Beginning outdoorsmen often face a big problem – how to get the needed gear for hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering without spending all their savings. We checked Sierra and many similar stores to gather some useful tips for you and your entire family that needs a constant supply of boots and jackets that will be outgrown by the next season.
When you are ready to head out, don’t forget that you don’t have to buy absolutely everything you need in one place and brand new. Always take your time shopping. Take that first trip with minimal supplies before going to Sierra store and taking a second mortgage to be best prepared for a mountain.
Now when you are ready to start accumulating your personal outdoorsy goods, take a look at some tips how to do it best:
Sierra Trading Post Clearance
Sierra is never waiting for all the snow to melt before putting many winter supplies and gear on sale. Comes January and countless items go on clearance to make room for all the new warm weather arrivals. You will find deep discounts on warm coats, fleece jackets, gloves, and other items. The discounts can be as big as 75%.
The brands worthy of your attention are Marmot, Smartwool, and Columbia besides other popular names.
Hurry to the stores or shop online using code SHIP89 for free shipping.
Share your gear with others
At the beginning borrow everything you can, except personal items, some clothes, and boots. You can definitely share a tent with the person you are going with, share a bear canister, and try to share a sleeping bag if you are very tight with that person.
Water filters and portable stoves are also good examples of things to share. Pay them back with carrying those things part of the way.
Check out your personal and social networks, work your charm around your neighborhood and you are sure to find somebody you can borrow some gear from. Facebook and NextDoor are great places for borrowing. Sometimes you can get lucky and get something you need gifted to you.
Renting is one good option if you are not quite ready to buy yet. Sierra and REI often have rental programs with good prices. Renting like that you can try many different brands and models before investing in your own.
Buy old rentals
Most rental places want to sell their gear at the end of the season or every two seasons and offer great prices. Next time you are at Sierra, ask when their rental gear sale is and get shopping then.
Buy used gear from friends
You can visit used gear places all you want and get good deals, but before that try asking friends and neighbors if they happen to have something for sale. You will be surprised how often you will have somebody selling you a brand new gear that they bought and never used.
Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Local Trade Groups, and Amazon Warehouse
All of these are great resources to get stuff from wealthy people who bough all the supplies, went on one trip, and decided they were too cold or too hot to go back ever again. Such sales work for both sides involved!
Many areas have specific resale stores that can be dedicated to outdoor gear resale. If not, you should at least be able to find something right after a season is over at more generic stores, especially if you are cool with whatever color and brand. Get ready for the next season for cheap.
Think Goodwill type of stores, especially if you live near mountains and lakes, beaches and rivers. If nothing else, every Goodwill store will have fleece jackets and tech jackets. They may have skis and canoes sometimes, if you are lucky.
Buy REI and Sierra garage sale
Those stores allow the gear to be returned for a year after the purchase and then turn around and resell it for much lower prices. All that gear is usually very gently used and can be had for half the price. It’s definitely worth checking out, with patience
Gear flash sales at The Clymb
You should join The Clymb website and get notifications about frequent 72-hour flash sales, when names like Mountain Hardware, Keen, Black Diamond, and Outdoor Research can go for 70% below retail.
This works perfect if you are not very particular about the brand or exact type of gear. If you are, you might have to wait patiently for a long time.
Closeouts and seconds retailers
Sierra or as it used to be known Sierra Trading Post has stores and website where they sell a lot of closeout lines and ‘seconds’, which are products with a slight imperfections, cosmetic mainly.
Sierra has lots of full retail prices and also lots and lots of great deals.
Also check out campSaver.com and Steep & Cheap.
Don’t be picky and get gear with small cosmetic imperfections. If the color of your backpack is slightly off, nobody will notice, but you. You will also be the only one knowing about the amazing savings you just had.
Take or teach a class
When you take a class at some outdoors clubs and outfitters, you are often eligible for a discount at a partnering store. Instructors get even better discounts. Every 10-15% discount helps.
Sierra and Moosejaw rewards programs
Both of those retailers offer rewards programs, which are free to join and give percentage off on all items and free shipping.
Get Sierra or REI credit card
If you are responsible with your finances, get a credit card form Sierra or REI. They offer bonus points that you can apply towards your future purchases and also refund percentage, so use the credit card often and for large purchases to get significant chunks of cash back.
Join an outdoor club
This might apply for people who live near specific areas only, but it is worth checking out for sure. The organizations like that come with a membership fee, but it’s nothing to compare with 40-60% discounts members can get from some retailers.
Such pro deals are usually final, you have to know what you are getting and not hope return it, and you can’t shop for family and friends. Other than that you will enjoy free shipping and have a wide range of the best brands on ExpertVoice.com or similar places.
Discount codes and coupons
Sierra, REI, Moosejaw, and Backcountry often have coupon codes for discounts of 20-30% off. You can find them in store emails, flyers, Sunday paper, and various coupon aggregation sites.
- Free Shipping on Your Purchase of $89+ with code SHIP89
- 30% Off Select Gear
Buy bigger and neutral color for kids
If you have different age kids on your family, buy gear that is more expensive for the first in line. Pay that extra for the quality to last a few seasons and then pass it down to younger siblings. Buy bigger and don’t buy pink and blue.