Are you after cheap outdoor gear this season? Aren’t we all…
No questions asked: I love Merino Wool and it’s probably the comfiest gear you’ll ever own – lightweight, comfortable in all temperatures and odour-absorbing so you can wear it for weeks (if you really have/want to).
However, it usually costs an arm and a leg… And especially after Christmas, your wallet might need a holiday. So how can you gear up while protecting your hard earned savings?
Raid your local Op-shop
It’s ridiculous how many times I’ve been looking for a good rain jacket and found it ‘round the corner in Salvation Army. Second hand shops are the way to go, if you don’t mind used outdoor gear; it’s good for the environment as well!
You’ll be more successful right after Christmas, when thousands of visitors are leaving New Zealand or unwanted presents are donated. To make space for that must-have Kiwi pillow or Manuka hand cream travellers are often leaving their brand new hiking gear behind. What’s the easiest way to get rid of it? Dump it at the Op-shop!
It might be hard to find pure Merino clothing here, but keep an eye out for hiking shirts, rain jackets and outdoor pants. You’ll be surprised what people can’t fit in their luggage…
Wait for discount days
Black Friday might be a bit chaotic in the US, but there are still good discounts around in the land of the long white cloud.
Last Boxing Day for example, I’ve saved around NZD 200 on Merino Shirts and pants. Simply save your favourite items in a private list (avoid saving on the website and view in a private window to reduce stored cookies) and wait until Boxing Day or Easter comes around – that way, you can actually compare prices and secure your deal, instead of relying on the stock in outlets.
Join local Facebook groups
Another easy (but time consuming) way would be to keep an eye on “Buy, Swap, Sell” groups or TradeMe. Usually, locals sell their everyday outdoor gear here for a bit of cash or clear out, but you might be lucky and catch one or two bargains like a gortex jacket.
I’m especially talking about unwanted Christmas gifts… Anyone? Just make sure to check gear before you pay for it.
Buy your winter outdoor gear in summer, and vice versa
This is a no-brainer: Buying your winter gear in summer will always be cheaper than in the height of ski season. Shops are trying to make space for new products and get rid of their out-of-season gear, especially if you’re looking for down jackets, gloves, beanies and thermals.
Make sure to check out big shops like Bivouac, Torpedo7, Cactus Outdoor Clothing, and even Hunting & Fishing. You’re more likely to find huge discounts here – smaller shops might not be able to offer a big price drop.
Another unique tip if you need something that’s seasonal, but you’re already in the season, is to shop international. Remember, Europe’s summer is our winter, and they too are getting rid of stock. You can grab yourself a great deal if you’re happy to wait for shipping.
Hiking gear might be expensive, but as you can see there are several ways around breaking price tags. If you do spend money on brand new gear, keep in mind that they usually come with a warranty – in cases like Osprey bags and Icebreaker Merino even with a lifetime guarantee, so don’t lose your receipts.
Do you have tips on affordable gear? Share them with us in the comments!
Happy hiking and I hope to see you out there with some new threads…