Shopping for Outdoor Gear in Shanghai

We ventured to every travel gear store in Shanghai. For those seeking camping, climbing, trekking or other outdoor wear and gear we fully recommend Decathlon. This store has literally everything an outdoor enthusiast could want and expect to find in Shanghai. Since we’ve been to every outdoor store in the city we can safely say this is the cheapest, with the best quality goods, the widest selection (by far) and the friendliest staff. Other outdoor stores in Shanghai have been found lacking. They are usually one-room shops with overpriced fake North Face packs and a few flashlights. Check out Decathlon if you’re in town. We ended up spending around $100USD there and walked away with several quick-dry clothing sets, compression bags, quick-dry towels and other necessities for a backpacker on the road. We’re heading back this weekend to buy a two-man tent (400RMB) and two sleeping bags. With modern technology, these combined could fit into a small backpack and be assembled in less than 5 minutes.

Our packing list (for each person):

  • 2 pairs quick-dry khakis

    Compresion bag

    Compresion bag

  • 1 pair sweatpants/work-out clothes
  • 4 shirts (all quick-dry, anti-wrinkle, one dressier)
  • 1 pair shower shoes/ sandals
  • 1 paid hiking shoes/boots
  • 1 fleece
  • 1 windbreaker
  • 1 swimsuit
  • Undergarments and hiking socks
  • Small medical kit, including first aid and medicine for various on-road ailments
  • Books and writing materials
  • I-pods
  • Laptop
  • Plastic bags (for dirty clothes, separating wet things, etc)
  • 1 two-man tent
  • 2 sleeping bags

We packed everything in one large backpack using one compression bag each (black back shown above in left of image). The compression bags collapse everything to manageable size. In one small backpack we will carry the medicine and laptop in a heat controlled bag (as we’re going into the desert and don’t want a giant paper weight made out of the laptop if it gets too hot).  This way we’ll be able to travel with one small bag and one large backpacking ruscksack in case one of us gets injured or is sore from hiking, etc. We will add the sleeping bags and tent as well as the additional small bag and my camera and we’ll be off on our trip in less than a week!

10 thoughts on “Shopping for Outdoor Gear in Shanghai

  1. B

    How times change. Now a laptop is essential travel gear…
    Also, you forgot TP! You are going to be on the road so long through areas with no TP that you will need a ton of the stuff. You could use it to pad your laptop.

  2. abandont Post author

    Travel TP = all important. Thanks for the reminder!

    The 21st century traveler can’t be away from his journal for too long — its just that the journal is electronic and weighs a lot more than a notebook. Its been so long since I’ve written without a keyboard I’m not sure my script is still legible.

  3. Vinko Rajic

    Hi, I was traveling for long time and now I am working on work and travel guide.
    You can not finance your travel if you work just few hours a day and stay on some surfing place.
    If you are going to travel and need some work to support your travel just send message to me.
    If you are interesting in travel and need work.

  4. Alexey

    I went to the “flagship” Decathon store in Shanghai. 2 floors full of white label junk. Really hard to find something high quality. Disappointing and a waste of time !

  5. Michael

    I’ve found that Decathlon offers a huge selection of gear and very good value. Yes, they have some low-end gear for *really* cheap, but their mid and upper-mid-range stuff is pretty damned good for the price. Most of their stuff has a couple year or more warranty. Don’t assume that their own branded stuff is junk- I’ve been very happy with my hiking boots, pants, shirts, and fleeces. I also bought a daypack which has been great. Their sleeping bags, packs, and tents aren’t the lightest, but again, good value for the price. And the merino wool shirts I’ve picked up there have been the best deal I’ve seen anywhere. I’d never heard of them before coming to Shanghai and at first I assumed they sold Chinese knock-off junk. I was wrong. It’s the first place I look now when I want to buy athletic clothes or gear. Definitely worth checking out. And no, I don’t have any association with them aside from being a happy customer. 🙂

  6. Dariece - Goats On The Road

    Hey, thanks a lot for the information!
    We live near Shanghai and are going there tomorrow to stock up on gear for our Mongolia, Central Asia and Europe trip. We need tents, sleeping bags, trekking poles, etc.
    We were wondering where to shop when we got to we know 🙂

    Cheers for the post!

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