technical information on their products

http://kathleeninthewoods.com “How to Shit in the Woods: an environmentally sound approach to a lost art” – the content is broader than the title implies; this book is the only detailed coverage of wilderness sanitation I’ve seen

www.mountaineers.org The Mountaineers: “Dedicated to the preservation, exploration and enjoyment of outdoor and wilderness areas”

www.polartec.com Provides technical information on their products

www.skilledwright.com/snowshoeing.htm Besides having lots of information on snowshoeing in the Cascades, it has links to lots of information on weather and avalanche forecasts for the Northwest which are useful for any winter travel and snow sport

www.woodfolks.com/kit.htm “The Survival kit - Don’t leave home without it!”


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