Love to hike and want to save money on hiking gear while also reducing your carbon footprint? Check out these ideas for where to find secondhand hiking and outdoor gear.
There’s no such thing as bad weather when you have the right gear. The right equipment makes all the difference. And you can accomplish anything when you’re adequately prepared.
No matter which of these cliches you subscribe to, they all apply well to hiking, especially with kids.
Hiking is amazing. Spending time in nature rejuvenates the mind, the body, and the soul. There’s no better way to raise little environmentalists than to offer them plenty of opportunities to explore, admire, and fall in love with the wonders of our planet.
But finding the right gear for hiking can be expensive. The purchases add up in our bank accounts and also contribute to our carbon footprints. Kids outgrow outdoor gear nearly every season. Families change and need new gear regularly to meet dynamic circumstances.
10 Places to Find Secondhand Outdoor Gear For Families
Secondhand outdoor clothing and hiking gear is a great solution to more environmentally friendly and financially feasible outdoor exploration with family. Many brands make high-quality outdoor gear, so the market for secondhand hiking gear is robust and full of great quality clothing and supplies.
Facebook Marketplace has tons of second-hand outdoor gear for items in your area. Use search terms and filters to specify the brands, sizes, shipping availability, location radius from your home, new versus used, and other qualities to hone in on exactly what you’re trying to find.
Don’t be afraid to look outside of your local area, especially if you’re not far from mountain towns. Because they spend so much time outdoors, mountain town communities often have lots of outdoor clothing and hiking gear to pass along to others. A small shipping fee may be well worth the quality of secondhand goods you can find from sellers in nearby mountain towns or areas with lots of outdoor living activities.
You can also set alerts on Facebook Marketplace to notify you when specific items become available. Once you set a search term, you can attach an alert to that search term so Facebook Marketplace notifies you if an item of that nature pops up in your area.
Facebook Groups For Swapping Kids’ Gear
Facebook is also home to several outdoor gear swap groups, especially for kids’ gear. Search for groups in your area so you can swap gear without shipping expenses. You can also look in nearby towns where members may be willing to ship items to you that aren’t too far away.
Local Consignment Shops in Mountain Towns
If and when you travel to them, local brick and mortar thrift and consignment shops in mountain towns are gold mines for secondhand outdoor gear. Over the last few years, I’ve attended weddings in Aspen, Colorado, and Park City, Utah. On both occasions, I visited a local thrift shop and was pretty stunned by the volume and quality of outdoor gear available.
This may not be a feasible option for most of us on any given day. But if you happen to visit or drive through some of these outdoorsy, mountain towns, set aside some time to make a stop at one of their thrift shops. You might find some amazing secondhand steals.
Related Reading: How To Master Secondhand Shopping Guide
Used Outdoor Gear Websites
Buying second-hand outdoor gear is so commonplace that several websites exist specifically for buying and selling these wares. Here are some of the most popular used outdoor gear websites. They’re especially helpful if you’re looking for something in particular.
Although it’s one of the oldest giants of the internet, eBay is still alive and well. In fact, our local secondhand shopping guru, Kat Steck, uses eBay often to find specific items. If you’re looking for something in particular, eBay might be your answer.
Be sure to check the seller ratings. Anyone can post items for sale on eBay, and the seller ratings should give you an indication of their reliability with respect to product description, accuracy, product quality, and shipping reliability.
If you do find something you intend to buy, consider checking the eBay listings from that seller. They may have other items of interest to you for which you could bundle shipping, thereby saving money and reducing the overall carbon footprint of your purchases. If they have one thing you love, they’re likely to have similar style and taste preferences and or family members who are the same size as someone in your family.
Local Outdoor Gear Outfitters Consignment Sections
Smaller, local outdoor gear shops and retailers increasingly offer their own consignment sale sections within their stores. Before buying new, check your local outdoor retailer to see if they have what you need in their second-hand section.
Resale Clothing Sites for Outdoor Clothing
If you’re just searching for outdoor clothing and accessories, more traditional online resale and consignment outlets may have lots to offer. We shared several of these types of shops in our 10 types of second-hand stores article, and they include websites like thredUP, Poshmark, Mercari, The RealReal, and more.
When shopping on these sites, be sure to use their search filters. The sites often have millions of items and can feel overwhelming without a specific purchasing intention. Using the filters, you can narrow it down to certain brands, sizes, styles, types of clothing, color, and more.
Good Buy Gear
Good Buy Gear sells a variety of baby and kids gear, not just related to outdoor adventure. However, it’s worth taking a look at their site. Right now, they have a great kids’ carrying backpack for hiking, available for sale. Check their sports and outdoor section to see what’s on consignment when you need something.
Buy Nothing Group
If you have a Buy Nothing group in your community, this can be a great place to find and request items for outdoor activities like hiking. While it may require a bit of luck to land the perfect gift, you’ll have better luck finding specific items if you ask for them.
Buy Nothing group guidelines allow and encourage you to request specific gifts. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this and ask for something you need from your neighbors. Just be sure to return the favor when others ask for something you have in abundance.
Buy Nothing groups also allow borrowing. If you are an infrequent hiker and only need something for a single-use or a particular trip, consider requesting to borrow gear from another member of the group. So long as you take good care of it and return it to its original condition, sharing in our collective abundance is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and respect that reduced consumption protects nature’s beauty as well.
Local Secondhand Shops
Don’t discount your local secondhand shops. Even though they don’t focus specifically on secondhand outdoor or hiking gear, they may have some things that will be great. I recently found a pair of Spyder ski pants for my boys that are practically brand new. They are one size too big for them now, so I purchased them for next season.
Related Reading: 10 Types of Secondhand Stores and Why We Love Them
General Tips For Secondhand Outdoor Gear
In most cases, secondhand gear comes with a no return policy. So before you invest, be sure it’s the right size, the right brand, and the quality you seek.
Get To Know A Few Favorite Brands
With respect to clothes, it can help to get to know a few favorite brands and shop them specifically secondhand. That way, you know what size fits you.
Use Online Reviews For Unknown Brands Before Buying
Many sites offer gear reviews online. Use these reviews from places like Outdoor Gear Lab and Baby Gear Lab to discern the quality of a particular product or brand before you buy. A simple search like “(fill in the blank product with brand name) review” will probably yield sufficient results in most cases.
You could also read customer reviews on the brand’s website directly if you can find the same or similar products.
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About The Author
Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.
You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.