Planning a camping trip requires more preparation than you might think. Whether you're preparing for a brief sojourn somewhere 45 minutes outside of town, or gearing up for a three-week expedition through one of Arizona's multiple national parks and monuments, if you are unprepared to any degree, the consequences could be dire. Arizona Hiking Shack has remained one of the Valley's best outlets, not only for hiking and camping equipment, but for an expert level of guidance from the knowledgeable staff. Beyond a huge selection of professional gear and essentials for your next camping adventure, Arizona Hiking Shack takes customer service to the next level with guided camping excursions and canyoneering courses that anyone can sign up for. It also has an absolute trove of Arizona-based trailing, camping, and climbing guidebooks that you will not find anywhere else.

Let's face it, your house could use a little something extra. Or maybe, your office is looking kind of drab. Why not get that Raawii Large Strøm Vase or Seletti Wunderkammer Aluminum Bison Skull whose name you can barely pronounce but will make your home look like it belongs in the Museum of Modern Art? Want a candle that literally says "cigarette after sex"? Done. A lamp of a monkey holding a light bulb? Sure. The store is filled with unique pieces of furniture, accents, and home decor that you won't find anywhere else. Stop by For the People, and your house will look so nice you'll feel like you probably shouldn't be sitting in it.

No hate on antique stores, but when we think of them, we usually think very cluttered, unorganized spaces, and weirdly enough, lots of toys. Maybe "collectibles" is a better word, but you get the point. A lot of antique stores are needle-in-a-haystack experiences where you have to dig to find a gem. That can be fun, but not all the time, and it's certainly not the case at Camelback Antiques. Here, you're first greeted by a friendly elderly person, and then you're left alone to wander the aisles. The antique store is organized and easy to walk through, and treasures are hidden in plain sight. You're able to get a big mirror for $20 that has the cashier asking you how on earth you scored that deal. Hey, they priced it, not you. There's never any pressure to buy anything, but there's plenty of fairly priced stuff to be tempted by. Don't forget to check out the back room.

Thanks to the power of Instagram, more people than ever dream of ditching their 9-to-5s, burning their belongings, and crisscrossing the country in a van with dirty feet, three pairs of underwear, and a partner named Aspen or Kai. It took a couple of years to catch up, but #vanlife has arrived in Arizona. And with Boho Camper Vans, you can try before you buy. Launched in 2018 by David Sodemann and Brett Ellenson, two granola-types in their early 30s, the company rents out its fleet of five custom-built vans, each decked with a bed, outdoor shower, sink, and plenty of storage — basically everything you would need for an overnight to Sedona or a full-fledged Western states road trip. Ready to take the full plunge? Boho takes orders for sale.

Everywhere you turn, from Instagram to The Great British Bake Off, people are doing incredible things with cookies, pies, and cakes. If all those gorgeous creations inspire you to up your home baking game, we suggest heading over to ABC Cake Decorating Supplies. The no-frills space has everything you need to create, transport, and display your work: molds, cake pans (including a great selection of Nordic Ware), cookie cutters, seasonal and themed decorations, bakery boxes, cake towers, and much, much more. The staff is more than willing to help you find what you need, and if you'd really like to take your baking to the next level, the store offers a number of classes each month. Whether you've got a project in mind and just need supplies, or you're looking for inspiration for your next creation, ABC is the place to go.

Leashes and chew toys and great freeze-dried liver. Doggy beds, snugglers, and organic gizzards. Grooming and trimming, just fit for a king. Wag n' Wash has your pup's favorite things. Scratchpads and tunnels and rich, grain-free kibble. Feathers and litter and catnip to nibble. Canned food so purrfect, your kitty will sing. Wag n' Wash has your cat's favorite things. Everyone's favorite healthy pet store has grown into an institution, with franchises nationwide, since its founding in Colorado 20 years ago. The Phoenix location, with its trademark neon green awning in the Melrose neighborhood, remains our pick in Arizona.

Growing things in our desert climate can be tough, but when we feel like taking on the challenge, we stock up on everything we need at a Whitfill Nursery location. There are options for apartment dwellers and others who have limited space, like single small cactuses and mini pots. But if you're landscaping a backyard, Whitfill's got you covered, too, with enormous trees, metal yard art, and giant pots in a spectrum of colors. The local chain also has fertilizer, hardware, pesticides, and seeds. We'll go there sometimes just for gardening inspiration and enjoyment; the shade-covered rows of fresh-smelling plant life act like an oasis in the desert.

Composting is both art and science, and it takes skill, patience, creativity, and yet more patience to discover that maybe it's not as easy to do at home as you thought. Thank goodness for Arizona Worm Farm, which sells just about anything you could want from the compost world: compost, worms, castings, worm bins, and mulch. Unlike many other sources of compost — good luck trying to figure out when or if cities like Tempe and Phoenix are randomly offering free compost — the Arizona Worm Farm has a permanent location with regular hours. It sells its own compost, as well as compost from the city of Phoenix, which provides essential nutrients to plants and flowers that can take the place of commercial, chemical fertilizers. The Worm Farm offers a variety of sizes — you don't have to buy in bulk unless you need to — negating the need for any future trips to Home Depot to get Miracle-Gro.

Camelback Flowershop has got it all. Not only can you get beautiful, artfully designed arrangements of fresh flowers, this florist curates a selection of high-end gifts and ready-made gift boxes featuring items like freshly baked cookies, signature candles, locally sourced honey, and letterpressed greeting cards. You can stop by for lessons on how to plant your own succulent garden or make a pit stop to the flower shop on a Friday afternoon for their Fresh Flower Happy Hour, when fresh flowers are half their usual price. The friendly staff will help you get the bouquet for any occasion, and they can even deliver it for you.

A houseplant by any other name is, well ... dead. It happens more than anybody likes to admit, because green thumbs aren't standard issue here in Arizona. Happily, Michael Lanier and Cory Bruckner are here for you. They have houseplants on the brain 24/7, and green thumbs galore. They're constantly finding eclectic plants from ordinary to exotic, so people who hit up their shop have a vast array of options. Their plant shop — part boutique and part curiosity shop — has a lush feel, but also exudes warmth and charm. It's filled with plants, fun planters, funky gifts, and oddities that make you want to linger. That's fine with them, because they're passionate about sharing their plant love and lore, plus practical tips for helping the plants you take home thrive. Go in for the plants, and stay for the conversation. What they're really growing here is community.

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