While the great outdoors is free to anyone who wants to visit a less structured part of the world, the trappings to make that visit comfortable can be rather expensive. From camping stoves to tents, everything has a cost, and often that cost is rather high. For this reason, many people choose to buy used outdoor gear.
While second hand may be cheaper, there are some concerns that need to be addressed before any large purchase is made. These range from quality to the intended use of the equipment. Checking for all of this information before making a purchase can make a world of difference in the life of the equipment.
Check For Patches
The first thing to check is if any of the equipment has been patched. While a patch doesn’t mean a piece is bad, many patches may point to a weak or abused piece of equipment. In addition, equipment that has been patched poorly will not hold up as well as other equipment. Going over each piece with both the hands and the eyes will allow this information to be clearly conveyed.
Look For Signs Of Wear
If there are no patches, the next step is checking for signs of wear. Looking at the edges, places where stress will be put, and any moving points will give this information quite readily. A worn piece may still have a long life, but should command a lower price.
Test Equipment First
Ensure that all mechanical items such as camp stoves and lanterns actually work. This may mean bringing a can of gas, batteries, or other sources of fuel when testing these items. Do not purchase any item that does not work during the initial meeting for sales.
Make Sure All Parts Are Included
Many camping items such as tents, camping sinks, and stoves have many parts. Losing these parts can make repair expensive or impossible. Before buying an item make sure that all of the parts are included or can be replaced for a reasonable price.
If one is buying an RV or pull along camper, having the electrical checked out before purchasing can save time and money down the road. It is also important to know how much will be owed in taxes for each vehicle or addition that is purchased.
Test For Leaks
Finally, ensure that any items that are meant to hold or repel water actually do so. This means testing pots, pans, camel packs, and canteens with water. This also means checking tarps and others to ensure that water is actually repelled instead of slipping through small holes. These actions can help ensure that camping is a much more pleasant activity.
Overall, used outdoor gear is a great investment and makes it much easier to access the outdoors for almost anyone. Ensuring that the products being bought are in an acceptable condition is extremely important to ensure that time and money are not wasted. It is also important to understand the commitments to maintenance, taxes, and other concerns that may come from different types of equipment.