Each year, as we begin getting ready for the upcoming ski season, we pull out gear. Skis, poles, boots, helmet, gloves, baselayers, coats, pants, socks….it all gets taken out, tried on and cleaned up. I prepare lists of what needs to be replaced because it’s either been outgrown or is beyond repair. We hunt for deals, look for bargains and try to arrange trades, if possible. We’ve been doing this since our kids began skiing and it is just part of the pre-season prep.
All I Need Are Shoes
As I go through this gear (unearthing it from beneath the lacrosse gear, the hockey gear, the soccer gear and the biking gear), I am always reminded why I love to run. You may have guessed it: Very little gear.
To run, I need shoes. I could indulge in special shorts, skirts and tops, or maybe a hat, but really all I NEED are shoes (okay, so I like the socks too). Put ’em on and I’m out the door. Less than an hour later, I’ve had a great workout, I’m full of endorphins, and I’m done. It doesn’t take all day. I can’t get a flat tire. A aside from a sprained ankle or two that I’ve sustained on trail runs, not much can go wrong. Simply put, I love to run.
Finding the Best Deals on Ski and Ride Gear
But back to ski gear. The reality is that if you’re going to ski, you’re going to need gear. And, if you’re a skiing family, you’re going to need gear times the number of people in your family.
Last year, I wrote four consecutive posts on gear strategy. Links to each of them are below. The points are still valid and the tips still relevant. I could rewrite them, but that would be silly and take even more time than I am investing into inventorying all the gear.
Interested in saving money on your ski and ride gear this fall? Check ’em out.
The Brave Ski Mom Gear Strategy Collection
Gear Junkies: Gear Strategy Part One: This post focuses on finding deals just as the season ends and in the summer off-season. Summer may be fading quickly, but retailers are still unloading last year’s goods and beginning their preseason sales. In Colorado, Washington, Idaho, Utah or Alaska? Check out Sports Authority’s SNIAGRAB sale which begins this weekend.
Swap, Talk and Click: Gear Strategy, Part Two: Swap, yes the ski swap: Look for them in mid-October, know what you need and get there early. Talk: Offer to sell your quality, but outgrown, gear to others in your ski club, scout troop or church. It’s all about the network. Click: Great deals can be found on eBay and Craig’s List. Start looking now.
Trade, Borrow and Beg: Gear Strategy, Part Three : Trading is one of my favorite strategies. Find some other families with kids either just older (i.e. bigger) or younger (i.e. smaller) than your kids. Have your own mini-ski swap each fall. You won’t have to fight the crowds and its a great excuse for a party. As for borrowing and begging, I think it’s okay to borrow coats and pants, but not gear (that’s called “renting.”) Begging? Use this with Santa (and grandparents).
One Deal at A Time: Gear Strategy, Part Four. It’s no secret that great values abound on One Deal at A Time (ODAT) sites like Steep ‘n’ Cheap (SAC). Tramdock has been the go-to ODAT site for ski equipment. Last week backcountry.com took down Tramdock and transferred their ski and skiing equipment sales to SAC. I’m not sure this makes any difference to us consumers. We’ll just have to check out the deals on camping, hiking and climbing gear while we wait for the great ski deals to come up.
Alternative strategy: Check out almost all the ODAT sites on CleanSnipe.com or sign up with The Clymb for more deals on outdoor brands.
Good luck to you…I’m out the door. I’m going for a run.
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