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How to Save Money on Outdoor Travel Clothing and Gear

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Nicole Adams


Packing for outdoor adventures and international travel can be exciting but daunting, especially when there’s a lot of potentially unfamiliar and expensive gear that you’ll need to acquire. To help with your search and to keep costs down, we’ve come up with a list of places where you can source second-hand or deeply discounted gear and creative ideas to get you outfitted for your next trip.

How to Buy Used Outdoor Clothing and Gear 

The first step is to make a realistic list of the things you actually need. When you start a new sport or decide to head out on a big adventure, it’s easy to go into gear overload, but you can get by with a lot less than you think. This is a great opportunity to connect with others and get their advice to prioritize what you need. Outdoor and travel gear and clothing can be expensive, but there are several ways to save money on these items. Here are some tips:

  • Take a Closer Look at Your Closet: chances are you might already own some stuff that will work for traveling and hiking. Workout tops and clothing made of synthetics like polyester and nylon make great travel clothes because they pack easily and dry quickly. 
  • Borrow Gear: if you have a friend with travel and outdoor adventure experience and gear, ask their advice on the essentials that you’ll need and see if they’ll let you borrow stuff. 
  • Rent Gear: it’s a great way to try before you buy, or outfit for a single trip and sometimes you can apply the cost of the rental to the purchase. Check out REI Rentals  and Outdoors Geek Rentals

If renting or borrowing stuff isn’t working out, consider buying used outdoor gear and clothing. Look for items at thrift stores, consignment shops, online marketplaces, and outdoor gear swaps. Some major retailers also have options to trade in or purchase second-hand stuff to keep gear in use and out of landfills for the long run. Check out Patagonia Worn Wear, The North Face Renewed, Arc’Teryx Used Gear and REI Used Gear

We also recommend you look into whether there’s a used gear shop in your community. There won’t be one in every town, but it is worth looking at. Check out Outdoor Gear Exchange based in Burlington, VT, and The Pros Closet in Boulder, CO. 

Otherwise there are online options like OutdoorsGeek, and GearTrade. There are also online consignment shops that don’t specialize in outdoor gear but can be a great source if you know what you’re looking for. Check out Poshmark, Depop, ThredUp, Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Be sure to ask for photos and a description of the current condition if you can’t see the item in person before you buy it, and be careful purchasing items that need to fit you like boots, backpacks or jackets.

Where to Buy New Discounted Outdoor and Travel Gear

There are certain things that you’ll need to buy new. Make sure to prioritize quality clothing and gear which is more expensive upfront, but in the long run saves you money by lasting longer and requiring fewer replacements. The best strategy is to wait for sales; the outdoor industry runs on a seasonal cycle, typically winter gear goes on sale in the spring and summer gear goes on sale in the fall as older models and colors are phased out. Sign up for email newsletters or follow them on social media to stay up-to-date on sales and promotions.

Here are some places where you can get new gear at a discount:

  • Backcountry is one of the largest online retailers for outdoor gear and they have amazing sales and discounts. 
  • CampSaver is an online retailer dedicated to providing the best gear at the best prices. You can find big-name brands alongside smaller specialty brands and extra bargains in the CampSaver Outlet.
  • The Clymb is an online shop that has daily and weekly deals on outdoor gear, apparel, and equipment from big-name brands. 
  • Moosejaw has tons of brands and outdoor gear at great prices from camping supplies to bikes and everything in between. 
  • Outdoorplay although their roots are in kayaking, they’ve expanded to include products for rafting, stand-up paddling, hiking, camping, and more. 
  • REI Outlet has daily deals as well as ongoing sales that cover a wide variety of outdoor gear categories from footwear to backpacking tents and so much more.
  • Sierra Trading Post is a discount outdoor retailer run by big names like HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx with a wide selection of everything from shoes to camping gear.
  • Steep & Cheap run, it’s an online outdoor retailer that offers daily steals and bargain prices for the deal-hungry shoppers.

Dragons will always send participants a detailed packing list to ensure you’re prepared for your trip. If you have more questions about what you’ll need, or are interested in learning more about Dragons programs, don’t hesitate to contact us.  

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