This is an old picture of gear used on the AT.
When we think about helping a hiker we usually think about trail magic. Offering food, or a ride to the trail or even a place to stay, a shower and use of a washing machine. There are other ways we can be helping hikers even if we live nowhere near a trail.
Most of us have at minimum an extra box of hiking gear. Some of us have full closets of extra hiking gear. Do we really need all that extra gear? It is nice to to have a few extras so that when a friend shows interest in hiking you can invite them to join you. Having a loaner set of basic gear can save a friend a lot of money. It’s also nice to have a few gear options depending on the season or the particular trail you want to hike next. But let’s be honest with ourselves, most of us have started a gear collection that far surpasses our needs. It borders on hoarding. Maybe we get some enjoyment from just knowing that we have a pile of gear to choose from but I promise you that you will get more enjoyment from helping someone else get set up with what they need to hike. Most trail angels will tell you that they get immense enjoyment from helping hikers. The happiness gurus out there tell us that when we give to other people it makes us happy. So what are we waiting for? There are so many places to donate used gear. Here are a few ideas:
Local Trail Clubs
Some Big Brothers/Big Sisters Associations
To help the hiking community you don’t even have to give your gear away. There are thousands of new hikers looking to buy used gear online. You would be helping them save a ton of money by selling them your extra gear. Again these are just a few of online Facebook forums I know of that are looking for sellers:
Backpacking Gear Flea Market for Women (for women only)
Backpacking Gear Flea Market
There are thousands of smaller, local online forums so check your own local area for online buy & sell groups.
I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s a new year and I am reviewing what I have or because we are remodelling the inside of our bus right now and I have moved every single item I own in the past few days but even with living in a short bus I still feel the need to pare down even more. I have a few hiking gear items that I am making an effort to find a new owner for this week. Please consider doing the same.