Bass Pro Shops purchased Cabela's, essentially merging two of the biggest names in the outdoor industry. But, since these stores mainly focus on fishing and hunting – something that I rarely talk about on this blog – the news mostly went unnoticed by the climbing/mountain biking/trail running community, most of whom prefer to shop at a place like REI rather than one of these giant outlet stores. Now, Outside magazine is taking a look at what Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's has to offer, and providing readers with some tips on what they'll find there, as well as the best bargains to be had as well.
Amongst the tips that Outside has to offer are that these stores offer plenty of great gear for car campers in particular where when and size is not a major issue. They also say that both shops are great for purchasing rods and reels, but you're better served buying your flies elsewhere. Finally, they also recommend that you take your time when visiting Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's as these outlets are quite large and it takes awhile to sift through everything, particularly if you're looking for good deals.
Speaking of which, Outside also offers their picks for the best bargains to be found inside these stores as well. Those bargains include a 6-person tent from Bass Pro that costs just $100, a 3-pack of 200-lumen flashlights for $25, and a 20ºF sleeping bag from Coleman that is priced at $50. The magazine also recommends a $20 jug for bringing plenty of water to the campsite and a $13 compass from Brunton for navigating the way.
While not all of those items will necessarily come in handy for your next trip, they are a good reminder that Bass Pro Shop and Cabela's have some affordable gear that is useful in the outdoors no matter what activities you're taking part in. I'm not a hunter or much of a fisherman (I'm learning to fly fish and enjoy it though!) but I do like good gear that doesn't break the bank. I think we'll find that at one of these outlets, even if REI and similar stores cater more to our needs.