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5 Tips to Pay Less for Outdoor Equipment

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Outdoor recreation is unmatched by many other activities. From fishing to rock climbing, there’s an endless amount of fun waiting to be discovered in the great outdoors.

There’s just one problem—getting involved in these activities can be a bit cost-prohibitive. ATVs aren’t known for being cheap, and neither are RVs, campers, or dirt bikes.

The good news is that there are ways to make sure you’re getting a great deal on your outdoor equipment. These five tips will help you make sure you’re never paying more than you should just to enjoy the outdoors.

Shop the used market

One of the best ways to find incredible outdoor gear is looking around the used market. Initially, you might balk at the thought of buying this type of gear used. After all, don’t you want something operating at the highest level of function possible?

Well, most folks selling their gear used have either taken great care of it or didn’t use it enough for the gear to be properly broken in.

Boats are a great example of this concept. There’s even a Kelly Blue Book just for boats that’ll help you know what a good rate is for a used boat from a dealer or private seller. And, with boat loans sitting at affordable, sensible rates, you’ll be able to finance any type of watercraft you want.

Read the reviews

Getting the best bang for your buck comes down largely to knowing exactly what you want. For example, fly rods range anywhere from $20 to $3,500 or more. Reading reviews of equipment helps you get a clear, concise picture of what exactly it is that you want from your gear.

The annual 5-weight Shootout from Yellowstone Angler is one of the best sources of information for anglers on fly rods. It compares nearly 30 different fly rods each year, offering anglers the decision on which rod is best overall—and best value.

Reviews like these exist for other products as well. Spend some time reading them before you go out and buy anything.

Wait for sales

Big events, like Labor Day or Memorial Day, are famous in the outdoors world for offering stellar sale prices on top-of-the-line gear.

If you can be patient, waiting for a good sale at an outlet like Cabela’s or Sportsman’s Warehouse goes a long way in improving your chances of paying less than full-price for outstanding equipment.

Go for a test drive

So you can’t always test drive a new RV or haul a trailer, but even though their loan rates are respectively great at the moment, you should still find a way to take some products for a test run before spending that kind of money.

Most RV dealerships will let you take an RV on a test drive, which should give you an idea of how it’ll drive if you buy it.

Trailers are easier to test drive since you can rent them for very cheap prices. Taking a trailer out for the weekend to see how you like sleeping in it, how your truck pulls it, and living in the other amenities makes the purchasing process a lot easier than buying one without any idea of how you’ll like it after a weekend.

Keep a reasonable budget

One of the easiest things to do when shopping for outdoor equipment is paying more than you wanted to for supposed “extras.” While some of these perks do make a difference, they’re rarely worth the huge increase in costs.

Keep to your budget you set when you started shopping, and you’ll be a lot happier with the product you end up buying.

Buying outdoor equipment shouldn’t be a stressful experience. It should, instead, be full of the promise and excitement that accompanies the great outdoors. Following these five tips will make a marked difference in your buying experience.

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