REI used gear sales
- | Also do you know of any places where I could get good deals on all the gear?
| Thank You
Check if your local REI has a used gear sale coming up. Typically held on a Saturday and Sunday morning (first weekend of the month, at least here). If you get in early, there are often useful items at about 20% of original price. My down sleeping bags are both from used gear sales and I've even got boots there (for training hikes, not for the real thing). Also a MSR pocket rocket, a Therm-A-Rest butt pad, a set of trekking poles and a bunch of things I don't remember any more.
The rules vary from store to store. In San Francisco, it is best to arrive about 90 minutes before the store opens and get in the line (lots of people drinking coffee and reading the paper in folding lawn chairs) in order to get first crack at the gear. They let 25 people into a storage room at a time and you grab anything you are thinking about, and then take it all out into the store to finalize your choices while later groups go into the room.
Unfortunately, best sale for backpacking gear is October or November, not February. The gear is mostly thanks to people who abuse REI's generous policy on returns. The "reason for return" is written on a tag attached tyo each item. Once saw a pair of socks worn about 80% through (and prices at 24 cents) with "Did not like color" as the reason for return. Sometimes an item will have a minor defect or need a small repair.
If you see people on trail with a big "X" marked on their gear, it probably came from REI used gear sales. (REI doesn't want you re-returning things). See also Barbara's post below for gear bargain ideas.
John Curran Ladd
1616 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
Try REI, they have sales, as well as ongoing online sales. Backpacking Light.com had a used gear forum. other online sites include Campmor and Backcountrygear. if you know what you want, you can google it and click the "Shopping" tab. Then you'll get a list of cheap deals. For last minute stuff, when in Bishop, there's an awesome gear shop ? Eastern Mountaineering or Sports?