Updated: Sep 28
If you are relatively new to hiking and adventuring and need to get setup with outdoor clothing or gear, this article is for you. We understand that walking into a specialist outdoor store can be an overwhelming experience if you're not sure what you're looking for; a crazy array of options, often with eye watering price tags. Below are some ideas you may not have considered and may be worth checking out, and you can also save 15% at Cotswold Outdoor with our discount voucher code.
3 BRANDS TO CONSIDER
A few brands that may be worth looking at include:
Alpkit is a UK brand that offer good quality technical gear but at lower prices than the bigger, better known brands. I am a big fan and have quite a few pieces of equipment and clothing from them. It may be a few grams heavier than the lightest possible option but the quality is good and usually saving around a 1/3 on top brands. You can order online and the have started opening physical stores over the last few years including shops in the Lakes, Peak District and Gatehead.
Trespass are also a UK brand and they have a wide range of kit and a large high street presence (c250 stores) across the UK. They cater more for the mass market and possibly more toward the fashionable end of the spectrum. They also do some basic equipment as well as clothing if you are selective from their range.
3)· Mountain Warehouse
Mountain Warehouse occupies the middle ground between the two options above. They offer some functional gear – it may not be the lightest or the most specialist but they are sensibly designed and definitely more than a fashion brand.
OTHER PLACES TO LOOK
TKMaxx offers lower prices on outdoor clothing if you are prepared to sift through their rails and be patient! Their lines change fairly frequently so it may be necessary to visit a number of times to find what you are after. They are usually well stocked with outdoor clothing and ‘activewear’ (as it is titled in store). Although they have a website it doesn’t include outdoor gear.
Your nearest outlet store
Outlet stores from well know outdoor brands can be a good source of kit at prices that are lower than retail price. These include samples and end of line clearance so sizing may be limited for each item. They are generally only physical stores, so you may not have one nearby. However, they are often in outdoor destinations so if you are planning a trip it may be worth popping in.
Second-hand gear can be a great option to save money and also ensure that gear that others have finished with finds a new life. There is a good market for outdoor gear and several routes to investigate, are here are some places to look:
eBay is a good option to look for second hand gear. Although there is a lot of new stuff on the site, set your filters to search out auctions and there is a steady stream of popular items. As with all auctions, decide what you want to pay in advance and don’t get carried away - you can use 'snipe' software to bid automatically for you just as an auction is closing which can help avoid missing out! And don't worry if you miss out on an item; the chances are a similar one will appear very soon (you can save a search for items too to receive alerts when an item is listed). Items with poor photos will generally sell for lower prices – so don’t dismiss them, read the description as well to get a sense of what you are buying.
Outdoor gear specific jumble or car boot sales might be worth looking out for or searching for in your area. ReRun Clothing focuses on running gear but also offer ‘pre-loved’ outdoor kit for sale.
CAMPING GEAR FOR BEGINNERS
If you are looking for camping gear, then we can ease the pain for you - have a look at our Camping for Beginners event, where we've pre-selected good entry level gear for you and we'll show you how to use it.
This article was written by Stu H for Adventure Breaks. If you can share your knowledge or experience with others and are happy to tell us more about it, please get in touch.
Save 15% with our Cotswold Outdoor discount voucher code;
Challenge yourself with a cheese and hiking event.
Read these 6 free and easy ways to pack lighter;
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