16 min read

Economical Adventures: Money-Smart Recommendations for Outdoor Gear

Discover money-smart recommendations for outdoor gear that will help you make the most of your economical adventures. Get the best value for your money.
Outdoor Gear Recommendations

Do you love the great outdoors, but cringe at the price tags on adventure gear? 💸 You're not alone. Fortunately, practicing your passion for exploration doesn't have to break the bank. This article is packed with savvy advice on gear selection that reflects both quality and value. It's like a roadmap 🗺️ to economical adventures!

From economical backpacking gear kits to trusted affordable outdoor brands, second-hand retailers, high-function, low-cost gear options, to smart shopping tips, and gear review websites for thorough research before purchase - it's all covered here. 🎒👟🏕️

Whether you're a weekend warrior, an avid camper, a wilderness backpacker, or an enthusiastic newbie ready to venture into the wild, finding affordable outdoor gear has never been easier. Allow us to nudge you in the right direction! 🌲🌄

Budget Backpacking Gear Kit

An adventurous thrill fills every backpacker's heart at the thought of embarking on a journey exploring unknown terrains. However, maintaining a fine balance between having a lightweight backpack and carrying all the essential gear is key. But who says budget-constraint has to hamper your adventurous spirit? For resilient wild hearts like yourself, we have curated the ultimate budget backpacking gear kit under $900!🎒⛰️

Let's peek into our budget-friendly travel kit, boasting the promise of quality, comfort, and affordability.


First up in your outdoor survival kit is your temporary home - the tent. A good tent is your defense against unexpected weather. It's highly essential to invest in a sturdy, lightweight, and easy-to-set-up tent. We've picked an excellent, budget-friendly tent that offers durability and can comfortably accommodate 2 people.


Without a good backpack - a backpacker's closest companion - the journey can be troublesome. Look for a backpack with different compartments for easy accessibility and a proper weight distribution system to avoid strain on your back.

Sleeping Bag

When you're backpacking, comfort and warmth make all the difference in how well you sleep. Thus, a quality, lightweight sleeping bag is a crucial part of your gear kit. Make sure to select a bag that fits your body snugly and is suitable for the environmental conditions you'll encounter.

Hiking Shoes

A sturdy pair of hiking shoes is a sure-fire way to prevent potential sprains or blisters from spoiling your adventure. The right pair of shoes can be your best friend on challenging terrains and climate changes.


No adventure is complete without a warm meal at the end of an exhausting day exploring. Hence, a portable stove that is light and effective is a must-have. The stove selected for the budget kit is compact yet powerful, making it the perfect pick for your backpack.


Having a multi-functional pot in your gear kit can serve your cooking and eating demands. Opt for a lightweight, durable pot, just like the one included in our budgeted kit.


Getting caught up in the dark wilderness is not a desirable scenario. A reliable headlamp is your savior when the sun goes down. Chosen for its incredible battery life and brightness, the headlamp in our kit will keep your path illuminated.

Water Filter

Last but definitely not least is the water filter. From keeping you hydrated to cooking your meals, clean water is a basic necessity. Choose a water filter that is easy to carry yet efficient enough to filter out the majority of waterborne bacteria and microplastics.

So, there you have it - a perfect balance of cost-effectiveness and exhilarating outdoor fun. This is your ultimate budget backpacking gear kit, ready to lead you on countless escapades. Remember, an adventure is as good as the gear you carry, and with our Budget-Friendly Outdoor Gear, you're geared up to face any challenge that comes your way! 🌍⭐

Affordable Outdoor Gear Brands

Are you an outdoor enthusiast itching for your next adventure? If you're nodding 'yes,' then you know the importance of reliable outdoor gear. From hiking boots to waterproof jackets, quality equipment goes hand-in-hand with a fantastic outdoor experience. Thankfully, there are several affordable outdoor gear brands that bring together quality and affordability. Let's explore some of these reliable brands that won't break the bank but still ensure your outdoor adventures are nothing short of amazing. 🏕️


For a brand that strikes a balance between cost and quality, look no further than REI. 🌿REI, or Recreational Equipment, Inc., is a favorite among outdoor lovers for their wide array of gear and commitment to sustainable practices. Whether you're hiking, camping, or just enjoying nature, REI has got you covered.


When you choose Patagonia, you're not just opting for a brand – you're choosing a lifestyle. Patagonia offers high-quality outdoor gear designed with the environmentally-conscious consumer in mind. From the trail to the campfire, Patagonia has got your back. You're not just investing in gear; you're supporting a mission. 🌱


L.L.Bean is iconic, easily recognized by their emblematic duck boots. But they provide much more than footgear. What sets L.L.Bean apart is their wholehearted dedication to customer satisfaction and their rugged, reliable products. No matter your outdoor needs, L.L.Bean is sure to satisfy.


If versatility is what you want from your gear, Columbia is your brand. 🌦️Columbia's outdoor clothing is known for being waterproof, breathable, and equipped for all types of weather. Get ready to conquer the great outdoors rain or shine with Columbia.

Mountain Hardwear⛰️

For the high-altitude lovers, there's Mountain Hardwear. From gloves to insulated jackets, Mountain Hardwear offers gear specially designed for the cold. Don the Mountain Hardwear, and the cold will fear you.


For the footloose outdoor lovers, Salomon presents an array of trail shoes, hiking boots, and running shoes to make your journey a comfortable one. Let your feet experience the Salomon magic. 👟


Marmot blends affordability and high-performance into a powerhouse of outdoor gear. Marmot offers tents, sleepings bags, clothes, and much more to make your outdoor adventure a memorable one.

North Face

Arguably a popular brand, North Face prides itself on its quality gear. Whether hiking, camping, or skiing, North Face ensures that you're well-equipped for your outdoor escapades.

It's significant to remember that acceptable outdoor gear is an investment. It doesn't have to be extravagant, but it has to be worth its weight in the durability and utility it offers. So gear up and prepare for your next adventure. The great outdoors awaits!

Second-Hand and Online Retailers for Affordable Outdoor Gear

Wandering into the wilderness may take our breath away, but the hefty cost of outdoor gear can sometimes leave us gasping for air. 😩 However, being an outdoor enthusiast shouldn't mean emptying your wallet every time. Fear not, adventure seekers! With the right resources, you can discover high-quality but affordable outdoor gear, suitable for every kind of adventure.

Here are some fantastic online and second-hand retailers to help you score the best deals on outdoor gear:

Steep & Cheap

Steep & Cheap is more of a clearance bin for well-known outdoor retailer Backcountry. It bursts with amazing discounts on prominent brands like The North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, and more. Campers, backpackers and hikers alike can navigate their website smoothly, finding all types of gear easily.

Steep & Cheap is comfortable for:

  • Top-notch quality gear
  • Discounts of up to 70%
  • Variety of essential outdoor gear items

Outdoor Gear Exchange

The Outdoor Gear Exchange has carved a niche in the retails space. They offer a wide range of gear options, favorable for every purse. With a major emphasis on sustainability, they also contribute to making your outdoor activities more eco-friendly - a perfectly green two-birds-with-one-stone situation! 🌍💚

Reasons to shop at the Outdoor Gear Exchange:

  • Sustainability-focused shopping
  • Variety of outdoor gear available
  • Attractive prices with many discounted items


Amazon may not be the first store to pop into a buyer's mind when thinking about outdoor gear, but the variety and scale of this online giant are undeniable. This platform has literally everything, from simple hiking shoes, backpacks to high-end camping gears.

Choose Amazon for:

  • Mind boggling range of options
  • Fast shipping with Amazon Prime
  • Customer reviews aiding in buying decisions

Local Charity Shops

Local charity shops can be treasure troves for second-hand outdoor gear. Support your local community while obtaining inexpensive gear by going local. You would be surprised about the number of quality items you can stumble upon, from camping stoves to woolen hats! It's like a mini outdoor jackpot.🎯

Local charity shops are beneficial for:

  • Inexpensive quality items
  • Supporting the local community
  • Finding unexpected treasures

Remember, investing in quality outdoor gear doesn't always need to be pricey. With the right tips and tricks, like those in our guide for finding Affordable Tools at Discounted Prices, you can equip yourself with all the essentials for your adventures without depleting your savings. Here's to more affordable outdoor escapades! 🏞️💸

Budget-Friendly Backpacking Gear Options

Budgeting for outdoor adventures, especially, when it comes to backpacking gear can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Let's not let the cost deter you from experiencing the thrill of new adventures. Here, we'll explore some affordable gear that won't break the bank while ensuring you are well-equipped for your backpacking journey. 🏞️

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Tent

If you're new to backpacking or simply on a budget, the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Tent might be exactly what you need. This tent is a brilliant merger of quality and affordability. It's lightweight, easy to set up, and designed with a unique venting system to keep air flowing through, even on those steamy summer nights. The best part? The Zephyr 2 won't strain your wallet, leaving more room for other essential gear.

10 lb Ultralight Setup

Did you know, you can have a full backpacking setup that weighs only 10 lbs for a stellar $500? That's right! For those who prioritize a lightweight pack and affordability, a 10 lb ultralight setup is the way to go. This setup will include all the essentials, from shelter to sleeping bag and cooking gear. Though minimal, it does not compromise comfort or functionality. Notwithstanding its light weight, you are guaranteed a hearty kit capable of enduring nature's whims. 💪

Camp Kitchen Items

Beyond essential trekking gear, your camp kitchen should not be overlooked. The right cooking utensils and food storage containers can make a significant difference on your journey. For instance, the MSR MugMate Coffee/Tea Filter provides a convenient way to brew your morning coffee or evening tea. Pair that with the Ball Mason Jars which are perfect for storing meals ahead of your trip. Let's not forget the UST Klipp Spork that serves as an all-in-one cutlery set right in your pack. There you have it, a complete and economical camp kitchen setup! 🍽️

Choosing budget-friendly backpacking gear does not have to be a compromise between price and quality. With the right resources and information, you can assemble a backpacking kit that is economical, durable, and ultralight. Whether it's a dependable tent like the Zephyr 2, a 10 lb ultralight setup, or an affordable yet functional camp kitchen – setting out on that long-awaited adventure is within your reach. Known as gear that won't let you down, start packing for your adventure today! ⛺🌄

Inexpensive Outdoor Gear from Walmart

Getting outside and immersing yourself in nature can be an exhilarating, freeing, and grounding experience. 😌 One way to better enjoy these moments is by having the right gear. But this doesn't have to mean breaking the bank! Walmart offers an impressive array of affordable, good quality outdoor gear that can make your next camping or hiking trip an experience to remember. Let's take a look at some of the hot picks available at Walmart. 👀

Outdoor Products Arrowhead Pack

If you're hitting the trails, one essential piece of gear you'll need is a sturdy backpack. Walmart is your go-to for the Outdoor Products Arrowhead Pack. This popular backpack is renowned for its roominess and durability, and it's easy on the budget. Some of its features include:

  • 47.5-liter capacity ensuring you can fit in everything you need
  • Lightweight design making it comfortable for long hikes
  • Dual water bottle pockets so you stay hydrated 💦
  • Padded straps and back for comfort, even with the heaviest loads

Even though you're saving money, this doesn't mean you're compromising on quality or convenience. This backpack truly offers a lot of bang for your buck! 😉

REI Flash 55 Backpack

The REI Flash 55 Backpack offered at Walmart is another steal you shouldn't miss. This is a lightweight yet sturdy backpack featuring REI's UpLift™ compression technology to reduce the load on your back. Some of the backpack's standout features are:

  • A removable top lid for flexible packing
  • Multiple exterior pockets for easy access to items
  • Hydration-compatible design 🥤

Surprisingly affordable, the Flash 55 is on par with some of the pricier options on the market in terms of features and build quality.

Granite Gear Crown2 60 Backpack

Looking for an adjustable, multi-day backpack which doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Walmart's Granite Gear Crown2 60 Backpack might be your pick. This backpack stands out for its practical design and exceptional comfort.

Why we love it? The reasons are plenty:

  • Adjustable hip belt and shoulder straps for a custom fit
  • A removable, multi-pocket lid
  • Lightweight for its size
  • 60-liter capacity to cover you for multiple days in the wilderness

Despite the low price, the Granite Gear Crown2 60 doesn't skimp on quality or features, making it a smart choice.

To sum up, affordable and reliable gear does exist! Heading to Walmart to pick up one of these backpacks is an excellent step toward enhancing your outdoor adventures. Explore, enjoy, and save money while you're at it; now that's a deal we can all get behind! 💪🤩

Websites for Discounted Outdoor Gear

Adventuring into the wild doesn't always mean you have to break the bank. If you're an outdoor enthusiast looking for a bargain, there's a treasure trove of websites offering affordable yet, quality camping, hiking, biking, and other outdoor gear. Here, we've rounded up a list of top-notch sites you can count on for discounted outdoor gear. Let's have a look!

The Clymb

Among the many websites online, The Clymb stands out as a haven for thrilling deals aimed for the outdoor enthusiast. This is a membership-based site, but don't worry, joining is free! 😊 This site offers insider pricing for products from premium brands. The discounts can get up to 70% off! Their catalog covers everything from apparel to adventure gear, so you’re sure to find what you need. However, sales typically last around 72 hours, so when you spot an irresistible deal, don't procrastinate!


For those willing to give pre-loved items a second chance, GearTrade should be your next stop. This site specializes in new and used gear, allowing users to buy and sell outdoorsy equipment themselves. The biggest advantage of GearTrade is that you can find well-maintained, high-quality gear including apparel, bikes, and climbing equipment, all at bargain-bin prices. Here, your wallet and the environment both win! 🌏💰

Halfway Anywhere

Halfway Anywhere may not be essential for gear, but it is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an extra bit of preparation. This site doesn’t just sell gear, they help hikers and backpackers make informed decisions. Besides offering discounted gear, they provide valuable information, including trail guides and gear reviews. From here, you can take your outdoor adventure planning to a whole new level!

On a side note, if you’re looking for an even bigger saving, consider checking out Facebook groups for used gear. These online communities can often offer up some real gems at a snip of the original price.

Remember, getting lost in the wilderness can be fun, but getting lost in the myriad of gear isn't. So, next time you’re in need of new gear but you’re on a budget, look no further than these websites. Not only will you find affordable gear, but you’ll also discover more about the wildlife you plan to explore. Go forth and venture into the wild, adventurers! 🌲🏕️💪

Affordable Essentials for Camping

When it comes to the great outdoors, getting caught unprepared can spell disaster. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a casual stargazer, there's a universal rule all campers respect - always pack the essentials! But these essentials don't need to burn a hole in your pocket. This comprehensive list details affordable and essential items that should be in every camper's backpack.

Synthetic Base Layers

One of the most important items on your packing checklist should be synthetic base layers. These are lightweight, inexpensive, and most importantly, they manage sweat and moisture like a champ—unlike cotton. After all, the secret to comfort on the trail is all about managing your microclimate, and these base layers do just that.

  • Quick drying: Synthetic materials dry faster, reducing that uncomfortable, clammy feeling.
  • Wicks away moisture: Synthetic base layers pull sweat away from your skin and redistribute it.
  • Cost-effective: These multi-purpose items are cheaper and often more readily available.

So remember, always opt for synthetic base layers instead of their cotton counterparts. Cheaper, lighter, and more efficient, they are a must-have for any camping trip!

Rain Gear

Rain can often play spoilsport during camping trips. But with affordable rain gear from outdoor chain stores or even dollar stores, you can stay dry and happy without splurging! Opt for something lightweight and packable, so it doesn't take up too much space and can be easily carried around.

  • Ventilation: Choose rain gear with venting options to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Adjustable: Go for gear that can be easily modified to fit over your clothing or backpack.
  • Pocket-friendly: There are plenty of affordable options from big chain stores or even dollar stores!

Remember, a little bit of investment can go a long way in ensuring you stay dry and comfortable in any weather.

Duct Tape

Finally, we get to the superhero of the camping world - duct tape. This versatile tool has countless camping purposes, from fixing tent rips to patching inflatable mattresses.

  • Versatility: Duct tape can fix almost anything, from ripped tents to broken water bottles.
  • Lightweight: It's incredibly lightweight and doesn't take up much space in your backpack.
  • Affordable: A single roll doesn’t cost much and can be picked up at any local pharmacy or grocery store.

So carry a roll of duct tape at all times - it's cheap, efficient, and can be a total game-changer in the great outdoors!

As the saying goes, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Pack these essentials for camping trips and ensure the only thing you need to focus on is making memories! 🏕️💪🌲

Smart Shopping Tips for Outdoor Gear

Acquiring quality outdoor gear doesn't have to break the bank. There are numerous strategies that savvy outdoor enthusiasts employ to get their hands on great gear without emptying their wallets. So, let's explore some of these smart shopping tips further.

Borrowing Gear

The first budget-friendly strategy is to borrow gear. Often, you might only need a specific piece of gear for a single trip. In such cases, borrowing from a fellow adventurer can be a more cost-effective solution. Even better, you can test out a piece of equipment before investing in your own.

Shopping Sales

Next up is timing your purchases right. Outdoor gear can be costly, so it's smart to be on the lookout for sales. Retailers often have seasonal clearance events, holiday discounts, and other promotions. Also, consider subscribing to mailing lists from your favorite outdoor stores to be the first to know about sales and markdowns.

Repairing Instead of Replacing

One tip outdoor enthusiasts often overlook is repairing equipment instead of replacing it. Naturally, sometimes replacement is necessary. However, fixing a malfunctioning piece of gear can extend its lifespan and save you money in the long term. Think about it: A minor sewing job on a backpack or patching up a tent can be more cost-effective than buying new.

Using Tyvek and Polycro

A great money-saving idea coming from the DIY community is using alternative materials, such as Tyvek and Polycro. These incredibly light yet highly durable materials can substitute for more expensive gear. For example, a Tyvek groundsheet can replace the often costly specialty footprints for tents.

When it comes to being a thrifty adventurer, it all boils down to creativity and resourcefulness. For more of these money-saving tips, you might want to check our post on DIY Savings Tips that might further help you in finding affordable tools. Exploring the great outdoors has never been more economical!

Websites for Gear Reviews and Recommendations

For the modern adventurer, the thrill of experiencing the great outdoors largely depends on the gear they take along. With the innumerable brands and products on the market today, it's fair to say that picking the right equipment can be a daunting task. However, worry not, because we've rounded up the top websites that provide detailed gear reviews and recommendations, helping you make informed purchases and enhancing your outdoor adventures. We're talking about websites like OutdoorGearLab, Switchback Travel, Gear Institute, and The Wirecutter, which have proven to be game-changers in the world of adventure equipment.


One of the most popular platforms for gear reviews and recommendations is OutdoorGearLab. Their detailed product reviews are achieved through rigorous, side-by-side comparisons and real-world testing methodologies.

🔥 Here are a few things that make OutdoorGearLab stand out:

  • Comprehensive, unbiased product reviews
  • Insightful purchasing advice
  • Clear and high-quality pictures 📸

OutdoorGearLab's commitment to shaving off the stress of gear selection and ensuring you get the best value for your bucks has earned it a spot among the top gear review websites.

Switchback Travel

Up next is Switchback Travel, a go-to platform for both seasoned and rookie adventurers. What sets this website apart is the variety – it isn't just about camping or hiking, but a cornucopia of outdoor activities – skiing, climbing, backpacking, and more!

🏔️Some of Switchback Travel's highlights include:

  • An array of gear categories
  • Reviews that balance technical detail with readability
  • Inspiring adventure photographs

Switchback Travel's comprehensive gear list and well-rounded perspectives ensure that every outdoor enthusiast finds something valuable here.

Gear Institute

Gear Institute is another exceptional resource. This website goes a long way to guarantee the credibility of their reviews by having experts in each gear category conduct tests.

🚀Features that you’ll love about Gear Institute:

  • Reviews from respective gear experts
  • Comparative and score-based assessments
  • Detailed insights about key product attributes

By providing expert and honest reviews, Gear Institute arms you with the knowledge needed to make your adventures more enjoyable and less of a gear gamble.

The Wirecutter

Rolling out the red carpet for The Wirecutter, a New York Times company. The Wirecutter is renowned for its in-depth and reliable product guides that make shopping easier.

🔎Here's what makes The Wirecutter special:

  • Real-world, long-term testing
  • High standard of review integrity
  • Detailed guides answering all potential FAQs

The Wirecutter is praised for its top-notch reviews that instill confidence in the consumers' purchase decisions.

To sum up, these websites offer a guiding hand in your search for the best gear, ensuring your next adventure is a success. Whether you're gearing up for skiing, hiking, camping, or climbing, you now know where to look for trusted advice. So go on, get exploring and add that dash of thrill to your adventures! The world is waiting. Happy adventuring! 🏕️ 🌄


Embracing the great outdoors shouldn't have to break the bank. Whether it's a secluded forest trail or a cozy starlit campsite, adventure awaits within your budget – you only need to know where to look. We hope our list of affordable gear options and trusted retailers gives you the necessary stepping-stones towards your cost-effective outdoor experience.

And if you want to make your outdoor adventure journey even more affordable with top-quality products designed specifically for those DIYers and lovers of the great outdoors, check out the Ultra Handy Amazon eCommerce store. From premium backpacks to sturdy mountaineering essentials, their range of products will undoubtedly support you in achieving a pocket-friendly, yet unforgettable, getaway.

Get out there and explore the world in your own money-smart style, and with Ultra Handy by your side, your thirst for adventure will meet your need for economical solutions seamlessly. Happy exploring!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are some economical outdoor gear options?Some economical outdoor gear options include buying second-hand gear, shopping end-of-season sales, looking for clearance deals, renting equipment instead of buying, and comparing prices at different stores.
  2. Are cheaper outdoor gear options of good quality?Cheaper outdoor gear options can vary in quality. It's important to read reviews, research brands, and consider the intended use of the gear. While some cheaper options may be of good quality, others may not offer the same performance and durability as more expensive gear.
  3. Where can I find discounted outdoor gear online?There are several websites where you can find discounted outdoor gear online, including outdoor gear retailers' websites, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and websites that specialize in discounted and clearance outdoor gear.
  4. Is it better to buy outdoor gear in-store or online?Buying outdoor gear can be done both in-store and online. In-store shopping allows you to try on and test the gear before purchasing, while online shopping offers convenience and often better deals. Consider your personal preferences, time availability, and the need for physical evaluation when deciding between in-store and online purchases.
  5. What are the essential outdoor gear items for beginners?The essential outdoor gear items for beginners include a backpack, sturdy footwear, appropriate clothing layers, a water bottle, a headlamp or flashlight, a multi-tool or pocket knife, a first aid kit, a map and compass, and a sleeping bag and camping pad if camping overnight.