Planning a camping to the North Woods, or maybe even eastern Siberia? It doesn't matter what hemisphere you are visiting: If your destination is the outdoors, Uncle Dan's is a good place to start. The store can send you on your way, perfectly outfitted with the latest sleeping bags, tents and outdoor cookware. Eagle Creek, Merrill and the Kavu are a sampling of the sort of brands, both trendy and high-quality, that can be had at Uncle Dan's.
Even if camping isn't your bag, Uncle Dan's is not a bad spot to check out. Fans of North Face will want to keep on eye on the sale rack, where jackets often slip into affordability. The toys (Leatherman, Swiss Army, et cetera) are first-rate, and socks and boots always hail from top-of-the-line manufacturers. Even so, it's more fun if you actually are planning a trip to somewhere outside of Cook County. The store's clerks, who go a long way to create a friendly but not pushy atmosphere, are great resources for suggestions and advice. Customers trade stories about past exploits and catalog their more exotic trips with pins on a world map at the front of the store.
Centerstage Reviewer: Patrick Corcoran