If you’re going to explore all there is to see around Great Falls, you’ll need the right tools. And we can help you get outfitted with everything you need right here in town. If you already have your gear, make sure to know where to go to get it fixed.



A hike is easy as taking a walk—or it can involve terrain, navigation, weather, and overnight gear. At a minimum, carry the Ten Essentials to ensure a safe trip. Atop the list are adequate food, water and clothing, followed by a headlamp, knife, first-aid kit, and navigation tools you know how to use. Beyond these, specific gear such as trekking poles, backpacks, and tents can be added on. Tell the experts what you want to do and they’ll get you the right gear.

Get It At: Bighorn Outdoor Specialists, North 40Three hikers in the Lewis and Clark National Forest


Photography and Birding

Observing birds takes patience—and optics. A good set of binoculars or a spotting scope makes a huge difference while birding. Match your optics to the kinds of birds you’re after and factor in weight, durability and cost. Your in-store specialists can help you narrow your options.

Get It At: Scheels, North 40

Photography has endless variables for capturing landscape, wildlife, and action shots. If your phone isn’t up to the job, consider a dedicated digital camera with built-in or interchangeable lenses. A good DSLR or mirrorless camera body will pair with lenses for every situation, but can be expensive. Consult the pros for the right gear.

Get It At: Public Drug
Birding in Great Falls Montana


Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing

Winter isn’t just going downhill. For a quiet, inexpensive way to enjoy the snow, Nordic (cross-country) skiing and snowshoeing are outstanding options. Snowshoeing is easy and family-friendly in the Basecamp; the first step is getting shoes that fit well. Nordic skiing requires more gear and technique; if you’re just starting out, a fitted set of skis, boots, bindings and poles makes learning easier. Look below to get started.

Get It At: Bighorn Outdoor Specialists, North 40
Cross country Skiing near Great Falls Montana


Kayaking and Rafting

Floating takes planning and know-how; even casual trips mean respecting the power of water. Seek out qualified instruction and consider a guided float. But you’ll still need gear. For flatwater, a 12 – 14-foot inflatable raft with rowing frame and oars will get you down the Smith or Missouri in style. Touring kayaks provide stability, tracking and storage space—great for calm rivers and lakes. Whitewater is more specialized and requires more training. In any case, the most important piece of gear is your life jacket—if you lose everything else, a life jacket will help you stay alive. It’s mandatory for every boater to have one.

Get It At: Bighorn Outdoor Specialists, Montana River Outfitters
Missouri River kayaks near Great Falls Montana


Biking and Scenic Drives

Hitting the trail or the road? For human-powered tours a road or mountain bike is just the thing. Fitting a bike frame and components to your needs is the biggest part of having a good ride, so make sure you visit a qualified dealer. Adding a helmet, clothing, repair kits and other gear will make the trip safer and more comfortable.

If you’re behind the wheel, gear make scenic drives more fun. Binoculars, a good cooler for snacks, and the right clothing will make the trip more memorable. Gear up below.

Get It At: Knicker Biker, Bighorn Outdoor Specialists, North 40
River's Edge Trail cyclist near great falls montana