Okay, now you've finally given it a go. You said to yourself that you are so done with living vicariously from your friends' amazing IG posts of their most recent camping trip. You figured you are ready to get down and dirty - yep, it's time to go hiking and camping.
And then you remembered, you have no gears with you --- no backpack, not even a pair of hiking shoes. Heck, you don't even know where to begin getting them? Is this the beginning of the end of your outdoor pursuit?
Fret not, child of the Earth, as Team TRIPinas listed down where to score really cheap outdoor stuff so you will soon be on your way to the mountains.
● Thrift shops, surplus shops, flea markets, warehouse sales. With the right eye and a saint's patience, what we lovingly call ukay-ukay can be a treasure trove of really great outdoor clothing bargains. Before the arrival of all these swanky outdoor shops in some of the metro's popular malls, we used to source our bonnets, down jackets, wool socks and gloves in Cubao's wagwagan and Baguio night market stalls. Sure, there's no air-conditioning and some of these places look more like a warehouse than a shopping paradise with floor-to-ceiling piles of surplus and pre-loved garments but imagine the endless possibilities of what hidden gems you can uncover. Warning: It is easy to be overwhelmed with the options before you. There is also a high possibility of getting distracted by other things up for sale that you end up buying things that you had no intention of buying (Ooh, that little black dress is too cute!). We highly suggest that you prepare a list of what you will get and STICK TO IT. Also, place a cap on how much you are willing to shell out. Because let's face it, your bank account doesn't automatically expand the moment you decide to pursue a new sport. Where: Greenhills shopping center Tiangge, Baguio night market, EDSA Cubao Ukay-ukay shops.
● Your home. Pay your wardrobe cabinet a visit and check which items can be upcycled. Remember that old yoga mat your tita gave you for Christmas last year? Ever used them? No? Before you throw them out, do you know that you can use them as an earth pad for your tent? You're welcome.
● Regular outdoor enthusiasts. A lot of seasoned hikers and campers re-sell their old gears at a bargain to save money for a new item/ tool upgrade. The good thing with purchasing from them is that they are generous on giving their opinion on what's good (and bad) on the items they're selling. They can also give you free lessons on how to properly use them. Always insist on a meet-up so you can inspect the item up close. Don't expect any warranty as you are buying second-hand so make sure that you try the item before sealing the deal. You can try checking the posted ads on community boards of mountaineering clubs or rock climbing gyms.
● Online. For those with more moolah to spare and have little time to visit a physical store, purchasing things online can be a viable option. The good thing is you avoid wasting your time being stuck in traffic since the item will be delivered to you. Don't be surprised, though, that item that arrived at your doorstep doesn't look like the photo you saw on the website. Clothing sizes may also differ depending on the manufacturer. You can be a "small" for one brand but a "medium" on another. It's not you, so don't take it personally. Because of this, it is important that you check the company's return/refund policy before clicking that "buy now" button because there is a high chance that there will be issues and you may have to return/exchange the item. Make it a habit to check for warranty guidelines as well. Head to Lazada and Decathlon for starters.
● Borrow from your circle. Chances are, you have that family member who is into outdoor adventure. Now is the time to take advantage of blood relations. Borrow your brother's tent or your sister's backpack; ask your uncle if he can lend you his Swiss knife or maybe your cousin can, ahem, spare you her rain jacket. There is a high chance that they will say "yes" (if they say "no", remind them of the time you helped them so they feel guilty; just kidding). You'll never know they may end up joining you. How fun is that? Like they said: the family that hikes together, gets bruised together. Just kidding.
So there you have it. Happy gear-hunting!
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