Gearing up for summer: advantages of buying used outdoor gear

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It’s been a chilly start to spring, but many are already thinking about warmer weather.

“People are definitely gearing up for the camping season,” said Great Lakes Gear Exchange Owner Nils Anderson. “We’re already seeing some kayaks and canoes starting to move, and warm weather gear backpacks are already flying off the shelves, so people are definitely getting ready.”

Buying used outdoor gear has become more common, especially with the supply chain issues factories have faced over the past couple of years.

“A lot of resources go into the production of these things,” Anderson explained. “We’ve seen with COVID, not just the environmental impact, but also just supply chain shortages. So limited resources and infrastructure to make new goods, and so the used world has really kind of upped its game because there just hasn’t been as much new available. And obviously being able to reuse gear versus having it land end up in the landfill is always a good thing.”

Buying used is not only good for the environment. It also saves you a pretty penny.

“The main advantage from a customer standpoint is that used gear is going to be much more affordable,” said Anderson. “So we’re a great resource for people to get into something for the first time or maybe upgrade their gear at a lower cost. We’re kind of breaking down barriers for people getting into the outdoors. This is a great area of the world for people to play outside, so we try to make it easier for them.”

Selling your used gear is an easier process as well.

“There are lots of folks who maybe aren’t using something anymore, such as canoes or kayaks, and so they want to see it go to a new home,” said Anderson. “You can sell stuff online, but we make things really easy because you drop it and get paid if it sells.”

Since the store only sells what people bring in, searching for your summer gear soon is recommended.

“We’re kind of reactionary beings, and when it gets sunny and nice out, we start thinking about those camping trips,” Anderson explained. “So, you know, now’s the time to get ahead of the curve and get in and shop for what you need for summer.”