Camping is a fun and family-friendly way to get out and enjoy all the free activities nature provides, like hiking, swimming, biking, or kayaking. Having new and used camping gear makes it much easier to enjoy.
Unfortunately, it isn’t cheap to buy all the gear you’ll need to camp comfortably. The way to afford camping gear on a budget is to purchase used clothing and equipment that is still in good condition.
To help you find affordable camping gear, we put together this guide with all the websites, local marketplaces, second-hand stores, and other sources that offer used camping equipment at reasonable prices.
Quality camping gear should last for years, so picking up some gently used items is a great way to recycle!
Where to Buy Used Camping Gear
The top well-known sources for used camping gear and clothing are:
- REI Garage Sale
- REI Co-op
- North Face Renewed
- RockSolid by Arc’Teryx
- Mountain Equipment Co-Op
Second-hand camping gear is a thriving market, and the top sellers above offer customers a chance to purchase vetted used camping equipment and clothing, so you know you’re getting good value.
Many of these stores offer convenient online shopping for used camping gear. Other outdoor equipment retailers who have storefronts have a section with used or returned camping items for sale or trade so you can see them in person before purchase.
Each company handles its secondhand camping gear inventory differently, so here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the retailers above.
REI Garage Sale
Before you can see what REI has for sale in their “garage sale,” you need to sign up for the REI Lifetime Membership for $20. This is a great place to find camping gear! The fee is very reasonable, and you’ll probably save at least that amount on your first purchase.
Expect to find camping gear and clothing at an REI Garage Sale that is from customer returns. The items may have some slight wear, but prices are slashed deeply from retail.
REI quality and attention to detail in both their clothing and camping gear are worth the trouble of waiting for and taking part in their next sale. You also can see the equipment in person, which eliminates any questions about what you’re getting.
The REI Co-op is another phenomenal source of used camping gear and clothing for sale. Shopping is simple, with sections for tenting, hiking, outdoor sports, and more.
Don’t confuse the REI Co-op Used website with REI Outlet stores that sell new overstock items.
The best part about REI Co-op is you can trade in camping gear you no longer need for REI gift cards you can put toward upgrades in your tent, backpack, hiking boots, or other camping essentials.
GearTrade is a platform that lets buyers and sellers come together to dispose of or pick out the used camping gear.
The feel of the website is much like other online peer-to-peer resellers but is strictly for outdoor adventure clothing and gear. They always have a good selection of brand-name items, and the discount off retail averages around 30%, but there are some great deals you can snag if you catch them fast enough.
You’ll need to check seller reviews carefully to avoid issues and remember that shipping costs will increase your final bill.
North Face Renewed
North Face Renewed takes second-hand camping gear like backpacks and clothing and refurbishes them before resale. Items are cleaned, repaired, and sold for around %50 of the original retail prices.
Any items that they can’t resell, they recycle into their “remade” line, which is another excellent way to support eco-friendly business practices.
Rock Solid by Arc’Teryx
Rock Solid by Arc’Teryx is another used gear recycling program that allows customers to return Arc’Teryx used camping clothing and other items in exchange for a store credit.
You can take items directly to retail store locations or follow online mail-in instructions to trade in the gear you want to sell. The site sells a large selection of outdoor clothing and limited amounts of shoes, backpacks, and gloves.
Mountain Equipment Co-Op
Mountain Equipment Co-Op is a Canadian company that specializes in outdoor camping gear and sports equipment, so it’s a great place to find some. They operate an Online Gear Swap where you can find just about any type of camping gear imaginable from tents to sunglasses.
The discount on swap items is better than other sites, which allows you to outfit yourself for your next camping trip on a budget.
You do need to become a member for CAD 5 to buy from the company, but you don’t need to be Canadian.
Mountain Side Gear
Mountain Side Gear has retail locations but has a wide offering for online shopping for those who don’t live in the area. The used camping equipment for sale is typically from older-stock rental equipment the company offers.
The discounts on retail aren’t as significant as other sellers, but the quality of the items is very high.
Rerouted is another peer-to-peer online reselling platform that focuses on camping gear, footwear, and clothing. You can easily search the listings for what you’re looking for, and pick up items %20-%60 off retail prices.
The wide array of items, from mountaineering boots to camp stoves, is what makes this a fantastic source of used camping gear for sale.
SwitchBackr was founded to assist active outdoor enthusiasts in trading or selling used camping gear and other equipment directly to those who need it.
The platform hosts buyers and sellers and handles payments. Owners post pictures of what used camping gear they have for sale and ship items directly to the buyer.
Most items offer an average %30 discount off retail prices, but some are much more. If you really want to scoop up a bargain on a particular piece of camping equipment, you’ll need to check listings often, so you don’t miss out.
Join Our Community
Good Place to Find Used Camping Gear Near Me
Online shopping for second-hand camping gear is great, but it’s even better to shop for items in person so you can ensure it’s the right size and quality level you require.
The best time of year to look for deals on used camping gear is in late fall or winter, or when people are cleaning out garages, attics, and closets during Spring cleaning sessions.
Here are some sources of stores with locations around the US for you to peruse used camping supplies.
Play It Again Sports
Play It Again Sports has an online store to browse what’s in stock for secondhand camping gear and accessories like hiking or kayaking equipment that make your adventures more exciting.
The store has retail locations across the US, where you can buy, sell, or trade used camping and sports equipment of all makes and brands. The average savings over retail is around %50, which can help you outfit your camping supply list affordably.
Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor
You can locate used camping gear on Craigslist by using their search filters to pinpoint what you’re looking for. Shopping on Craigslist for used camp stoves, tents, and other needs for camping or backpacking will be more successful in regions of the country where such activities abound, such as in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, or Eastern states.
Facebook Marketplace allows you to find used camping items at a very local level. This method will enable you to see objects in person, avoid shipping charges, and probably going to give you the largest discounts on retail prices. You’ll want a Facebook account so you can stay on top of new postings.
Nextdoor is another great way to find used camping gear near me, as the subscribers are grouped via their geography. The website is for neighbors within about a twenty-five-mile radius to stay on top of local events or alerts, but it has a for-sale/trade/free section with incredible deals on used items.
Scan the listings for camping-related equipment and set up a time with the seller to see or pick up the items. We use this hidden gem to get used camping equipment at super-low cost, but selection varies by location and time of year.
Thrift Stores and FreeCycle
Local thrift stores are another source to find quality used camping equipment and clothing, but the selection is hit or miss. If the store is smaller, you can leave your name and number with the manager and ask them to contact you if the camping item you’re looking for comes into the shop.
Some thrift stores advertise a portion of their items for sale online to drive traffic to the store, but most do not and will require some footwork to see what’s available.
Discounts can be great, as most of the workers who price the camping gear have little knowledge of their retail value. We’ve snagged a $450 tent that looked brand new for only $35, but deals like that will be few and far between.
Freecycle is a lesser-known source to find used camping items, but everything listed on the site is free or for trade. The website is more popular in some areas than others but is gaining more interaction daily as people learn about it.
Freecycle lets the owners of items post pictures and details, and you can also create a post for things you are looking for. Listings are grouped via cities or towns, which helps filter your search.
The collection of free items is very random, so it’s essential to check in frequently if you’re looking for camping gear. When you see something that interests you, remember to check all the parts are there, or the equipment works before bringing it home.
Garage and Estate Sales
Going old-school by scouting garage and estate sales is another way to find super deals on used camping tents, backpacks, clothing, camp stoves, grills, hammocks, and other accessories that make camping more convenient, efficient, and comfortable.
It does take time and effort to shop these types of sales, but if you can get there early, you may find what you’re looking for. The best advice we can give you to save time and gas money is to look for group events where a whole neighborhood puts on a sale on the same day.
Used Camping Gear Stores Near Me
Independent retailers specializing in camping or outdoor-related gear exist around the country and are some of the best places to find used camping gear.
Small stores may be reselling customer returns or have a consignment section for walk-in customers to browse through. Staying local is a sure way to get bargain pricing on quality camping supplies because you can avoid shipping charges and can often negotiate the price even lower.
Used Camping Gear Wrap Up
Choosing to buy used camping equipment is the best way to save money and help the environment by keeping perfectly usable items out of landfills.
We hope you use our list of the best places to find used camping supplies, clothing, and gear to locate all the items you need
Camping does require a lot of gear if you’re just starting out, which can be overwhelming on the wallet. When you opt instead for gently used gear for camping, you’ll be able to build your camp kit affordably, so give it a try!
- What are the benefits of buying used camping gear compared to new ones?
Buying used camping gear can be significantly more cost-effective than purchasing new items, allowing you to obtain high-quality equipment at a fraction of the original price.
Additionally, it’s a more sustainable choice as it promotes recycling and reduces the demand for new production, thereby minimizing environmental impact.
- What are some tips for buying used camping gear online to ensure you’re getting a good deal?
Ensure you’re getting a good deal on used camping gear online by researching product reviews, checking the retail price for new equipment, and closely examining sellers’ descriptions and photos for any signs of excessive wear or damage.
Use secure payment methods and platforms that offer buyer protection, and always communicate with the seller to ask about the item’s history and any potential issues.
- Can you explain how peer-to-peer online reselling platforms like GearTrade and Rerouted work for buying and selling used camping gear?
Peer-to-peer online reselling platforms like GearTrade and Rerouted operate by enabling users to list their used camping gear on the platform at a price they determine, effectively becoming a marketplace for second-hand items.
Buyers can then browse through these listings, compare prices and items, and make purchases, while the platforms often facilitate the payment and shipping processes, ensuring a secure transaction for both parties.
"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
-- John Muir