You’d be hard pressed to find a state so focused on the outdoors as Minnesota. With miles upon miles of protected forests, well over 10,000 lakes, countless campgrounds and plenty of fishing and hunting opportunities, this is a great place to be outside. Duluth was even named the best outdoor town in the country by Outside magazine. But if you don’t have the right equipment, all of the necessary tools to tackle the wide world of Minnesota, you better head to one of these rental stores to get it.
7213 Minnesota 61
Tofte, MN 55615
Going into the wild of the Boundary Waters? Find everything you need here. Winter and summer gear is available to rent, and there is gear for all ages, from beginner to expert. After you find what gear you need, you can sign up for guided tours and classes. Kayaks, canoes, camping gear, bikes–the wilderness won’t seem so untamed once you’re set up by Sawtooth.
University of Minnesota Wellness Center
123 S.E. Harvard St.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Available for everyone, from students and staff to anyone from the public, the high-quality gear from the U of M is available for rent all year long. Whatever you need, be it rock climbing and bouldering gear, bikes of all types, snowshoes (which might come in handy for getting to class once the snow starts to fall), canoes or anything else your wild heart desires, can be rented from the U of M facilities.
Munger Trail Rental at the Willard Munger Inn
7408 Grand Ave.
Duluth, MN 55807
For a great selection of bikes to take down Duluth’s spectacular Munger Trail, this store is it. You can choose whatever style suits your fancy, then return them at the end of your crazy ride and crash in one of the rooms at the inn. There are also boat and canoe rentals here, and no trip to Duluth is complete without getting on the water. For the winter, skis and snowboards are also available. Rates are great, and the service is fast and friendly. This is a one-stop shop for experiencing the awesome outdoor scene in Duluth.
Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply
22 E. 1st St.
Grand Marais, MN 55604
If you’re giving this whole outdoors thing a shot for the first time, still finding your particular brand of adventure and haven’t quite committed to the weeks-long trips many Minnesotans take through the wilderness, this is the store for you. Day trip? Canoe ride? Lighter gear and faster checkout mean you can get out and see what this wild world of Minnesota is all about, and the staff will help you figure out exactly what you need. After renting from this store, you just might be ready to buy some gear of your own.
Hard Water Sports
979 Charles Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Right in the heart of St. Paul, you can find everything you need to leave the city behind for a few days or more (unless you’re planning on an urban camping trip in your backyard). You can leave the city feeling confident that you’ll be prepared for anything on your trip. Tents, sleeping bags, canoes and even backpacks and stoves are available at incredibly reasonable prices. If you’re a true, tough Minnesotan, all of the gear for winter camping is waiting for you as well.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.