well, you are right, there are very big shops and mail order camping and outdoor shops around but you need to know where to find this.
as a general role, the classic Camping shops normally cover all this standard "Camper-Caravan" gear for families on static camp sides..... only good if you need specific equipment to style up a 4x4 or overland truck....
Now, if you are more after light weight travelling you have to see the very special Outdoor shops suitable for our need.... a list of web sides follows now, but they are all far apart, so either you do mail order or you are limited to the area you are going to travel..... good luck.
some of the oldest one:
Reisebedarf und ExpeditionsausrÃ¼stung bei DÃ¤rr Expeditionsservice in MÃ¼nchen
- for more than 30 years, every thing you need, GPS specialist, based in Munich/Center - will send you a catalogue.
by GPS: N48.08.564 E011.34.219
Bernd Woick GmbH - OUTDOOR | TREKKING | ABENTEUER - Garmin, Maggiolina, Dachzelte, GPS, Navigation und mehr für Globetrotter, Backpacker und alle Reisefreunde.
- good for overland vehicle equipment and GPS in Filderstadt, Metzingen, Ulm, Stuttgart - will send you a catalogue.
GPS: N48.40.921 E009.13.110 main shop
and for the outlet shop: N48.32.671 E009.17.405
Ulm shop: N48.23.998 e009.59619
Stuttgart shop: N48.46.491 E009.10.595
and Lauche & Maas MÃ¼nchen GmbH - Der internationale ReiseausrÃ¼ster
based in Munich/west - will send you a catalogue.
over 28 years around, very good for all backpacker gear nice folk, very good if you are travelling south, just pop in to get a last minute item to complete your kit on your way over the Alps or to get all this desert gear you are after for before hitting the long way south. Very convenient if you don't intend to hit the inner city traffic, the shop is easily to reach not far from the motorway on the outskirts of Munich.
GPS: N48.9.177 E 011.27.790
a newer big outdoor chain all around Germany, expensive but have every thing in stock.
Globetrotter Ausrüstung | Outdoor Bekleidung Trekking Camping
- big shops to wonder around, Backpacker gear
in Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Bonn, Frankfurt/Main, Dresden - will send you a catalogue.
GPS Hamburg: N53.35.11 E010.02.46 / shop on 4.000qm
GPS Berlin: N52.27.226 E013.19.129 / shop on 4.300qm
GPS Frankfurt: N50.6.485 E008.41.492
GPS Dresden: N51.2.548 E013.43.165
GPS Koln: N50.56.162 E006.56.523 / shop on 7.000qm
GPS Bonn outlet shop: N50.44.29 E007.04.47
one near Duesseldorf is:
- Backpacker gear
be sure there are a lot more all over the place, smaller shops, cover all brands, but may limited only to some items.
I wish you a big fat wallet....... ;o)
you gone to need it.... have fun.
be aware that this shops, specially the big ones sale a lot of "adventure live stile" crap, lots of rubbish you don't need (about 90% of there collection is crap), try to think clear and be targeted on what you really need.... or your trip will suddenly get to an end, regarding your empty wallet if you come out of the shop.