Bass Pro Shop, Cabela’s and REI may be the stores of choice for many outdoor enthusiasts, but thrift stores and garage sales are where it’s at when it comes to bagging bargains.
Almost any type of outdoor gear can be found at these nontraditional outlets. Often, it is in lightly used or even new condition.
This shopping alternative is especially attractive for outfitting youngsters or fair-weather sportsmen, when you don’t want to pay full retail. It is also a good way to find equipment to use for spare parts for your existing gear.
One strategy is to shop where the activities occur.
For example, if you are looking for bicycling gear, seek out garage sales or thrift stores in communities known for their biking. If you are looking for saltwater fishing rods and tackle, head for the coast.
One word of caution: Buyers beware, especially when shopping for expensive or potentially hazardous equipment, such as used boats, ATVs, gas cookstoves, heaters or lanterns. Whenever possible, take along a knowledgeable friend if you lack the necessary expertise. If you plan to go it alone, do your homework before you hit the sales.
Tips for Good, Clean Fun
- Disposable alcohol wipes are great for removing the gunk and grime that inevitably accumulates on the handles of fishing rods. Any brand will do.
- Spray furniture polish works wonders on boats. Use it to quickly protect your boat’s finish and leave it looking like new again.
- Use a dab of wet Irish Spring soap to stop the itch of insect bites. When it dries, it leaves the affected skin numb.
Outdoors 101: Binoculars
Every pair of binoculars is described by a set of numbers that looks like a multiplication problem, such as 7×35, 8×40 or 10×50. But what do they really mean?
The first number indicates the magnification power of the binoculars. For example, if the first number is an 8, it means the binoculars magnify images eight times the size of what your eyes see without magnification.
The second number refers to the diameter of the objective lens. The bigger the objective lens, the more light that can pass through the optics of the binoculars and the brighter images will appear. That’s important in low-light situations.
There is nothing quite like the natural light show of a meteor shower. The meteor shower activity known as Orionids is active from October 4 to November 14 this year, with the peak estimated to be October 21-22. These are medium-strength showers that sometimes exhibit high-strength activity.
Got a Tip or a Whopper?
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Many of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family, whether fishing with old school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons or bird watching along the coast with his wife. He feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to write about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.