Cheap Camping Gear! Where and When to Buy It

Wondering how to afford all the outdoor equipment you need? If so, you’ll love this guide on where to find the best bargains. Read on and let the savings begin!

Megan Large Avatar
Last Update:

There’s no getting around the fact that outdoor gear is expensive. This unfortunate truth can be the reason someone decides not to pursue a new hobby, spend time in the great outdoors, or upgrade their broken equipment. The good news is there are plenty of ways to find bargains.

In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite places to find discounted items so you can worry less about the price tag and more about planning your next trip. Check it out!

1. Steep & Cheap

Along with a motorsports and cycling website, owns and operates the online store Steep & Cheap. As the name suggests, Steep & Cheap offers new outdoor gear at a discounted price, sometimes up to 70% off.

Thanks to an over-production model used in outdoor gear manufacturing, there is often a surplus of backpacks, tents, and other camping supplies. All this extra gear ends up on sites like S&C. 

When browsing, watch for their ‘Current Steal’ deal, a big discount on one specific item. These deals only last as long as the product is available. In other words, act fast if you see something you like.

2. The Clymb

Since 2009, The Clymb has provided a wide range of new outdoor equipment for a fraction of the full price. The Clymb gets its gear and fitness apparel in the form of excess inventory that would otherwise end up in the landfill. They work with big-name brands, including Nike, Columbia, and North Face. 

Once you become a free member, you can browse their apparel, shoes, and equipment selection. The Clymb makes it easy to see how much you can save with a percentage off the banner for each product. 

Deals don’t last long, so don’t hesitate to purchase if something catches your eye. The product you like will likely be gone in a few days.

3. Patagonia Worn Wear

Every outdoor enthusiast knows that Patagonia is costly. On the other hand, through their Worn Wear Program, you can find gently used and restored clothes, jackets, and more. Patagonia buys back used stock for store credit or a Worn Wear trade-in.

Each used item is carefully inspected before it’s added to the Worn Wear online store. Rest assured; you can find like-new items for an affordable price, sometimes as much as 50% off.

Sizes are limited for each item, but you can often find something similar in the correct size. If you have a specific item in mind, it’s worth checking the online store daily as inventory is constantly being updated. 

4. REI Outlet

REI Outlet is a section in REI’s online store. While the stock in their many retail locations may sometimes be outside your budget, the online outlet features new equipment at discount rates. 

Anyone can shop online, including non-members. However, members are eligible for further discounts, and you can use accumulated points to make purchases. It’s also a good idea to sign up for their email newsletter for more information about sales and deals.

The best part about the outlet is the variety they offer. You can find discounts on everything you need to stay warm and enjoy the outdoors from a tent, backpack, and camp stove to a sleeping bag, chairs, cooler, and trekking poles

5. REI Re/Supply Used Gear

For even cheaper finds, try the REI Used Gear store. Unlike the outlet, used gear is only for REI members. Membership is $30 and well worth it. REI thoroughly inspects all the gear they receive and offers fantastic deals on brands like Marmot, Merrell, and Arc’Teryx.

You can save big on some of their best camping equipment, including backpacks, tarps, and coolers, not to mention a large selection of apparel, boots, and shoes for the whole family. 

Trading pre-owned products is as easy as bringing the items to your local REI store or mailing them in. If your equipment is accepted, you will receive a gift card in return.

6. Decathlon

Decathlon is a French-owned sporting goods store that manufactures and sells camping items at reduced prices. Decathlon can keep prices low by selling only private labels, in-house manufacturing, and outsourcing.

Decathlon carries two little-known outdoor brands, Quechua and Forclaz. Between the two, you could outfit an entire camping adventure. Find deals on quality backpacking tents, headlamps, boots, water bottles, and more. Although not as well-known of a brand, the discounted outdoor gear will serve you well.

7. Campsaver

Campsaver, based out of Utah, is a great place to find new stuff from big names without breaking the budget. Shop brands like Big Agnes, Black Diamond, Coleman, and Petzl, and enjoy free shipping and returns. 

Campsaver’s online website flags items on sale or with available coupons so you know you’re getting the best deal possible. Campsaver also has an outlet section where you find other deals for all things outdoors. Sleeping pads, hiking boots, tents, and cookware are available for amazing deals. 

8. Backcountry

Besides Backcountry’s Steep & Cheap, you can also find quality discounted outdoor gear on their main website, specifically under the ‘Sale’ tab. Most products are in the 20-30% off range, but a little searching can reveal 50% or more sales. For example, don’t forget to also check under the clearance tab.

You should also take advantage of the newsletter. Backcountry shares coupons and sales through their newsletter, and the first time you sign up, you can get 15% off your order.

9. GearTrade

Built on a mission to promote conscientious consumption, GearTrade offers a platform for selling used outdoor gear. Used equipment isn’t subject to any sort of inspection, but this doesn’t mean you can’t find like-new items. Finding current deals does require frequent checking, but it can be done.

And there is a ton to choose from. Sellers are rated by people who have purchased their products, so you can know how reliable a seller is. Most sellers are individual people, but there are also listings from manufacturers. 

Big names, including Backcountry as well as small shops, liquidate their returns, closeouts, and samples over to GearTrade. In other words, if you’re willing to do some searching (and have some patience), you can find brand-new items at affordable prices.

10. Outdoor Gear Exchange

The OGE wants to make outdoor gear accessible to everyone. With this in mind, they offer new and lightly used consignment gear at less than full price. The OGE is careful about what they accept for consignment, so you know you’ll be getting high-quality equipment. 

They have a storefront in Burlington, Vermont, but you can also find the entire inventory in their online store. While shopping, remember that the OGE is so committed to affordable kit that they will price match if you find the same product for cheaper somewhere else. 

Consign your pre-owned gear by mailing or bringing it to the store and creating an online account. Once your items sell, you will receive a consignment balance that can be used to buy more gear. The best part is that if anything doesn’t sell after eight months; it is donated to charity.

11. The Gear Room

The Gear Room is similar to The OGE, except located on the opposite side of the country. Based out of Utah, the Gear Room specializes in thrift and consignment equipment. Their online store includes a section for low-cost camping products like tents, sleeping bags and pads, and cookware.

12. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is the new Craigslist for selling and buying. You can find anything in the marketplace, including discounted outdoor gear! Search the marketplace specifically or try one of Facebook’s many gear exchange groups.

Search “outdoor gear exchange + your city or state,” and no doubt various results will populate. If you find something you need like a sleeping bag, you can message the seller directly and even use Facebook for payment. When you go to pick up your purchase, follow basic safety tips:

  • Never go alone.
  • Tell someone where you’re going and what time you should be back.
  • Meet in a public place.

Cheap Camping Gear: Happy Shopping!

Buying outdoor gear shouldn’t break the bank. Luckily, there are ways to find camping bargains. Places like S&C, The Clymb, and the Outdoor Gear Exchange, to name a few, offer a way to get what you need without going into debt. 

Where do you find cheap camping gear? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share with fellow campers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Last update on 2023-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Megan Large Avatar

Megan hails from southwest Colorado, where she grew up hiking and camping. Since then, she has been on the road, working as an outdoor guide. She's guided hiking trips in British Columbia, whitewater in Washington and Idaho, and taught skiing across Colorado.

Megan has spent over 100 days camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and is currently bagging Colorado's 14ers with her Border Collie, Alli. When she's not getting lost on the trail, you can find Megan wherever there's WIFI sharing her outdoor experience so that others may learn from her mistakes.

Email - Linkedin - Facebook

Leave a Comment