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Outdoor gear/camping store

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Don Gleason's Camping Supply, Inc.

9 Pearl St.
Northampton, MA
(413) 584-4895

If your idea of camping involves skimping on the weight of everything in your backpack—and the weight (and volume) of the backpack itself—Don Gleason's Camping Supply has everything you need to survive lightly on this earth. But here's the thing: nowadays, there are a fair number of national retail chains that cater specifically to the ultra-light backpacking crowd. The reason, then, to do business with Gleason's has a lot to do with the knowledge this local family business has acquired since it started out in 1958—knowledge that guides Gleason's in choosing to offer only products that work, that are durable and dependable, that enhance the pleasure of your outdoor adventures. Gleason's isn't just getting in on the ultra-light camping craze; Gleason's has been part of the camping, backpacking and hiking scene every step of the way.

And what if you're not fanatical about the weight of every piece of your gear? What if your idea of camping involves being close enough to your car so that you don't have to carry everything on your back? What if you are the kind of camper who likes to get out there and stay a while, enjoying nature's tranquility, building memories with friends and family, cooking on an open fire with a skillet big enough to cook eggs and bacon at the same time, retiring at the end of a long day to a spacious tent lined with comfortable cots? In that case, Gleason's is exactly the store you want.

In fact, for anyone who loves camping or would love to give it a try, a visit to Don Gleason's is going to be loads of fun. An unimaginably wide selection of products—from footwear and apparel to tents, packs and sleeping bags to all sorts of cookware, tools and camping-related gadgetry—sprawls over three floors—an array of gear that might be overwhelming if not for the care Gleason's expert staff take in keeping it all well organized and marked with specifications and price.

A perennial favorite with "Advocate" readers, Gleason's epitomizes the sort of independently-owned, family business that thrives because of its independence and its passion.

2nd: Adventure Outfitters
451 Russell St. (Rte. 9)
Hadley, MA
(413) 253-5500
Also won: 1st place, Place to buy a canoe/kayak

3rd: Eastern Mountain Sports
351E Russell St. (Rte. 9)
Hadley, MA
(413) 584-3554

and various locations
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