Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gear Swap at the Wilderness Exchange

I just got back from the biannual gear swap at The Wilderness Exchange here in Denver.  There were tons of great deals on all sorts of backpacking gear--enough to make any gear addict drool.  Here's some quick gear porn for those who couldn't make it.



What about you?  Have you ever been to the Wilderness Exchange Gear Swap?  If your in a different city, do you have local gear swaps?  This is the place to brag about the killer deals you've gotten!
Gear Swap at the Wilderness ExchangeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

15 comments:

Kathy Handyside said...

The three REI stores in my area have what are called "garage sales", but I don't know what they entail and haven't been to one. Other than that, there's nothing much in my area. (Which is why I want to move out west! LOL)

Jason Klass said...

Hey Kathy,
The REI garage sales are different than this. Basically, REI is selling returned gear at the garage sales. The gear swap at the Wilderness Exchange is more like a flea market--people get a booth and can sell whatever used gear they want. They get all the profit.

Kathy Handyside said...

Oh, I see. Thanks for the explanation. I wondered what the REI thing was; as I said, I've never been to it.

The video is great - made me want to buy a flight to Denver just to take in the gear swap! :)

Kathy Handyside said...

BTW, did you pick up any good deals while you were there, Jason?

Jason Klass said...

He Kathy, no. But it wasn't for the lack of good deals. It was more because I literally have every piece of gear I want/need (for now anyway). This will probably change in the near future.

Matt Lacuesta said...

Glad you got to check it out. I am also glad you didn't go over the stuff that was there and how much it was because that would probably just make me sad. Did you get a chance to make it to the Neptune Mountaineering Swap Meet as well?

Jason Klass said...

Hi Matt-
Thanks for telling me about the gear swap! I never would have gone if it weren't for you. I didn't make it to the Neptune one. Is that mostly climbing stuff or do they have a lot of backpacking gear too?

Matt Lacuesta said...

I just found out about their gear swap last week, so I haven't had a chance to make it yet. I would assume its probably about the same kind of stuff you saw in Denver, just from the Boulder crowd. Most of their stuff is geared towards mountaineering and climbing, but they do have a pretty good selection of backpacking stuff. They also have a great collection of Rab clothing and the full collection of Hilleberg tents. It's worth the short drive just for the mountaineering museum though. I will check out the next swap meet there and let you know how it is.

Jason Klass said...

Matt, the Mountaineering Museum is in Golden, not Boulder (unless there's another one I don't know about). I was talking to Slaydon today and we were both wondering how you find out about all these gear events. Care to enlighten?

Kathy Handyside said...

I'd like to say that it's so encouraging to see a shop that isn't part of a chain thriving. I've seen such a demise of the individually-owned backpacking equipment shops in my area go belly-up: Raupp Campfitters, The Benchmark (actually, the owner moved the shop to Ohio), Wilderness Outfitters, to mention just a few. And I loved those shops! You got to know the actual owner and they got to know you, and the service was personal. And if they didn't have something you wanted, they would bend over backwards to get it for you.

Matt Lacuesta said...

I haven't been to the Mountaineering museum in Golden yet, but that is on the to do list. You can get a better description of Neptune's here: http://www.neptunemountaineering.com/neptune/dept.asp?s_id=0&dept_id=500

As for finding the gear really cheap, its just been a matter of talking to people in the shops that I frequent or at the swap meets. I found out about the Boulder things from some folks I was standing in line with at REI garage sales early in the mornings. I have found some things online as well just by following people's blogs, craigslist postings, garage sales, flea markets, etc...
My favorites are when people are selling off gear so they can buy new stuff for a lifetime trip or pay for said trip. If someone is selling a $500 Arcteryx Jacket for $125, maybe they just need the money? It doesn't hurt to ask what else they have and if they'd be willing to part with it. Thats a great question and I think I will have to put a post up about it on the blog come Monday when I get back from the mountains.

Jason Klass said...

Kathy, the unexpected thing was that Don (the owner) doesn't see the REI that's right across the street as "competition"--he sees it as synergy. You would think that having a major chain right across the street from your cottage business would be seen as a threat but obviously, he doesn't see it that way. I think it's even better when a major chain and local business can not only coexist, but benefit from each other. It might be rare but it's great.

Jason Klass said...

Matt-
Shut up and let's go fishing or backpacking some time. I know you're out with Slaydon tonight on a car camping trip. Tomorrow, I'm fishing the South Platte all day. Maybe we could do a trip next weekend and fish or something. Let me know.

Kevon Andersen said...

Anyone heard when the spring 2011 Wilderness Exchange gear swap will be??? It was May 22 in the year 2010, so I hope it's soon. I missed the fall one, but made some big scores last May, including a $100 BA storm king down bag, a new "sample" pair of Vasque trail shoes for $25, and my fave-o-rite, a Westcomb e-vent rain jacket for a little over $100 -- okay, $160 is as low as I could get the guy to go. I love Wilderness Exchange -- I buy stuff there whenever I can.

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This is a good opportunity to choose from various gear items. It depends on your preferred material.