Store News


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February 21, 2013

Homer Lake Natural Playscape Recipient of $5,000
Columbia/Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Grant

Champaign Surplus is pleased to announce that the Champaign County Forest Preserve District has been awarded one of 16 Columbia/Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Belay Program grants for its Homer Lake Natural Playscape and related programs. Champaign Surplus, a member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, nominated the District for the Belay Grant. The grant will go towards completing the next phase of Playscape construction, supporting monthly Exploration Series classes at the Playscape, and helping to create a Playscape Stewardship program. In addition to the $5,000 cash grant from Columbia, the District will receive an additional $1,000 of in-kind support and Columbia product from Champaign Surplus. Read the complete press release.

February 9, 2013

Mountainfilm on Tour 2013 Date Announced

We're happy to announce this year's Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour - Champaign-Urbana. Mark your calendar for Tuesday night, April 7th at 7pm at the Art Theater in downtown Champaign. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for kids 16 & under and $50 for those wanting to be Benefactors. All proceeds will go to benefit Illinois Operation: Military Kids. More event information.

February 2013

Winter Clearance Sale Runs Through End of Month

During the month of February, save 20-50% on thousands of red sticker items across the store. Shop now.


November 2012

Champaign Surplus, Marmot & Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
Work to Save Our Wild Places

During the month of November, Marmot will contribute $10 directly to the Conservation Alliance for any Marmot purchase of $99 or more made at Champaign Surplus. Learn more.

Saturday, October 20 & Sunday, October 21

Fall Sidewalk Sale

Our FAMOUS doorbuster event everyone lines up for is here!
Save 30-80% on outerwear, sportswear, shoes and more on our sidewalk and throughout the store. View all the sale details.

Monday, May 7 - Sunday, May 13

CAMPTASTIC Sale & Homer Lake Natural Playscape Drive

This week, SAVE 10-25% on camping gear, boats, accessories and more. Plus, help build the CCFPD Homer Lake Natural Playscape: 


Our goal is to donate at least $1,000 to the Forest Preserve District for the Playscape. We love the outdoors. And we love helping kids get outdoors to enjoy the natural world around them. That's why we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Champaign County Forest Preserve District's Homer Lake Natural Playscape and want to help make it a reality! Learn more.

Saturday, May 5 & Sunday, May 6

Spring Sidewalk Sale

The doorbuster event everyone lines up for is here!
Save 30-80% on outerwear, sportswear, shoes, bags and much more on our sidewalk and throughout the store. View all the sale details.

Tuesday, March 6

MountainFilm on Tour!

Don't miss the exclusive Central Illinois showing, Tuesday March 6, 2012 at 7:00pm, at the Parkland College Theatre. Doors open at 6:30pm. All proceeds go to support the outdoor programs of the Boy Scouts of America, Prairielands Council. Tickets are just $10 (or $40 for a Benefactor Ticket) and on sale now at Champaign Surplus and the Prairielands Council offices, and available at the door. Additional event details.


November 2011

Champaign Surplus' Shira Epstein featured as Mompreneur

We love the fun & informative website! And they were kind enough to do a Q&A with Shira as part of their Mompreneur series. Read the article, Meet the Mompreneur.

Champaign Surplus Launches Bag Program

We've been working diligently to reduce our environmental footprint, and one initiative is the launch of our new bag program. Now, when you make a purchase at Champaign Surplus reusing one of our shopping bags, or any other previously used paper or reusable tote, we will make a 5¢ donation per bag to a selected worthy cause. We're also shifting away from plastic shopping bags. Our new, made-in-the-USA, paper eco-shoppers are now in circulation — made almost entirely of recycled and eco-friendly materials! Learn more about our new bag program.

Wednesday, October 19, 7-8:15pm

2011 Backpacker Get Out More Tour Visits Store

Outdoor pros Sheri and Randy Propster have hiked the country from shore to shore and spent more nights under the stars then they can count. So, we're thrilled that they are stopping by the store again this year on their Get Out More tour to talk about the best skills and equipment for getting outside. More Info.

Tuesday, September 20

Bag It & Champaign Surplus Featured in Daily Illini

Read today's Daily Illini article about the Bag It movie and discussion panel at the Art Theater tonight.

Wednesday, September 14, 5:30-7:30pm 

September Nordic Walking Workshop

Registration is open for our August Introduction to Nordic Walking Workshop. The workshop is for participants regularly involved in fitness activities who may want to add Nordic Walking to their workouts. Nordic walking basic technique elicits more range of movement and a longer stride than regular or power walking. It activates many more muscles in the upper body than regular fast walking, resulting in an increased cardiovascular workout and higher calorie output. Cost is $20 and space is limited. Register today at our front counter. 

Wednesday, August 24, 6-8pm 

August Nordic Walking Workshop — Sold Out

Registration sold out for our August Introduction to Nordic Walking Workshop. Thank you to all who participated!

Saturday, June 18 & Sunday, June 19 

Downtown Champaign Sidewalk Sale Event

Heading out to the Taste of Champaign? Walk on over to Downtown after enjoying the festival. Champaign Surplus, and many of our Downtown retail friends, are offering 'sidewalk' deals and entertainment. We'll have a great assortment of sale shoes out inside the store, marked up to 75% OFF and we're giving away a FREE Alpha baseball cap with every store purchase, while supplies last! Other downtown participants include: B.Lime, Carrie's, Christopher's Fine Jewelry Design, Cirlces Boutique, Copasetic Consignment, Dandelion, Exile on Main, G-Mart Comic Books, Jane Addams Book Shop, Jos. Kuhn and Company, Skins N Tins Drum Shop and Spritz Jewelers.

Friday, June 17 - Sunday, July 3 

KEEN and Champaign Surplus Partner to Help Spring Storm Disaster Relief Efforts

For every pair of KEEN shoes purchased in-store and on our website between June 17 and July 3, both KEEN and Champaign Surplus will each donate $5 to the American Red Cross Spring Storm Disaster Relief Fund. The fund is providing much needed help across the Midwest and South, where residents are dealing with a trail of distruction caused by this Spring's tornadoes, flooding and other severe weather.

Sunday, June 12   12-3pm 

Stanley Built for Life Tour 2011

Ever arm wrestled a vacuum bottle? Thrown a carbonated beverage through a tire? Poured drinks while on a balance beam? If you're looking for something fun and unusual to do this weekend, here is your chance! Visit the classic 1967 Airstream Stanley Heritage Museum (Stanley has been around for nearly 100 years!) Step up to the fun and competitive tour challenges, like the 'Proven Under Pressure' arm wrestling match vs. a Classic Stanley Vacuum bottle, 'Camp Site Bailout' race to pack up gear before an impending storm arrives, 'Ready, Aim, Throw' carbonated beverage toss, and many more. Peruse Stanley products under the tent and in the store, register to win an ultimate adventure, score some giveaways, and more!

Through Tuesday, May 31

Old Town Mix 'N Match $100 Visa® Gift Card Promotion

Thinking about buying a canoe or kayak? Come in this Memorial Day Weekend (we're closed Monday in observance of the holiday) and purchase one or two Old Town products with a receipt value totaling $799 or more and you'll receive a $100 Visa® gift card!*

*Good for any Old Town brand canoe or kayak purchase through May 31, 2011 with a total retail purchase receipt value totaling $799 or more (before tax), while supplies last. Purchases must be made at the same time and redeemed on or before June 15, 2011 by sending in your kayak and/or canoe purchase receipt along with a completed redemption form. Limit one redemption per household. Offer valid in the U.S. and Canada. This rebate cannot be combined with any other offers from Old Town Canoe and Kayak. Void where prohibited by law. Noncompliant requests will be eliminated without response.

Thursday, May 5 & Friday, May 6   9am-9pm   Champaign Surplus

CampTastic! 2-Day Sale is Here

Save big on tents, packs, sleeping bags, canoes & kayaks, accessories and more... More Info.

Friday, April 29   1pm-5pm   Champaign Surplus

The Wigwam ‘Wig-L-Wam Wagon’ On Site Handing Out Free Socks!

Marathoners, spectators, Ebrtfestivarians, and Chambana folk one and all: Come show us your dance moves by Wig-L-Wam-ing, and the generous folks at Wigwam will give you a pair of socks to bust your move in. More Info.

Tuesday, March 15   7pm   Parkland College Theater

Champaign Surplus Presents Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour

The annual film festival event is back! Don't miss the exclusive Central Illinois showing, Tuesday March 15, 2011 at 7:00pm, at the Parkland College Theater. All proceeds go to support the outdoor programs of the Boy Scouts of America, Prairielands Council. Tickets are just $10 (or $40 for a Benefactor Ticket) and on sale now at Champaign Surplus and the Prairielands Council offices. Additional event details.


December 2010

Champaign Surplus sponsors the Polar Patrol on WCIA

Kids... stay warm when and play weatherman in the snow this winter. Pick up your free Polar Patrol ruler at school or at the store and help the weather team at WCIA! Just take a picture of the snow at your house to show us how deep the snow is where you live using your Polar Patrol Ruler. Then submit your picture on the Illinois Home Page web site and WCIA will pick random submissions and show them on the WCIA News! Learn more or check out Polar Patrol pictures.

Saturday, October 30   Noon-6pm

Gibbon Slackline Pro Demo at Champaign Surplus this Saturday!

Come out to our brick & mortar location for a fun, active demo this Saturday, October 30. Learn the benefits of this awesome new balance sport with the pros from Gibbon Slacklines. You'll be able to see the pros do their thing, try out the lines yourself, learn the set-up and other basics, win cool stuff... and more. Additional event details.

Monday, September 20

Champaign Surplus Owner on the WCIA/WCFN Morning Show

Shira Epstein had fun being interviewed by anchor Ann Dill for The Morning Show "Women in Business" segment this morning. View Part 1 and Part 2 of the signature woman in business of the week interview.

Monday, September 20   5:30-7:30pm

Champaign Surplus Introduction to Nordic Walking Workshop

Join us for our Nordic Walking Workshop, conducted by Lynn Wachtel, Champaign Surplus owner and certified nordic walking instructor. Designed for participants who are regularly involved in fitness activities and want to learn about adding nordic walking to their workouts. Topics will include: history and benefits of nordic walking, features of nordic walking vs. trekking poles, and nordic walking techniques and instruction. Demo poles will be provided for the workshop. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. Our August workshops were sellouts!

Wednesday, August 18 & Saturday, August 21


Champaign Surplus Introduction to Nordic Walking Workshops

Nordic Walking Workshop, conducted by Lynn Wachtel, Champaign Surplus owner and certified nordic walking instructor. Hear about the history and benefits of nordic walking as well as the features of nordic walking vs. trekking poles, and then enjoy leaning nordic walking techniques.

Monday, July 12

New, Improved Goes Live!

Champaign Surplus proudly launched our redesigned website today. The site features a new, robust eCommerce store for our Rugged Outdoor and Military Surplus merchandise, as well as expanded general information. Additional items will be added throughout the summer, followed by the newest in Fall merchandise. Please bear with us as we get any small kinks in the systems worked out, and feel free to send any and all comments and feedback about the site to

Sunday, July 11

Champaign Surplus Owner Embarks on Kilimajaro Summit

Lynn Wachtel of Champaign Surplus and her fellow climbers are on their way to Kilimanjaro. Wishing them the best on what is truly an inspirational climb! Read and hear real time cyber-reports from the guides of their summit team.

Thursday, June 24

Backpacker Magazine 2010 Get Out More Tour Visits Champaign Surplus

The 2010 Get Out More Tour visited Champaign Surplus on Thursday. The interactive seminar featured all-star outdoor mavens Sheri and Randy Propster, who guided participants through the latest in outdoor gear and apparel while teaching some new outdoors skills.

Tuesday, June 15

Nordic Walking and Champaign Surplus Owner Lynn Wachtel
Featured in The News Gazette

Have you heard about Nordic Walking? It's an exercise option gaining in popularity. Read more about it in the article: Walking the Walk, and stay tuned for our special Nordic Walking clinics at the store.

Saturday, January 16

Champaign Surplus Transition Featured in The News Gazette

Read the article, Champaign Surplus Ownership Passes to 3rd Generation.


Saturday, November 21

Champaign Surplus Owner Lynn Wachtel's Upcoming Summer Kilimanjaro Summit for Relay for Life Featured in The News Gazette

Read the article, 2 Women Will Trek Up Kilimanjaro for Relay for Life.

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