We did a lot of walking and hiking over Summer. But when the weather turned, we knew we’d need to invest in some decent hiking gear if we wanted to continue. But is it possible to be thrifty whilst sourcing outdoors wear? I believe that it is. Here are some tips for those wanting quality hiking clothes on a budget.
Buying hiking gear on the highstreet
You might presume that outdoors wear costs a lot if you shop on the highstreet, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
When I was looking for a new jacket, I was apprehensive about purchasing online, because I wasn’t sure what size I would need, so I decided to head to a highstreet store.
I tried on around thirty coats during my visit, both in the men’s and the women’s section. I ended up leaving with a coat I found in the sale at Decathlon. It was only £29.99 and after testing it in a storm, I can confirm that it is waterproof. I also bought a fleece layer for a very reasonable £9.99.
I bought my walking boots and my boot socks on the highstreet too. My waterproof boots cost me around £20 from Sports Direct and the socks came in at around £5.
Shopping in the sale
Try to keep your eye out for sales. Highstreet stores often reduce hiking equipment and walking accessories in order to clear some space. Stock that’s coming to the end of the line and the last remaining sizes of a particular item are often marked down. There are some real bargains to be had!
If you’re looking for a bargain, then you should also consider visiting a shopping outlet. You’ll often find that items are all discounted as standard in those places. It means that you can often snap up footwear, shirts, tops and boots for knockdown prices.
Looking for walking items on Amazon
It’s worth browsing on Amazon for hiking gear, as there are bargains to be had. I purchased some waterproof trousers on there for £7.77 including delivery.
Picking up hiking accessories in charity shops
I don’t tend to visit charity shops much and if I am looking for something specific then I wouldn’t necessarily look in a charity shop, as I’d presume they wouldn’t have what I was looking for.
Thrifty Clair is a big fan of charity shops, so I asked her for some advice. She said: “I didn’t have much outdoor stuff but found a £7.50 Tog 24 jacket in Barnardos and my £3.99 Under Armour joggers in Age UK.
“I think it’s a case of just keep an open mind, don’t worry if it’s a bit big, or not the perfect colour. I’ve found loads of waterproof coats for sale in local charity and I don’t go very often either.
“I haven’t seen any walking boots or waterproof pants but the jogging pants I found are perfect. It is worth noting that you can’t try on at the moment, but you can return anything that doesn’t fit for a full refund.”
Finding stuff on Facebook Marketplace
Thrifty Clair also told me that she was currently looking for some second-hand walking boots on Facebook Marketplace. She said that her husband had found a pair on there for just £5 and they’d only been worn once.
I’ve had plenty of success when it comes to sourcing bargains on Faceboook Marketplace in the past and there’s plenty of hiking gear for sale where I live. So if you’re looking for a bargain on outdoors wear, then it’s certainly worth checking out.
If you’re new to hiking, or you’re not sure if it’s something you will do frequently, then why not ask a friend if they have some clothing you could borrow? There’s no point in investing in the gear until you know that hiking is something you’re going to do regularly.
Can women wear men’s stuff?
Sometimes it can be tricky to find women’s hiking clothes, especially if you’re a plus-size woman. But actually, there’s nothing stopping a woman from wearing an item that has been marketed to men. As long as it it fits and you feel comfortable, that’s all that matters. So keep an open mind when shopping and try different items on for size.
Does the same apply for camping stuff?
Camping and hiking are two activities that go hand in hand. If you’re looking for cheap camping equipment; a new tent, a backpack, or a set of camping chairs, then make sure you follow these steps to snap up the bargains. Outdoors shops often discount tents and it’s the type of item that people often buy, never use and then try to offload at a later date; meaning that there are some genuine bargains to be had.
Hiking is an affordable hobby
I think it’s a common myth that hiking gear costs a lot of money, but if you’re savvy, you can absolutely pick up affordable hiking gear.
I think this is a great hobby to have. It’s also pretty thrifty, because once you have the gear, it’s an (almost) free activity. We find that aside from fuel and the odd car parking charge, we hardly spend anything when we go walking and we’re even considering some winter camping.
Getting out and about is also great for your wellbeing. These section about boosting your happiness and this article on mental wellbeing, may also help. You can take the kids too; read my tips for hiking with a baby or toddler.