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A1t2o
distinguished member(653)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/14/2018 02:17PM
What are your thoughts on buying used camping gear. I'm thinking specifically tents after browsing some on craigslist, but what gear is and isn't a good idea to buy used. Obviously canoes are fine, packs too, but what about stoves and sleeping bags?

How about people that buy only new? Or only used. Let us know what your reasoning is.
 
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AmarilloJim
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11/14/2018 02:25PM
A sleeping bag might be the only thing I would be hesitant to buy used.
But like all my new gear, I test out all used gear at home before entering the woods.
HowardSprague
distinguished member(2961)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/14/2018 02:26PM
Unless I saw it in person, I'd be hesitant about a sleeping bag. Don't know how funky it would be from previous owners/users. I always air mine out after a trip, and almost always wear socks, but who knows what kinda nasty footstuff and BO has infiltrated a previously-owned bag?
The other stuff, prob ok. A tent rainfly could most likely be treated/re-waterproofed if needed, and other things might be good as new with a little maintenance. Then I'd be thrilled with getting a great deal, especially if it's high-end stuff I couldn't afford new.
11/14/2018 02:30PM
AmarilloJim: "A sleeping bag might be the only thing I would be hesitant to buy used.
But like all my new gear, I test out all used gear at home before entering the woods."


Pretty much my thoughts also. Don't want to sleep in anybody else's bag, no matter how many times it's been cleaned.

With other gear, I figure even if I buy something new, after I've used it once, it's "used" also, so I have a few other used items, and like all gear, it's tried and tested before trips.
11/14/2018 02:42PM
I draw the line at underwear and sleeping bags.
11/14/2018 04:36PM
I wouldn't hesitate on a stove if it is in good condition or the seller looks to have maintained it properly. If you're buying on CL you'd likely be meeting in person to complete the transaction, and so you could make it contingent on a satisfactory demonstration.
You're likely to save a good amount versus new for an item that after a couple uses you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between.

Facebook Marketplace is also a good place to look at, plus you can save searches and get notified when there are new matches.
11/14/2018 08:00PM
Lots of used camping gear almost 90%. Most from Ebay and this site. I get what I expect, and better more often than not. Even sleeping bags, considering how often they are used and how I use them, good results. Wash and recondition to my ability.

Sleeping bags, not many good ones offered, down higher end makers at reasonable used prices 50% new prices.

Tents, almost always good deals same price range as s-bags, several I use regularly.

Stoves, need to be looked at thoroughly for completeness and out-dated parts (old style MSR pumps mostly)., again 50% new price. Have had very good results and stock mostly used in my inventory.

Packs, mostly hit or miss. Everything I have purchased used showed the use. Needed the most in reconditioning.

Wool clothing, mostly good stuff no longer made at cheap prices. Need care in finding sizes.

Out of all my outdoor gear, and it's a sizeable bunch. New items, 2 canoes, 2 paddles, one large pack one day pack, one stove, one tent, 2 sleeping bags,2 sleeping pads, underwear, light outer clothing, water filters, 2-1 liter pots.

Everything else, clearanced old stock, second hand and/or refurbished including almost all my outer winter clothing, GPS units, cameras, lenses, photo gear, cook gear.
Some of the stuff bought new for home use and then re-used as camp gear.

I can be a cheap bugger!

butthead
HappyHuskies
distinguished member (269)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 07:15AM
I have several pieces of gear bought used. I've bought most of it off of Backpacking Light, but a couple of things from Ebay too. Maybe I've been lucky, but everything I've received was in excellent condition, with most showing little, if any use.

Both of the tents I use most of the time were bought used. They are both Zpacks tents, had been used very little and were half the price they would have been new. I also picked up Zpacks sleeping bag for summer use this year used. It was less than 6 months old and look (and smelled) new. For me this was a specialty piece of gear to shave a little more weight and bulk from my summer pack, but will not be used enough to justify buying it new.

I have also purchase used equipment when I wanted a piece that is no longer made, so used was the only choice. I have a Mountain Laurel Designs Newt pack that fits into this category.

I've also bought a few pieces of clothing used. A Empire Wool and Canvas Parka, that I don't think had ever been worn and a Western Mountaineering jacket that had a small stain that I knew about before buying but was in otherwise very good condition. The stain is almost undetectable and makes no difference in the woods anyway.

There are several other pieces of gear that I use regularly that I picked up used, but you get the idea. The specific items I've bought probably are different than what you would buy, but I listed them because I think they illustrate that high quality items are available at reasonable prices used.
I will say that desirable gear at good or very good prices goes fast, so you can't think about it very long if you before buying.

Overall I have been very satisfied with the gear I've bought used and would not hesitate to buy used again if the right piece came along at the right price. If I continue to buy used over the internet I'll probably get a piece that is not described accurately at some point, but think it's worth the risk.



Gman42
member (21)member
 
11/15/2018 08:36AM
I love used gear! Cheap! Cheap! Cheap! It takes a little bit of advanced planning to acquire used gear before a trip since it takes time to find what you're looking for, but I feel it's worth the time and effort to save potentially hundreds of dollars in the long run.
A1t2o
distinguished member(653)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 10:08AM
Good information. Honestly I recently bought a used down sleeping bag and didn't think much of it since the plan was always to wash it first. I know it is a little gross but I was always more concerned about wear and tear. I'm keeping my eyes open for a decent used tent and was getting a little concerned about buying used for something like that where water proofing is a factor. Seeing as used tents were not high up on the list of used things to be worried about, I probably don't need to be concerned myself.
cyclones30
distinguished member(1402)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 10:08AM
I've gotten at least half of our stuff used, whether tents from people here or food pack or what it might be. I've got a used stove or two.

I like the comment about drawing the line at underwear and sleeping bags. I'd agree for the most part.
HowardSprague
distinguished member(2961)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 11:43AM
A1t2o: "Good information. Honestly I recently bought a used down sleeping bag and didn't think much of it since the plan was always to wash it first. I know it is a little gross but I was always more concerned about wear and tear. I'm keeping my eyes open for a decent used tent and was getting a little concerned about buying used for something like that where water proofing is a factor. Seeing as used tents were not high up on the list of used things to be worried about, I probably don't need to be concerned myself."

And for rejuvenating a tent, there is a plethora of sealing products through gearaid.com

Gear Aid Revivex/AquaSeal stuff
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(1421)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 11:58AM
I never worried about sealing a tent. I always use an innie.
Gadfly
distinguished member (303)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 01:07PM
I am pretty sure every piece of gear I have both winter and summer was purchased brand new. I am not opposed to buying used gear in fact I check out the classifieds on multiple sites often. I think my issue is I don't like buying things and having it shipped to my house. I prefer to go out and physically see it first. I also find that used items feel priced too high many times.
11/15/2018 03:23PM
I do have a question, for those who think used sleeping bags too gross. Do you stay away from hotels/motels/ and other folks homes overnite?

Actually "cheap" is a misnomer. Purchasing used/outdated/clearanced/reconditioned can allow the upgrading of equipment you could not normally afford. That unobtainable 4 season mountaineering tent drops to half price often changing it's status to affordable.

butthead
HowardSprague
distinguished member(2961)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 03:36PM
AmarilloJim: "I never worried about sealing a tent. I always use an innie."

After 20+ years, I found I needed to re-waterproof the rainfly on my LL Bean tent this year.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(876)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/15/2018 05:44PM
HowardSprague: "
After 20+ years, I found I needed to re-waterproof the rainfly on my LL Bean tent this year."


It's not the age, it's the mileage.
11/15/2018 08:26PM
Interesting topic. I enjoy the thoughtful perspective of our frugal members.
pswith5
distinguished member(3404)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/16/2018 10:44AM
minnmike: " I draw the line at underwear and sleeping bags." toilet paper comes to mind also
A1t2o
distinguished member(653)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/16/2018 11:24AM
butthead: "I do have a question, for those who think used sleeping bags too gross. Do you stay away from hotels/motels/ and other folks homes overnite?


Actually "cheap" is a misnomer. Purchasing used/outdated/clearanced/reconditioned can allow the upgrading of equipment you could not normally afford. That unobtainable 4 season mountaineering tent drops to half price often changing it's status to affordable.


butthead"


I agree with this. Having 2 kids and a wife that is going back to school, getting good gear new is simply not an option most of the time. Yeah I did combine all the money that I got as birthday gifts to contribute towards a new CCS pack, but before that everything "big" was used and I don't think I will be getting any other new quality big purchase gear for at least another year, unless my wife gets a new food barrel pack for Christmas. Maybe if I went for something that would just get me by like a no-name stove and my knock off chair, but there is no way I could afford to buy a nice tent brand new without some serious sacrifices.
carmike
distinguished member(1580)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/16/2018 11:53AM
I have bought a ton of used gear. The vast majority of the time, it's worked out very well. I have nicer gear than I could've afforded otherwise, or I've got the same gear for about half price.

There's always the chance of getting something wrong, but I generally try to figure out why the person is selling the gear in the first place -- and then see if the condition of the item and other details make sense in light of that reasoning.

Quite often, a "used" item is almost brand new -- or actually brand new, with tags still attached.
SevenofNine
distinguished member(2301)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/16/2018 02:30PM
I have not bought a lot of used gear. Bought a used pack off a nice board member here. Bought an Anorak off another member from here. Both purchases have worked out great. Don't be afraid to get your hands wet and buy used. As long as you consider your purchase before you buy I'm sure you will be fine.
mutz
distinguished member(1369)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/16/2018 03:16PM
We have several used items but I need a hands on inspection before I buy anything used. I would also be on the no thanks side for sleeping bags, underwear and toilet paper as I wouldn’t feeel real comfortable with a hands on inspection of some used items. Just sayin.
ghost of murphy lake jim
Guest Paddler
 
11/17/2018 11:03AM
I love my used sleeping bag from Voyageur North and I love my new tarp from CCS.

I still have bitter memories from the time I bought a used paddle from someone on the used gear form.

they offered the paddle on craigslist and bwca.com with a 5 buck discount for the bwca.com crowd. When I was going to physically put the money in the dudes hand he springs it on me, someone from craigslist was interested so now I had to pay the full price. This was not a matter of 5 bucks but rather a matter of principle. What a bad way to make friends.

You have my money but not my respect.
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2293)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/17/2018 12:59PM
I find used gear all the time at goodwill. People get rid of their expensive rain gear and winter gear and I pick it up for 5-10$. You just need to know what to look for.

That being said, good will starting charging 25-30$ for blaze orange hunting gear. I can get that brand new on sale at fleet farm.
Captn Tony
distinguished member(1321)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/18/2018 08:26AM
Why buy new when slightly used will do?
A fair amount of my bdub gear is used and I've never had any problems.
Probably 75% of my ice fishing equipment is used and have had very few issues.
And I've sure saved a lot of $$$$ on gear!
I would have no problems purchasing a used sleeping bag. They have this new fangled invention called a warshing machine that cleans things up without hardly any work a tall
zski
distinguished member (304)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/18/2018 04:16PM
about 7 years ago i bought a used eureka tl4 and a couple #4 superior packs (all $50/ea). some of the seams on the packs were of concern but for $6 a shoe repair shop reinforced them and perhaps better than new. i'd make that purchase again any day.
11/18/2018 05:51PM
Almost all of my gear I bought used, including a sleeping bag, a top quilt, and a tent.
I have had no issues.
doubledown
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
11/20/2018 09:20PM
The great thing about camping/trekking is that so many people fall away from it that there is good barely used gear all over the place and no one in bwca cares if your zip off pants have a little stain on one knee.

A lot of folks are only able to get on a big trek once or twice per year so buying expensive gear to use that infrequently is just plain dumb.

So long as you’re honest with yourself on what you need/want and learn who the quality manufacturers are, you should be set. Don’t be hasty and spend money on used gear if there is a good chance you’ll upgrade in the near future. You’re really not saving any money if you already know you’d really prefer something a little different/nicer.

Prime example is a rain jacket, which is arguably one of the most important pieces of gear in the woods. Before I go any further, I will say that I own 3 rain jackets and got them all used (for the price of one new jacket). I have a bwca/ backpacking rain jacket, a hunting rain jacket and a city rain jacket. Washing rain jackets breaks down the waterproofing. My bwca rain jacket smells like a bwca trip and I don’t care. I purchased it used for about $35 with the intention of it being a tripping jacket. As such, I decided to wait patiently for a gently used rain jacket with pit zips. I could have gotten a jacket much quicker and cheaper if the pit zips didn’t matter, but anyone who has done any trekking knows the ventilation matters. So I waited and watched for exactly what I needed. I got a great jacket 4 years ago and don’t anticipate the urge to upgrade for many many many years.

The only thing that I might be skeptical about buying used is a water filter.
jwartman59
distinguished member(3084)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/23/2018 06:22PM
I bought this gem in the rough on eBay, needed work and located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Best $120 I ever spent
 
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