Like most people who get into the outdoors, I have acquired my fair share of kit over the years and, during that time, I’ve found a few places that are good for getting cheap or discounted equipment. Here are a few recommendations:
Google search for shops. The first place to go for price comparison.
If you can’t find it, or find it cheap enough, on Google then eBay’s the next port of call. Great for second hand stuff.
Better known for their books but always worth a search after Google and Ebay.
An online only equipment manufacturer who make simple but good kit for camping and climbing.
A fantastic super store for sporting equipment including camping, skiing and cycling. Their own brand stuff is usually a bit bigger/chunkier/simpler than the branded gear but always significantly cheaper. A great place for the basics.
Not dissimilar from Decathlon but solely focused on outdoors kit. Sells lots of cheap brands as well as better quality kit at reduced prices.
This is a ‘flash sales’website, like Groupon, which means they sell large volumes of a certain item at low prices in a short space of time. You sign up to receive regular emails with the latest deals and then have a limit window in which to buy whatever’s on offer. Useful if you’re not in a hurry for a specific item.
Don’t under estimate the beauty of PoundLand, 99p Stores and the like. You’ll never get a down sleeping bag or a Goretex jacket but there are plenty of smaller items you can get at rock bottom prices. I’ve got a rubber Kindle cover, a neoprene case for my netbook, a bike horn, spare gloves, a foldaway rucksack, USB card reader and more, all for a pound.
Cotswold Outdoors are a good range of outdoor retailers and they send all of their excess, discontinued and unsold items to their ‘Rock Bottom’ branches in Betws y Coed and Grasmere. You can get some top quality kit at bargain prices from these stores. Some of it’s available online but not all.
Ex-Army Surplus Shops
Ex-army and army surplus stores can be a good source of particular pieces of kit like large rucksacks, bivi bags and tarps. There are high street shops and online shops (like armynavystores.co.uk, armynavy.com, thearmystore.co.uk and surplusadventure.com), and ex-army stuff often proliferates other places like ebay.
Outdoor Shop Hot Spots
Certain towns around the country have large clusters of outdoor shops all in one place which are often useful for bargain hunting. These include Betws y Coed in North Wales, Aviemore in the Cairngorms, Keswick in the Lake District and Covent Garden in London.
What did I miss? Add your recommendations with a comment below.