There is a relatively new way to get into camping without spending a fortune on gear – rent it, instead. A few companies, like new sponsor Lowergear.com, can provide everything from the tent to a camp stove. Renting gear is their business, so the process is pretty simple. Just select the gear you need, choose a time-period for the rental, and tell them where to send it.
For new campers or even experienced campers who are going on a specialized trip, renting gear makes a lot of sense. It’s pretty hard to judge camping gear until you get it out in the woods, but getting it out there means that you’ve already paid for it. Renting the gear instead, takes all the risk out of trying new gear. You can still buy a lot of your gear on Craigslist to save money, but if you rent first you will know exactly what to look for (and maybe what to avoid).
You can equip a family of four with basic camping gear for $157, at the three-day rental rate. That means you would have to camp five times before you started to justify the cost of buying (new) the gear, outright.
Renting also makes sense for special situations where your existing gear might be inadequate. Maybe the grandkids are joining you during summer break and you need a larger tent, or maybe you have an outing planned with some friends and just need a bigger camp stove for the weekend. Renting, as opposed to buying, lets you address these needs without ending up with a garage full of stuff you don’t use very often.
I like the idea of renting gear, particularly for families wanting to tryout camping. It’s a great way to get familiar with the gear and find out what works for you.
I think that’s right, Hank. It’s one reason you can find a lot of good gear at garage sales, too. Some people try it once and decide it’s not for them.
I agree, if you’re a first-timer, it’s best to rent. Just don’t get stuck on a renting loop because the cost really does add up. I think most people know within their first couple of trips whether they’re going to be a die-hard camper-for-life or not, wouldn’t you say? If that’s the case, it’s time to budget and begin building your equipment collection!
Big Hank’s last blog post..Camp with the Camping Guru!
Across the pond here in the UK, Ryan air a low budget airline have just started doing organised flights with tent rental included. new idea here but a step in the right direction for some!
The Camping Forum’s last blog post..Camping within the UK | Re: So when are you planning to take your first trip of the year
Yeah, I think it makes a lot more sense then buying something you’re hardly ever going to use. btw – that’s a really nice website you got!
Great advice! I rented my first cold weather sleeping bag some years back at REI. Down here in Florida the temps are usually are high enough that a 30-35 degree bag is suitable for winter. Up in N. GA, TN, etc. I needed something rated lower.
Pingback: » CampingBlogger Breaks Down Buying Gear