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Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

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Italy
posts: 451
Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

We will need a two burner gas stove and a big bottle of propane to go with it (at least 5-6 liters) for our trip to Glacier NP in August. Where would you recommend to buy them cheaper in between Tacoma International Airport, Spokane and Kalispell area? Can these gas bottles be easily refilled once finished or we need to buy a new one?

How do food prices differ in Montana (Kalispell/Columbia Falls) and Washington (Spokane)? Which city offers a wider range of products or there are chain supermarkets everywhere with the same food stuff?

Thank you

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
posts: 5,632
reviews: 16
1. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

While Spokane is significantly bigger I would probably purchase in Montana because they do not have a state sales tax. Or Idaho, whose tax rate runs about 6%. Just over the Washington/Idaho State line, in Post Falls Idaho is a Cabelas, which should have what you need. Washington has one of the highest state tax rates, in the Spokane area, you can expect about 8.7%.

I would post to the Montana forum for specific stores in the Kalispell area that sell camping equipment.

There are large grocery stores throughout your route. In Montana, the national chain Safeway has several outlets, and we often buy gas at Safeway.

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Spokane
posts: 2,753
reviews: 70
2. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

I posted o you glacier message

Seattle, Wa
posts: 2,827
reviews: 31
3. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

I'd just go to the REI that's not too far from the airport:

http://www.rei.com/stores/tukwila.html

REI is a very large chain that will have everything you need and more. That sounds to me to be the easiet solution, rather than making a stop in a city that you weren't planning on visiting. REI will have generally better prices (and it will definitely have a much wider selection) than smaller stores.

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Spokane, Chelan
posts: 8,492
reviews: 40
4. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

Some of REI's prices are high you may want to check the prices on line. I personally would stop at Cabelas in Post Falls Idaho it's huge and you can get just about anything you want for camping at good prices, from what I have heard the prices in Montana are a bit higher but again check the prices on line then compare.

www.cabelas.com

This store is so easy to get to which makes it nice for out of towners. It's just right over the Washington Idaho line and then right off I90 and right back on, I don't know about you but I like easy when I'm in places I'm not familiar with.

Collie

Italy
posts: 451
5. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

Thank you all for the information. I have checked REI and Cabelas and they both have small stoves and gas. Cabelas seems to have more choice, at least online. But these shops seem to specialize in camping and trekking equipment and what about supermarkets? Did I get it right that Washignton has sales tax on food also while Montana does not? What about taxes on food in Idaho? Where would you advise to stock up on food in between Seattle airport and Kalispell?

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Spokane, Chelan
posts: 8,492
reviews: 40
6. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

There is no sales tax on groceries in Washington state only on non food items so you can shop away. There are large super markets here where you can stock up on food items at good prices. Safeway's is a chain but they are a little on the expensive side at least for me, look into a Walmart or Winco for your best buys they are large stores with good prices.

Collie

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
posts: 5,632
reviews: 16
7. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

Collie is right, no tax on most grocery items in Washington, but junk food, candy, sodas, prepared food, alcohol are taxed. You will be able to find plenty of grocery stores along the way.

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Spokane, Chelan
posts: 8,492
reviews: 40
8. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

Actually they repealed the candy and junk food tax so there isn't any on those but there is on soda, or pop as we call it on this side of the US.

Winco in Spokane Valley is fairly easy to get to from I90 and they are a large grocery store with excellent prices you might want to give them a look.

Collie

Edited: 11:04 am, March 28, 2013
Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
posts: 5,632
reviews: 16
9. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

My error! Thanks Collie! Now I remember....can't keep up. :-)

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Spokane, Chelan
posts: 8,492
reviews: 40
10. Re: Washington or Montana for buying food and camping equipment

Islandgirl, the only reason I knew is cause of my grandkids otherwise I wouldn't know either.

Collie