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Affordable Gear - Where you can find it

Written by Jenna Nodding on . Posted in Stories.

Trying a new activity can be both exciting and expensive. There are key stables you need when starting a season of backcountry hiking and camping. Gearing up is a learning process, one that doesn’t have to break the bank.

Second-hand gear is a good way to go when getting started in hiking or backpacking. Buying second-hand allows you to try gear, learn what you like/don’t like, need/don’t need without breaking the bank. Once you've learned those lessons you can decide if you want second hand or invest in something new! Here’s what you need to know:

"Gearing up is a learning process, one that doesn't have to break the bank"

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Second-Hand Gear

There are two things to keep in mind when purchasing used hiking gear: the price and the condition.
  • Ensure it's in Good Condition

    When buying used gear, you need to make sure it’s still functional and in tip-top shape. If you’re new or you feel your knowledge is lacking ask an experienced friend to take a look with you. For example, if you’re buying a used pack or tent, be sure to check the seams and zippers to make sure everything is in working condition. If possible, set the tent up to make sure all parts are together and working. If you can’t handle the gear in person before buying, ask for photos of all angles including close-ups.

  • Run a Price Check
    It is possible to get great deals when shopping second hand, especially when it comes to lightly used gear. That said, check out the original sale price of an item to confirm you are getting a deal. Not all listing on kijiji or Facebook marketplace are a deal. Visit the maker’s website, shop around, and negotiate. Or, look for another sale if you feel the price is too close to the original.

Affordable Gear Options Worth Checking Out

Not sure where to look for your used gear? We share our secret hot spots with you. Don't tell too many of your friends.
  • MEC's Gear Swap Site

    Hop online and check out Mountain Equipment Co-op’s used gear site. Find this gem on the footer of MEC's homepage. It gives you access to items that MEC members are selling across Canada. If you’re looking for something specific, you can likely find it here!

    MEC Gear Swap

  • Switching Gear

    Located in Canmore, Switching Gear is an athletic clothing and gear consignment shop. They have a wide range of gear, from packs to paddle boards, and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here. Many Canmore locals frequently update their gear. As a result, the stock regularly updates and the quality and price of the gear are often great. The staff is very helpful and you have the bonus of being able to view and try out the gear in person before buying.

    Directions to Switching Gear

  • Facebook Marketplace
    If you’re on the hunt for used gear, the Facebook Marketplace is always a good option. Try 'Bow Valley Gear Loft', 'Bow Valley Gear Exchange' and other local “gear loft” groups. Canmore is an active community and the residents often replace their gear. This creates the perfect situation for you to find the right piece of gear at a discounted price. Reach out to the seller and go take a look.
  • Gear Trade
    Based out of Okotoks, AB this store is ran by the self-proclaimed “big time gear junkie,” Jesse. He has extensive experience in the outdoor field and holds the mission of providing high quality gear, at wholesale prices year-round. Check the gear out online or book a one on one consult.

    Gear Trade

  • Scouts Canada
    Scouts Canada in Calgary has a wide selection of used gear for you to browse. You can find camping equipment, outdoor gear, and more. Visit the site and if you can’t make it to Calgary, you can also shop online.

    Scouts Canada Site

  • The Last Hunt
    A Canadian website dedicated to discount outdoor clothing and equipment. Grab past season apparel at steep discounts while your size is available. Daily discounts up to 65% off

    The Last Hunt

When you know where to look, the options are limitless. Save your pennies by hopping online or heading to your local hot-spot.

Not sure what gear you need or don't have your own? Want to try the gear first before spending your money? No idea where to begin? Don’t sweat it. That’s what Get Outside is here for! Leave the stress behind and sign up for Women's Introduction to Backpacking. We bring multiple stoves and tents along with otehr gear for you to try out for yourself! We’ll see you outside!

Women's Intro to Backpacking  

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