Tips For Buying Used Backpacking Gear

Buying used backpacking gear can be an economical option for building your stash. As you’ve probably noticed, the equipment can be expensive. Not everyone has $400 to spend on a tent or wants to.

This does have its pros and cons. So it’s best to proceed with caution. Great deals on great used equipment are out there. People get into backpacking and then decide it’s not for them or someone decides to upgrade their equipment. However, there are also seemingly great deals that really aren’t.

If you’re going to buy used, here are some tips:

Make sure there’s a picture or test it out. If you’re buying on-line, it’s best if you have a picture of the actual product. While this won’t tell you everything, you can get an idea of the condition of the gear. If you’re buying in person, really examine the gear and make sure it works.

Read the description carefully. Pay attention to what the seller tells you about the equipment. Normally people will disclose flaws in the product.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you have any concerns or questions, ask the seller for more information! Use this opportunity to get more info on the item.

Buy things in very good condition. As we’ve mentioned on this site, your backpacking gear is what keeps you comfortable and safe. What you purchase needs to be in good working order. Don’t try to go cheap and buy stuff that is in less than very good condition. And unless you are confident about your ability to repair something, don’t buy something that “can be fixed” because you can get it cheap.

Know the return policy. If you get the item and realize something’s wrong, it’s nice to be able to return the item and get a refund. Make sure you understand what the return policy is before making the purchase. If returns are not accepted, this could be a sign that something is wrong with the item.

Go through a reputable site. Purchasing something through a reputable site like eBay can help give you more confidence in what you’re buying. It doesn’t completely eliminate the risk, but things like the seller’s feedback and protection through eBay and Paypal’s policies help.

Test it out. If you do purchase an item of used gear, test it at home as soon as you get it. This will allow you to return it immediately if there’s a problem. The last thing you want is to find out the gear you just bought is flawed while on a trip.

All in all, buying used backpacking gear can be a great way to go, as long as you are smart about what you’re buying!

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