The canteen work well for us. Just curious about the camel bak. Since we have 1 exlarge, 1 large, and 1 medium. They are a must. Water bottles just are not big enough. Thanks for the suggestion. I have had a collaspable bowl. And we forgot one time when we sat until dark. So we have just started using ziplock bags. You have to hold them but they pack easy and don't take up any space. I will check the place you mention. Would love to find a rei store close. I am very fussy about my shoes as I have had the foot problems off and on. Thanks for the help.
I like REI Outlet, too, and if you live anywhere near an REI store, try to get there for their 'used gear sales' - that's where they sell everything that's been returned. Some of it is thrashed but some of it is basically brand-new, maybe worn once and I've gotten tons of stuff that still had the original tags on it so I don't think they'd been worn at all. Other times you'll find deals on their shelves. I got a $275 pair of Asolo boots for $39, for instance!
Another place I like to shop online is Campmor.com - they are also a SparkPeople advertiser so you might see their ads sometimes.
Wherever you shop, be sure you get good boots - I think it's 'very expensive' to get and wear 'cheap shoes' because they can ruin your feet, literally. It's much better and less expensive to just get good boots to start with than to deal with injuries, foot problems and possible surgery down the line. Don't forget to get GOOD SOCKS to go with your boots - sometimes those can make as much difference as the boots themselves.
As for the rest of the stuff, I often shop for the lowest-priced item that will do the job. If I was going on a long backpack or climbing steep mountains, weight and functionality might be more important than price. But for little local hikes where a few ounces aren't such a big deal and I wouldn't be 'stuck' in a horrible spot if something broke, I might shop at Wal-Mart, Goodwill or the 99cents store for gear! They all have water bottles and other items that can be used for hiking or camping and it won't cost nearly as much as using the elite brands.
Lynda in Orange County, So Calif
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I like to look at REI outlet for deals, they have good discounts sometimes. I know some people have found good hiking boots on Zappos, I've never tried them, but have heard good things.
Sierra Trading Post also has some good deals, we have a store here in Reno, but they are on-line as well.
I wonder if you have a second hand sporting good store nearby that might have some gently used items that would fit your needs, I think you'd be more likely to find something there than a thrift store, but you may want to look there too.
I've seen people with dogs shoot water out of the camelback hose to water them! (It's kind of cute....)
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I have wore out my shoes, and boots for hiking. My feet have gone wider with age. Any suggestions. I don't have a large budget, mainly on a shoestring. So any sales or discounts will help. My last pair was Northface which I like alot. However I haven't found them in wide. I don't get to go out and shop much. And I mostly hate shopping. Also we carry canteens. Army surplus. Haven't tried the camel baks. We hike with our dogs and need to be able to use the water for them. Packs. I need a bigger one for our day hikes. Any recommendations?
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