Any recommendations for sporting good stores that rent out camping gear? We're flying in from another state, so we don't want to go through the hassle of buying. In the event that we do need to buy, that's fine, too. We'll just give it to our family there. Any leads on good sporting equipment stores would be much appreciated!
I'm not sure if they do rental, but REI definitely sells camping gear. I would give the Madison store a call to find out about rentals.
When I was camping, some people also told me about a company/website called LowerGear that they described as the "Netflix of camping gear", where they ship you camping gear to wherever you are and you ship it back when you're done. I've never tried it myself, but that's something else to look into.
Have fun camping! My friends and I had such a blast :)
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Just in case you don't find a camping gear rental shop... At the risk of sounding completely un-Silicon Valley, might I suggest Walmart? I remember driving by a few when I was in Madison. Where I'm from, I don't really shop at them as much, but when I travel around the states, Walmart has been a life saver and I've seen camping gear at a lot of them. You should also look into whether there are Targets as well. You can probably find pretty good deals at those and you can just buy it and give it to your family after.