Jun 13, 2013 at 11:29 am #1304167
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I've found a lot of decent backpacking clothing at thrift stores.
Athletic shorts, cotton or polycotton hot weather dress shirts, polyester t-shirts, cheap windbreakers/windshirts (just cut out the lining), wool sweaters, coated (non breathable) rain jackets, and more.
Does anyone else shop around at thrift stores?Jun 13, 2013 at 11:41 am #1996273
Pete StaehlingBPL Member
Yes I have and have used some thrift store stuff for bicycle touring and backpacking. Nothing in my current rotation is from a thrift store though.
While not from a thrift store, I do use a kayaking sweater on almost every trip, that was free (found floating in a river).Jun 13, 2013 at 11:52 am #1996286
spelt with a tBPL Member
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
Yep, a lot of my clothes are from thrift stores. Selection varies though. Sometimes I'll go months without finding anything, and then have a big score. To actually find the good stuff you have to commit to checking regularly.Jun 13, 2013 at 11:58 am #1996295
eric chanBPL Member
The dirty little secret about outdoor clothing?
If you shop at thrift stores, outlet shops and ONLY buy stuff on sale … You can spend a quarter of what someone buying name brand clothing spends
And still get "good" brands
Spending $$$$$$ on commoditized outdoor brand clothing is likely the single biggest money waster
They wont make you go any harder or longer at the level most of us are at ;)Jun 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm #1996303
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I've found name-brand outdoors wear in thrift stores, but more commonly in kid sizes. I've got kids, so that's great, but small women could also leverage that angle. In adult clothing, I've occasionally found good indoor gear, but I do better shopping for dress clothes. Often dry cleaners and laundries will donate unclaimed clothing so I look for the claim-check number stapled onto the shirt or pants. It was (1) good enough for someone to pay to have it cleaned, (2) the previous owner could afford professional cleaning so often it is an upper-end label, and (3) it was cleaned since it was last worn.
As the OP implied, some non-outdoors clothing works well. To give an incongruous example: John Travolte's polyester suit from Saturday Night Fever is better outdoor wear than a cotton shirt with Levi jeans. It keeps you warm even if wet and it dries pretty quickly.
Thrift stores are also a cheap source of fabric and insulation. Down jackets and quilts can be harvested for fill. A complete jacket will be cheaper than the YKK zipper you want to scavenge from it. And, for myself, it is less intimidating to modify an existing piece of clothing than to start with a pattern and 2 yards of fabric. That might be taking in the sides to reduce weight and draft. Or adding a hood (perhaps cut from another garment), or adding pockets exactly where and in the style that you want.Jun 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm #1996304
"John Travolte's polyester suit from Saturday Night Fever is better outdoor wear than a cotton shirt with Levi jeans. It keeps you warm even if wet and it dries pretty quickly. "
In other words, definitely bring your sunglasses when hiking with David…..Jun 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm #1996316
@dafiremedicLocale: Southern California
A partial list of my thrift store finds:
9 pairs of convertible pants (6 for myself, 3 for my sons) including 3 pairs of Columbia, 2 pairs of Ex-Officio. All in "like new" condition. Prices from $2 to $7
Several long and short sleeve athletic shirts
1 pair crocs
1 Stainless Klean Kanteen (for my truck and car camping)
3 fleece jackets (2-Columbia, 1- REI)
Various fleece caps and gloves
1 Spotting Scope
1 set ski poles. My 11 yr old broke his trekking poles on the JMT. We did 2 rest days in Mammoth and the cheapest set of trekking poles in town was about $50. We wandered into the thrift store there and found a light set of Scott aluminum ski poles his size for $10. Plus, he wasn't going to be able to break these. He still uses them almost daily in the local mountains.
1 Two liter Platypus (25 cents, found it when I wandered into a thrift store while on vacation in Colville, Washington).
1 three cup aluminum pot with handle, weighs 1.8 oz (after I cut the handle to about 3"), 2.1 oz with MYOG lid. Its now my standard pot when I want more than just a mug.
1 Pot cozy. It was an thin neoprene sleeve for a thermos type bottle, perfectly fit a small IMUSA aluminum mug.
I could keep going, these are just some of my better deals found. I check the local thrift stores about once a week. Unfortunately, the larger thrift store chains like Goodwill and Salvation Army are getting expensive, not much cheaper than new on some things I've found and often twice the price of the same things at other local thrift stores. They do good work and I support them for that, I just wish they'd keep their prices a bit lower.Jun 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm #1996331
Kate MagillBPL Member
Where I live (college town), the local thrift stores are more expensive than Salvo or Goodwill. On the flipside of that coin, the amount of like-new TNF/Pata/etc in secondhand shops here is staggering.
And, you can almost always find nice wool sweaters and lightweight wool gabardine pants, perfect for looking real classy on fall hikes.Jun 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm #1996359
@davidadairLocale: West Dakota
"John Travolte's polyester suit from Saturday Night Fever is better outdoor wear than a cotton shirt with Levi jeans."
True, a proven choice for stayin alive, stayin alive.Jun 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm #1996366
Paul MagnantiBPL Member
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
The thrift store has mainly provided me with fleeces, wind jacket/pants and long sleeve dress shirts (65/35 poly-cotton) for three season hiking.
My overall best find in a thriftier was a Patagucci fleece jacket that retailed, at the time, for $120. It cost $4 (in 2000). Looked brand spanking new.
I was in Ft. Collins,CO at the time and I suspect a local CSU student just dumped it as it was just after Xmas break when I found it at Goodwill.Jun 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm #1996401
John S.BPL Member
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS – THRIFT SHOP FEAT. WANZ
Jun 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm #1996430
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I wear an REI fleece vest my wife got from thrift store
And some shirts
For backpacking, I like close to state of the art materials and usually you don't find those at thrift stores.Jun 13, 2013 at 7:19 pm #1996451
Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
I am thrift store junky. My previous best score had been for a pair of REI branded Komperdell carbon trekking poles for $14. Then, two weeks ago, I picked up a brand spanking new pair of ArcTeryx Rampart pants in my size for $12. I also have 2 pairs of nice Patagonia hiking pants and all of my capilene curtesy of Goodwill. They also recently had new 2.8 liter soft sided water carriers for under $2.00 that perfectly match up with the Sawyer Squeeze filter. I bought 4. I get almost all of my gear from Goodwill, Craigslist, Ebay and the Gear Swap Forum. My new gear comes from cottage companies or REI when I am forced to pay retail.Jun 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm #1996453
USA Duane HallBPL Member
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I threw out a UnderArmor shirt that fit poorly, so now I know that brand won't work for me. Cost at the Goodwill store, sold as a T-shirt, $1.75. A good money donation to them. I've found a few nice shirts to wear to work and one outdoor type shirt to wear down the road, name brand.
DuaneJun 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm #1996488
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
Vintage aluminium popcorn kettle with wire-bail lid clamps. Fricken' rad for five bucks. Keeps squirrels out of my foodstuffs and toiletries, yet not as annoying as a bear canister. Can cook in it and use the lid as a plate.Jun 14, 2013 at 4:09 am #1996523
Greg PehrsonBPL Member
@gregpehrsonLocale: playa del caballo blanco
My whole kit is mostly secondhand or MYOG. Here are some of my thrift store scores:
All for less than $5 each, except the sneakers, which were $7.
-SweatVac Marathon Cap
-Boston Athletic Association synthetic T
-Lands End Down Vest
-Patagonia Synchilla Snap T
-Nike running shorts with liner and mesh sides (like RR EcoMesh)
-Quest convertible pants
-New Balance synthetic mesh running shoes
I've also seen, but not purchased:
-ThermaRest Small Pad
-generic CCF pad
-handheld water bottles for running
-nylon UPF button down shirts
-vintage external frame packsJul 11, 2014 at 8:41 am #2118958
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
Like new, last weekend. Size Large. 10$!!!
The student that is working with me this summer has been looking for backpacking gear so I gave it to him as my plan to set him up with a nice kit. Not that I am rich…:) but he is such a great helper whose interest has given me renewed energy. In return I get to talk his ears off about backpacking.Jul 11, 2014 at 9:29 am #2118967
Gordon GrayBPL Member
@gordongLocale: Front Range, CO
Not UL backpacking, but I found a huge 3 room Coleman family tent for $13. It has one broken pole which cost something like $6 to fix.
I got my daughter's first pack from there as well. $7?
Since then she has sewn on a sternum strap and new, padded waist belt. She is bad a$$ with a sewing machine. We recent found her a new pack from an REI garage sale that was a steal as well.Jul 11, 2014 at 9:39 am #2118968
I'm at the other end of the spectrum. I'm the guy who enables the rest of you to find great deals at thrift stores….Jul 11, 2014 at 10:22 am #2118978
Hey, thanks Doug I.! Someone's gotta donate that gear!
I'm a thrift-store junkie, most of my apparel (hiking as well as regular) comes from Goodwill and the Humane Society store. (I like to think it justifies the money I shell out for footwear.) As another poster states, you have to check in regularly, but by doing that, I've scored: Patagonia pants, shorts and tops, about 5-6 Mountain Hardwear Tshirts, a long-sleeved Icebreaker base layer top, Ex-Officio convertible pants and hats, and I've scored so many Columbia jackets and lined pants that I simply had to stop and donate them to a church free clothing program. And I shouldn't forget to mention the less high-end brands, such as LL Bean, Eddie Bauer and Land's End.Jul 11, 2014 at 10:37 am #2118982
Max DiltheyBPL Member
I check once in a while, but my local consignment-slash-new outdoors store jacked up all their consignment prices, and the same stuff sits on the wall week after week after week.
There are some nice quirks around that place… every sleeping bag is $50. Some are crap, some are nice…
I should hit the thrift store in town and see what I can find!Jul 12, 2014 at 8:50 pm #2119288
…Jul 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm #2119408
Gordon GrayBPL Member
@gordongLocale: Front Range, CO
So I was at the thrift store today thinking about this thread. I actually got a pair of White Sierra convertible pants and a Alpine Designs fleece for $12. Both items I don't need but for the price I will throw them in the rotation. What I wanted, but was too small for me, was these:Jul 15, 2014 at 11:32 am #2119924
Peter BoysenBPL Member
Thrift stores, and even antique stores, sometimes have decent aluminum cooking gear of various sorts. Not SUL titanium or anything, but for the price it's usually hard to beat.
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