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"Hipsters" to the Rescue: How do YOU Save On Camping Gear and Other Outdoor Purchases?

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Check out the two emails I’ve received from readers below:

I am new to this coupon thing and have lots of questions! However I have but one to ask you today! My husband loves the outdoors and with that comes hefty purchases. Do you know of any Daily Deal type sites that can help us save on outdoor sports, fishing, hunting, skiing, etc..??

I know for some folks summer seems miles away, but are there any good deals to be had out there on tents (I’m looking for 8 person) and camping gear?

Any help from all of you is greatly appreciated! 🙂

Join The Discussion

Comments 124

  1. cherie

    buy discounted gift cards at and then buy on sale too.

  2. asma

    About ZOZI:
    “zozi gets you deals on vibrant things to do locally and abroad
    We’re built on the belief that everyone should be able to experience all the incredible things to do out there. So we get you astounding deals (up to 80% off) on sailing, cooking classes, photography tours, dancing lessons, rafting, and more!”

    This site would be more relevant to the first mail and you also get $10 credit when you sign -up

  3. Kelly T

    Camp in the back yard!! We have acreage, so we don’t need a ton of equipment….

  4. Pam

    Lots of good ideas posted for tents and sleeping bags, so I won’t add to that, but for our camping trips I scoured yard sales for the other things that are needed but which do not necessarily need to be camping-specific. For instance, pots and pans, silverware, plastic cups, etc. from yard sales are perfect for camping. Also, the dollar stores are good places for plastic tablecloths, plastic containers for toiletries, clothesline for hanging up towels, flip-flops for those delightful campsite showers, etc. Good luck and have fun!

  5. Kim Pirnat

    Target had a lot of camping gear on clearance when I was there over the weekend. I watch for sales on as well.

    • Sheila

      I saw a ton of camping gear go on clearance at Target as well. Keep your eyes out, you can save quite a bit!

    • Linda

      Got a 4 person tent for my daughter at 75% off and an eight person Eddie Bauer tent also at 75% off but that was a month or so ago. They had a few sleeping bags also at 75% off and were quite nice. Just recently they had other camping equipment marked down so I would at least check them out. On a side note when I scanned the tents they would not scan(not in system) so they had to look up the lowest price which was 75% off which is because they were old stock, but still new to me.

  6. Krystal

    Actually livingsocial just had a $25 for a $50 certificate for a local outdoor store in my town last week. You can’t really control what the deal sites carry, you kinda just have to luck out for the deals. I like hitting up yard sales and the stores after the season to pick up some great deals.

  7. Casey

    I love There are lots of sellers from bigger online retailers who sell items that have been returned, floor model items, or items that were over stock or last years models.

  8. DixyAnn

    We shop at Big 5 and Emergency Essentials for our camping gear. We bought our backpacking tent at Emergency Essentials last year for $30 and it’s a good quality tent! We bought my knock off camelback for $25 at Big 5 at the end of the season. These two stores often have good sales and you can shop online!

    • Carrie

      And if you sign up for big 5’s e-team, they will email you more coupons as well. 10% off your entire first purchase!

  9. Kandace

    The best deal you can get on a tent is right at the beginning of fall, they clearance them out real cheap. Pretty much all that stuff.

  10. Wendy

    Camping is such an inexpensive way to get away!

    Luckily my husband is a fix-it kind of man! We bought our pop-up from craigslist cheap!!! We have had it two years and could sell it still for what we bought it for but we have enjoyed many trips and experiences!!! We take our food with us and we mainly stay at state parks and they are about $20 a night so we can get away for under a $100!!! Camping is our preferred method of travel!!!

  11. Tammy

    I agree…craigslist. There are a lot of gently used items on craiglist, from people who did not enjoy camping and only used the items a few times. We also have a coleman outlet store that gives a military discount and a cub/boy scout discount. We’ve gotten a lot of stuff that way, when they have their big sale around memorial day.

  12. Meggan

    I am a big fan of the deal sites – Steep and Cheap ( has camping and hiking gear (as well as skiing). GearTrade ( is also a part of the Backcountry family, and has deep discounts on all sorts of gear – this is more like an eBay sort of thing, with people listing what they have for sale. I have bought several snowboard jackets from GearTrade and have never been disappointed. 🙂

    • Christy

      Steep and Cheap is the best! It has the best “high end” stuff at reasonable prices. But, it is a bit random as to when and what will pop up next! I have to say, I’m addicted!

      • Honeymarie

        I agree Steep and Cheap is awesome! and addicting… hahaha happy trails!

  13. Carrie

    REI outlet online has some deals. is great
    I watch constantly with a widget on my Macbook.
    and like Lauren above, you can join the Clymb through me (by invite only) to get really cheap stuff! I got a $200 kelty sleeping bag for $65. You get a $10 signup bonus and $10 when you invite a friend and they make a purchase.

    • hlmh

      I signed up with your link and did not get $10 credit.

    • Lori

      yes…no credit…

    • Carrie

      I am so sorry about the $10 credit. Apparently that was a promotion in December when I joined 🙁 I feel horrible about the misleading comment! They still have good deals, like the Sigg promo going on now.

  14. Kristen is a great site that has deals that change every so many minutes. Camping, skiing, climbing etc. gear.

  15. Sakura

    You can always try Freecycle. I’ve seen lots of people giving away camping gear in my area on that site.

  16. Michelle

    Garage sales are the best way to find camping items. Most times for a super cheap.

    • Carrie Fry

      I agree! People sell alot of camping stuff at yard sales. I bought my Coleman double burner for $5. That was a steal!!

  17. maran

    We bought a great tent at the REI yardsale. They have them every fall and spring. You may want to check it out.

    • Takako

      That’s sounds great! Can you please tell me more detail?

      • Ashley

        Rei has a used gear sale at each store four times a year. The items come from returns of used goods ( they have an amazing return policy). Anyways, they always have tons of shoes and clothes along with a wide variety of items you would not expect like bob strollers as well. Just be sure to look it over well since all sales are final but we have found tons of great deals at the sale. You can look at reis website for your local store and they have the events page where it will be listed or you can call and ask…check it out!

  18. Takako

    Cabela is nice place to shop.

  19. Debbie

    We bought an excellent Eureka tent a number of years ago from their outlet store. It was discontinued, a factory “second,” and drastically reduced . . . it was also excellent quality and a good buy.

  20. Rebecca

    Check out They’re not a bargain site, but they are very reasonably priced and it’s very high quality gear.

  21. Angela

    We have a brand new set of Texsport cast iron camping pots/pans/Dutch Oven that we’ve never even opened. It was given as a wedding gift to us 3 years ago and we’ve never camped. If anyone lives in the Jacksonville, FL area and is interested in buying it, please e-mail me at
    I can’t even imagine how expensive it’d be to ship. From what I’ve seen of it online, it’d be $75-$100 brand new.
    It’s awesome to see some great tips on here, because camping can sure be expensive from what I’ve heard! I’m totally a hotel kind of girl, sad to say. I wish I could enjoy camping more, but I like to sleep in a bed with plumbing nearby! LOL!!

  22. Lese Lincoln

  23. Nikki

    i also LOVE it is AMAZING! they constantly have camping gear as their current deal. definitely a place to keep an eye on if you’re outdoorsy.

  24. Jennifer

    Hiking and backpacking is a passion of mine. I am a single mom of a ten year old boy and I can tell you that nothing else compares to walking a trail in the woods or pitching a tent with your family…no televisions or video games. Being a single mom, I have to watch for good deals. Here are some websites I use:

    Make sure to sign up for newsletters and watch these websites daily. Once you get the essentials, camping will become cheaper. I’ve also cut corners in some areas. When we first started camping and backpacking, I couldn’t afford an expensive tent, so I bought a junior tent at Wal-Mart for my son and me. It wasn’t the most comfortable, but I did the job until I could afford a better one.

    I definitely believe that spending time outdoors is worth the money spent.

  25. Tricia

    Yard sales for sure are the best way to go. All my tents, chairs, ice fishing traps, etc. were bought for between $5 and $10. Second best is Craigslist….you gotta be quick to catch the good deals. And finally, Cabelas Bargin Cave off season stuff is super cheap. Don’t forget the thrift stores(goodwill), many a deals found there.

  26. Becky T. This is the best place we’ve found for camping essentials that don’t go on sale. And their prices on smartwool socks cannot be beat!

  27. Stephanie

    We find things where we can. As far as site we like the REI outlet, the Coleman Outlet and On Sierra Trading Post be sure to check out the Bargain Barn, that’s where the best deals are. We can usaully find things at Target this time of year on clearance. The best deal we had found lately was a Coleman stove at the Eddie Bauer outlet for $40.

    • Jessica

      Yes, is a great place. The Bargain Barn is good, but so is the rest of the site. Once you are on their mailing list you get extra discounts free shipping offers and a free Outdoor Magazine in the mail. My husband and got engaged at the Grand Canyon and spent our honeymoon in the Alps. All our gear was from this site.

  28. Kate

    REI has a 20% off coupon that usually comes out in March for members of REI. You can also find AMAZING deals at REI used gear sales. Each store has them on different schedules, so check your local store.

  29. Angela

  30. Mel

    We are big campers and hikers. has some awesome deals in their “yardsale section.” They are closeouts, demos (road shows from costco/sam’s club/, etc. ..) or returns. We have purchased through them since Christmas and have been very happy. Go to their page and like them on facebook for additional discounts.

  31. Christina Coxe Mobley

    Instead of buying sleeping bags I just keep all of our old quilts/comforters and spread them out on the tent floor to pad it and sleep with one on top. We got our tent at big 5, they normally have really good sale prices. I’m not sure about all other states but WA gives disabled veterans a free card so camp site fees are waived, now the only thing we have to pay for when we go camping is the food and wood 🙂 Craigslist is always a good place to find cheap stuff too

  32. Joey

    Any ideas for fishing gear? We shop at cabelas and wholesale sporting authority. But it is still soooo expensive!

  33. Andrea

    If you sign up for Tropicana rewards program and enter your codes with every tropicana orange juice you purchase, there are always percentage off coupons on there for outdoor things and outdoor stores.

  34. Naomi

    We love !! They have great prices and lifetime guarantees on all their products!!

  35. rachael

    I ALwAYS look in the free section on Craigslist for FIREWOOD before we camp. Wood for us us ther biggest expense when camping, being able to get it free easily saves us 100 dollars.

  36. Ann

    I went to Target today and just happened to look through their sports gear and tons of their camping supplies were on clearance for 50%-75% off! Looks like my Target is coming out with a new brand so they are getting rid of their old (last years) brands. I scored a queen size air mattress for $5 (originally $20!). So, you might want to try your area Target store to see if they have some good clearance steals. Also, try and yard sales.

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