Not too many years ago Whole Earth Provision and REI were great places to go because it was otherwise so hard to find a lot of hiking, paddling and general outdoor gear in Dallas. Now they're good to know about because there is so much outdoor gear for sale all over the place, and most of it is crap. The problem is that the outdoor recreation market has grown big enough to make it worthwhile to knock off everything from headband flashlights to dry bags, with the knock-off stuff selling at way cheaper prices. And that stuff is OK — maybe even a good deal and preferable — if you think you're suiting up for a single outing, maybe two, and then it's all going into deep storage anyway. But if you need to buy gear that will stand up to repeated beatings, then you should at least pay a visit to Whole Earth Provision. Sometimes the cost difference is less than you might expect, and the quality difference is almost always huge.