A Guide To Purchasing Outdoor Equipment


Equipment for outdoor use does not have to be expensive and often because equipment becomes well used and readily shows signs of wear and tear, it is not necessary to buy the very latest new gear. Alternatively, borrow what you can – just ensure you look after others’ possessions. Few of us have an unlimited budget so take a look at everything you need and prioritise.

  • Look for quality items. You do not want equipment to fail in the field and you want a reasonable usage life.
  • Go for lightweight where possible as this will reduce your overall pack size.
  • Go for multi-use equipment to save on volume/weight – e.g. paracord for a washing line or spare boot laces.
  • Research your items well – You Tube often has impartial user reviews of equipment.
  • Price check and visit sales; many suppliers often have comparable equipment for different prices.

Used Equipment

Be cautious with used equipment and avoid buying used safety gear (never buy used climbing ropes).
Some of the best places to look for used equipment can be:

  • eBay
    Great bargains on used equipment, look at photos carefully, ask questions, prefer branded items.
  • Car Boots
    Don’t be afraid to haggle and remember, it’s sold as seen so test it well.
  • Charity Shops
    Great for clothing but takes time to trawl around a few
  • Friends
    Have any friends or relatives upgraded equipment recently..?

New Equipment

If you have to buy new equipment, look for older lines. Gear really hasn’t changed that much in the last 10 years and there’ll be little difference between last season’s tent compared to the current one, except it may be half the price.

  • Scout Shops
    The Scout shop can be visited online at: http://shop.scouts.org.uk or you can visit your local Scout Shop (The place to buy your Scout Uniform.)
  • Cotswold Outdoor
    The Scout Association’s official partner and recommended retailer. Bring your necker to a store for a 15% discount. More information: http://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/3971 Or visit their site at: http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com
  • Go Outdoors
    They have price match guarantee to beat any price by 10% so it’s really hard to find a better price on identically matched equipment. You’ll need to buy a £5 discount card. For more info or to order online, visit: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk
  • Sports Direct
    Although not a typical outdoor retailer, they do have a range of camping and hiking equipment as well as clothes – they have ‘pseudo’ brands like Karrimor. For more info you can visit them online at: http://www.sportsdirect.com

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