Last weekend my dad took me to the local outdoors store, but we both couldn’t believe how expensive camping stuff is. Please help! Where can I get good outdoor equipment without paying huge prices?
– Sticker-Shocked Steve, San Diego, Calif.
Dear Sticker, we sympathize. Outdoor gear can indeed be really expensive. Luckily you have options.
On the Web, there are a handful of stores that sell quality brand-name camping gear and outdoor clothing at reduced prices. Basically these sites buy discontinued gear and overstocks from manufacturers then sell it direct to you at super-cheap prices. The color and size choices are often limited an you don’t get the face-to-face advice you do from your local outdoors store, but if you look around you should be able to find what you need.
Here are a few of the most well-established online stores:
Also, instead of always sticking with brand-name stuff, consider buying the “house brand” from these companies.
Much of the gear from the big brand names is made with the exact same fabrics and materials in the very same factories. Often the main difference is simply the trendy label that’s slapped on the thing.
And, as always, a great source for BSA-approved gear and clothing is the BSA’s own supply catalog, found at www.boyslife.org/links/scoutstuff.
Finally, check out eBay. There’s plenty of gently used outdoor gear up for auction there.
Happy bargain hunting.