Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in gear?

For most of us this would be awesome, right?

But there really can be such as thing as too much gear.

If you add growing kids into the mix it can get a little bit crazy trying to keep everyone outfitted and geared up.

Last year I was on a hike with a few friends and we were talking about how our children kept outgrowing everything. We wanted to find a way to recycle gear and get new gear without spending a lot (or any) money. We decided that we needed to have a gear swap.

So we did, and it was awesome.

If you’re looking for a great way to get rid of old gear or looking for gently used gear I highly recommend planning a gear swap with your friends and family.

Here’s how to plan one. 

  1. Find a location.

For our gear swap, everyone simply brought their gear over to my house and set everyone’s gear out on a few long tables.

The location is important, make sure you find a place large enough for everyone to comfortably walk through tables, try on clothing and gear and mingle.

Since the swap was for my local hiking group I felt comfortable opening up my home, but if you’re planning for a large group think about a place like the community room of a library, community center or even a local businesses conference room.

2. Invite your friends, or advertise if you’re planning a gear swap as a fundraiser or for a larger organization.

For us, this simply meant scheduling the gear swap and slapping the information about the event up on the private facebook group page that we use to schedule and plan hikes. If you’re planning for a large group you can advertise on social media, in your local newspaper and don’t forget about sending information about the event to your local radio stations and community calendars.

3. Establish the rules.

Since our gear swap was small and with friends we kept things simple. Everyone simply brought whatever gear or clothing they wanted to swap or sell. Each person was responsible for pricing their gear, selling their gear or trading their gear. Each item had a sticker on it with the name of the person who was trying to get rid of the gear and the price of the item.  Then we just perused the tables and when we found something that we wanted we just went right up to them to negotiate the sale or swap.

4. Gather supplies.

trail mix bar

You’ll need a large space, (a garage works well), a few tables, some stickers to  label items, pens, and snacks. Lots and lots and lots of snacks. You might as well make it a gear swap/par-tay, right? We had a trail mix bar at our gear swap and it was really fun to hang it with my hiking friends off of the trail.

So there you go, a few ideas on how to plan your own gear swap.

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