6 Ways to a Cheaper Backpacking Kit
After a few day hikes to some local parks, you're ready to make the jump into a multi-day trek into the backcountry and get outfitted with everything from a GPS unit to a camping stove and a backpack with the latest features. If you're really looking to spend some time sleeping under the stars this year, with a little planning and some patience, you'll be able to find what you need at a decent price. Are six cost-saving tips for buying backpacking gear that will help you make some big memories without making a big dent in the bank account this season.
INVEST IN A NATIONAL PARK PASS
For $80, a National Park Pass provides access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. A pass covers entrance fees, which can run up to $20 each visit, and standard amenities at national parks, national wildlife refuges and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Amazon, eBay and Craigslist are great places to get started, and backpacking-specific websites like Whiteblaze.net and BackpackingLight.com have forum sections where readers can buy and sell used gear.
RENT OR BORROW GEAR
If you have friends who backpack, chances are they have extra gear for you to borrow. Also, many outdoor retail shops such as REI have gear rental programs where you can rent just about everything needed for a trip.
For those who enjoy more of a DIY approach, making your own gear might be the best cost-saving option.
SHOP THE DISCOUNT SITES
If there is a piece of gear you’re really interested in buying, sites like The Clymb, Sierra Trading Post and Active Junky sell a wide range of backpacking gear at deep discounts. Sign up for those alerts and strike while the deals are on.
MAKE YOUR OWN MEALS
Buying premade meals might seem like a good option because they are easy to make, but spending the time to shop and prepare your own food will not only save you money, but you’ll have healthier and better-tasting things to eat.
While saving up money to buy the gear you really want, take that time to try out different products and brands so when it comes times to shell out the big dollars, you’ll be able to buy something you can happily use for many years to come.