Summer is here. It’s time to uncurl from your desk chair and live outside. Fresh air, cook outs, starry skies — camping is one of our favourite summer escapes.

Car camping or backpacking, you need to invest in some gear before your trip. It makes sense to buy new on personal equipment such as footwear, but for many other pieces of camping gear, you can and should buy used.

Here are five camping essentials it’s easy to find in the used camping gear market.


Tent shelter comes in many forms. The North Face makes a Docking Station that’s virtually a laneway house. MSR, REI and MEC make ultra-light two-person camping tents. Genji sports has a super easy to use pop-up family beach tent. What do these all have in common? They all frequently come and go in used tent marketplace in the online classifieds

Sleeping Bags

Whether you opt for classic down or synthetic (because it’s more effective fending off the PNW damp), camping sleeping bags start around $100 and get fairly steep, with many $300 and higher. If the idea of a used sleeping bag creeps you out, put it in perspective. It’s no different than sleeping in a hotel bed with clean sheets. Read up on how to wash sleeping bags here.

Backpacks and Baby Carriers

Say you covet a really sleek Arc’teryx, but it’s well out of your price range. Shop used. Gear fiends are always upgrading and selling gently used packs. Daypacks, weekenders, multi day backpacks, and summit backpacks are all for sale used.

Heads up for parents of babies and tots: there are tons of gently-used baby hikers and baby carriers too. Baby hikers are expensive yet only useful for a short window so the market is full of gently-used options.

Camp Cooking Equipment

Campsite grills, when they exist, can take more time to prep than to use. We prefer to bring our own camp cooking equipment. Camp cooking gear ranges from retro-style Coleman models similar to the ones your grandparents used car camping to the ultra-mod BioLite camp stoves that run on a few twigs, boil water in three minutes, come with a grill attachment and can even charge your devices via USB. Because of the level of investment required for grills and stoves (around $100) they’re common on the resale market.

Camping Accessories

Pocket knives, lanterns, cook sets, coffee makers and more  are all available on the resale. In some instances, take pocket knives for example, the old school version can possess more aesthetic appeal, than the new.

Last modified: June 9, 2019

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