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How to Save Money on Outdoor Gear

Let’s play two truths and a lie…

  1. I once had a Big Agnes tent destroyed by salt fiending marmots in Grand Teton National Park while I was filtering water nearby.

  2. I’ve never paid full price for outdoor gear.

  3. When I bought my first climbing rope, I saved 50% because I purchased it right before Christmas.

I’ve been told I’m not a very good liar. Did you guess #2 as the lie?

If you've never paid full price for outdoor gear, bravo, my friend! I wish I could celebrate that accomplishment too. Unfortunately, I’ve overspent so many times when buying gear, especially when I was new to hiking. Luckily, there are so many tricks to saving on these purchases, and they aren’t secrets!


REI Garage Sales

These are the ultimate sidewalk sales for outdoor gearheads. You can find everything from lightly used hiking shoes to overnight packs with the tags still attached! The possibilities are limitless. Sometimes event access is on a first come first serve basis, but I’ve also been to garage sales where they hold a lottery to see who gets to browse the selection first. Either way, you do have to be an REI member or become a member on the event day!

Although the events are currently suspended due to COVID-19, you can normally find details on the REI website.

Search Used Gear Stores

In addition to the commonly known outdoor stores, there may be some locally-owned consignment shops near you that specialize in giving lightly used items a second life. You can save a boatload and shop sustainably all while supporting a local retailer.

A quick google search or call to your chamber of commerce can help identify any shops like this in your area!

Wait for Holiday Sales

This one is HUGE you guys! Holiday sales like the ones over Labor Day Weekend and right before the winter holidays will often offer huge discounts on outdoor gear and apparel. It was right before Christmas when I scored half-price on my Mammut 70m rope from Backcountry. If you don’t need the equipment right now, it might be worth the wait for a sale!

Join a Pro Program

If you work in the outdoor industry as a guide, naturalist, or for an outdoor brand you may qualify to receive expert discounts called, "Pro Deals". Discounts vary across different brands. Check out Expert Voice for their guidelines to see if you qualify!

Get a Job in the Outdoor Industry

Working for outdoor brands or retailers often means employee discounts! If you want to save on outdoor gear and have some extra time on your hands, you could consider a job in the outdoor industry.


See, there are plenty of ways to stock your gear closet without spending a fortune! How do you save big on outdoor gear and apparel purchases?

Emily is a freelance travel and outdoor recreation writer for hire. Samples of her published work can be found at

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