Everything about California’s Bay Area screams, “Get outside!” Old-growth redwood forests, gently rolling hills shaded by ancient oaks, and the dramatic Pacific coastline’s jagged cliffs that stand guard over secret coves and golden sands. It’s enough to make a lifelong room service patron want to go camping.
There’s no need to be “Gearless in California” when you’re struck with an uncontrollable craving for camping. Hook up with any of the following equipment providers who are happy to provide first-time or “left my gear at home” outdoor enthusiasts with everything you need for Bay Area camping.
Wait, back up! What should I even be renting? Here’s a handy dandy camping checklist for an average car-to-tent camping trip.
1. The Camp Kit
Founded and run by outdoor-loving Bay Area women, the Camp Kit mails everything you need for your big adventure right to your door for $29. Options include a one- or two-person backpacking kit, a two-person car-camping kit and a variety of a la carte gear. When you return home, toss your rental equipment in the box it came in, and ship it back with the prepaid label. Beautifully curated kits, top-brand gear and total convenience make this innovative service a no brainer.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Bullfrog Pond Campground, Austin Creek State Recreation Area in Guerneville, 2 hours from San Francisco. Photos by Madison Kotack.
You read that right. You can rent high-quality gear with last minute, 24/7 convenience whether you’re car camping, backpacking or heading out for some serious snow sports. Last Minute Gear enjoys a great reputation for reasonable rates and responsive, flexible customer service.
3156 24th St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Open 24 hours (with an appointment)
Regular Hours: M, Tu, Th, F: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; W: Closed; Sa, Su: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Hugely popular with locals with eight locations to prove it, Sports Basement has all the basics, including a large selection of tents, lights, stoves, and coolers, along with extras such as hammocks, bear canisters and mountaineering equipment.
San Francisco Presidio location
610 Old Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94129
Mon – Fri: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sat and Sun: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
McCormick Creek Camp near Pescadero, 1.15 hours from San Francisco. Photos by Sarah Gustafson.
Successful retail cooperative, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), has two Bay Area branches, but you’ll only find camping stoves, backpacks and snowshoe rentals at the San Francisco location. The Berkley store can hook you up with those items plus tents, sleeping bags and pads, and mountaineering gear.
840 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94103
1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702
Hours at both locations:
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Chanslor Ranch in Bodega Bay, 1.5 hours north of San Francisco. Photos by Lisse Lundin.
You don’t have to be a club member to rent your camping, backpacking, mountaineering or avalanche gear from Outdoor Adventure Club. Prepay your reservation, pick up your equipment on Thursday if you like, and return it on Monday night to enjoy the generous “weekend” rental period.
1819 Polk St. # 222, San Francisco, CA 94109
Separate Star Point in Jenner, 2 hours from San Francisco. Photos by Kathryn Stevens.
Whether you are interested in trying camping or backpacking for the first time, or you simply don’t have the space to store all your gear, ExperienceGear is here to help.
Specializing in renting pre-curated person camping and backpacking kits assembled from top brands, ExperienceGear ships everything you need directly to your door or hotel. All shipping is free round-trip across the West Coast.
ExperienceGear seals the deal by supplementing orders with free accessories for you to keep, as well as offering informational and planning resources to make your trip as seamless as possible.
It is ExperienceGear’s mission to make getting outside easier than ever before.
To learn more, visit www.experiencegear.com.
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