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As a discount hiking gear connoisseur, you've come to this page because you're hunting for a bargain on gear.
Discount backpacking gear makes your grin just a little broader.
Or you need a new piece of gear without overpaying for it.
Maybe you have to send your kids off to summer camp and they need a whole long list of hiking gear - and you're on a budget.
Or could it be that you just like to drool over hiking gear bargains? I'm with you on that one!
Regardless of what brought you to this page, there are a few things you should know before you make a gear purchase.
How to find great deals on hiking gear is an art (selecting quality gear over cheap gear) AND a science (knowing what quality looks like).
Discount hiking gear searchers, heed this quote:
"You get what you pay for."
That was the bad news.
Now for a bit of good news.
As a savvy hiker, there are ways to bend that little piece of truth, if you know how to approach buying discount hiking gear in a realistic fashion.
So let's be realists, shall we? I'll take you through my 3 Foolproof Rules of hunting for fairly priced, high quality hiking discount gear, and you can decide if they are going to work for you.
Rule #1: Know your expectations for this piece of gear. Then set your "best price" accordingly.
Here's what I mean in a nutshell:
a) Assess what level of hiking you do currently: armchair fantasizer, newbie, fair weather only, moderate, all seasons, long distance junkie, extreme, or whatever best describes you.
b) Decide how much wear and tear you'll be inflicting upon this particular piece of discount hiking gear. A few hikes per year in dry ideal conditions? Every weekend regardless of moisture or temperature levels? You get the idea.
c) What can you afford to pay for this gear? You should have a top and a bottom number before you go searching.
Rule #2: Research the features and benefits of the item you're seeking before you purchase, so you get exactly what you need.
In other words, don't be swayed by hype or glossy photographs, or this season's new colors. You don't need the gear that world class mountaineers use, so endorsements by Ed Viesturs (for Eddie Bauer) or someone else famous shouldn't impress you!
Read through my webpages describing the gear you need. Forget "want" right now, if you're looking to get a basic set of discount hiking gear that will keep you safe and comfortable on the trail.
Once you've got a few seasons of hiking under your backpacking belt, you can branch out into "wants" and "must haves"!
Rule #3: Stick to reputable sellers.
Over the years, I've generated a short "tried and true" list of discount hiking gear suppliers.
But wait! You ask: How did I come up with this list?
I ordered from them, was not given nasty shocks or surprises in terms of when and/or what I received, and I felt the return/exchange policy was fair for the price I paid.
Plus, they stick with high quality brands.
Ready for a whirlwind tour of the best discount hiking gear companies?
Each of them has advantages and drawbacks, and I'll be careful to outline all of it for you.
Sierra Trading Post: Timing is everything here.
Inventory constantly rotates, so sign up for their alerts according to your personal preferences.
They'll email you when what you need is available.
Don't be too picky about colors or patterns, or you'll wait a long time for great gear.
Keep an eye on the clearance items - I've saved a heap of money over the years!
Watch for their "free shipping" promotions throughout the year.
Mountain Gear carries an impressive hodgepodge of hiking gear, as well as clothing, that you should take a few moments to look through.
When an item is discounted, a big black line goes through the original price and you can see the lower price listed in red, making it easy to spot gear bargains.
Be sure to check out the separate "sale" portion of their website as well.
If you hit a certain dollar amount, shipping will be free.
Outdoor Play: What a great name, right?
This company also covers water sports, so if you're into hiking and kayaking or packrafting, be sure to check them out.
Altrec has a good selection of women's hiking gear.
And you can't argue with the brands they offer - top notch!
And rest assured, it doesn't take long to get up to their "Free Shipping" baseline.
REI This is a member-owned gear coop, originating in my home town Seattle USA. I've been a member since 1977!!
Make a beeline for the "REI Garage" page.
Caution: Sometimes the prices are beat elsewhere (see discount hiking gear stores listed above).
But what you can't beat is their return policies - they always stand behind what they sell.
And as a member, you receive a rebate each year (generally around 10% in late February), tied to the amount you purchase.
Add all of those perks together, and making REI your first stop for discount hiking gear is a very smart move.
Mountain Equipment Coop Another gear coop, this time Canadian.
I'm a member because they carry gear I can't readily find in the U.S., and they're fun people to deal with.
They have 50% clearance events at the turn of the seasons, so don't count them out just because you have to be a member!
They also have lots of pro tips and great outdoor photos on their website.
Watch out! If you sign up for email notifications from all of these companies, your in box is going to overflow.
My advice is to be selective - only do two or three at a time until you find the ones you rely on most heavily.
Avoid being sucked in by a low, low price. If the hiking gear isn't what you really need, even a bargain won't make it useful to you on a hiking trail.
One more tip: Always keep the tags from a new piece of gear.
Now get on out there and use all of that hiking gear!
Find yourself a big tree to hug, or a hill to climb, or whatever says HIKING ADVENTURE to you!
And don't forget the return/exchange policies you can use if your gear isn't working out.
That's why you buy from reputable discount hiking gear dealers like the ones I use, right?
One way Hiking For Her keeps cranking out the best free hiking tips for you is to be an affiliate for these high quality discount hiking gear stores. If you purchase gear through one of the links on this website, you pay nothing extra.
But a bit of magic happens: Hiking For Her receives a small percentage of your purchase price. If you like the idea of supporting this website through your purchases, thank you very much.
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