Outdoor Orientation is coming up in a matter of weeks! So let’s talk gear.
While it’s important to be prepared, let’s face it, a lot of outdoor activity gear is really expensive, and it might not be worth it to buy a backpack that may only be used once or twice. OO should be accessible to everyone, and in order to keep personal gear costs low, here are a few ways OO leaders recommend finding the deals:
• As you start thinking about what to pack for Northland in August, double check the packing list! Knowing exactly what you need to get can help eliminate stress and unnecessary spending. Looking at local thrift stores for gear is a great way to find loved and broken-in boots and packs. Shopping at a family-owned business will guarantee a knowledgeable employee and an educated choice or purchase.
• Ask your friends or extended family! Perhaps you’ll learn that a friend has a hobby you didn’t know about, or that your great-uncle used to be an avid bike packer.
• Scout local yard sales. Many times, there is a wealth of gear to be found for very cheap just by visiting yard or garage sales.
Arriving into Ashland:
• Forgot some gear. No problem. Stop at a few of our downtown stores for those last minute purchases. Moore’s Army Navy, Shoe Shack, or Solstice Outdoors have boots, packs, raingear, synthetic clothing, and more.
• Shop at Bargain Hut! The local thrift store donates seventy-five percent of their proceeds to the Enrichment Center, a local senior citizen care organization. Thursday at Bargain Hut Northland Students receive fifty percent off, in addition to their already-low prices. Bargain Hut is within easy walking or biking distance from campus. Potential finds include wool and synthetic base layers, vintage ski jackets, rainwear, and clothes from outdoor-wear companies.
• Ask your new friends or OO leader—it’s a perfect conversation starter! Most people in the Northland community are well-equipped for a variety of outdoor activities, and people will be happy to share if they have extra gear.
• The student-managed Reuse Room is a great place to find clothing, outdoors-y shoes, and gear to prepare for OO! While the Reuse Room doesn’t usually open until after the semester starts, there will be limited hours during orientation where students can look for any equipment they might need! Potential finds include hiking boots, synthetic and athletic clothing, jackets, raingear, bags, and more.
• Relax and enjoy knowing that you’re well-prepared and ready to go!