8300 W. Emerald St., Boise, 322-1141, rei.com
The trait that unites residents of the Treasure Valley more than any other is a fondness of the outdoors. Maybe that's why so many of us have been to REI.
The selection is incredible, and a trip into the store starts the mind yearning for adventure, whether it's a pair of hiking boots that triggers thoughts of tromping a shaded, moist trail through a forest, or a paddle that summons visions of darting through bumpy rapids in a kayak.
As much as each item has a practical purpose, the allure of the "what if?" that comes with it adds to your enjoyment while browsing.
Camping, hiking, climbing, cycling, running, kayaking and canoeing are all covered within the store's walls, but you don't need to be Jeremiah Johnson to find something at REI. There's clothing, footwear and travel accessories galore, which means it's a little too easy to add one, two or seven other things you find into your final purchase. REI's lifetime membership program (a one-time $20 fee) gives you a 10 percent annual refund, making it easy to justify those additions.
Cabela's, 8109 W. Franklin Road, Boise, 672-7900, cabelas.com
Sportsman's Warehouse, 3797 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, 884-3000; 16865 N. Market Place Blvd., Nampa, 468-7600, sportsmanswarehouse.com
Dick's Sporting Goods, 3415 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 884-2026, dickssportinggoods.com
McU Sports, 2314 Bogus Basin Road, Boise, 336-2300; 822 W. Jefferson St., Boise, 342-7734, www.mcusports.com