Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog



hey my name's alex haney and today i'm going
to be talking to you about how to thrift for outdoors stuff as well as showing you guys
some of my favorite finds. people always tell me that they're bad at
thrifting, they can never find what they want and they're always super jealous of all the
awesome outdoor gear that i've found at thrift stores for insanely low prices. so i'm gonna share with you guys a really
super easy system that i've developed for finding outdoors gear or just about anything
you could want used, second hand at – mostly at thrift stores but this also can apply to
online stuff like craigslist. it sounds super dorky but i think of it in
terms of four P's. okay so let me break this down for you guys. P number one. Planning. this is the number one thing that i feel like
people do wrong when they go to the thrift store. they walk into the thrift store expecting
to find something awesome, but they don't really know what they're looking for or where
to find it and they walk out with nothing feeling disappointed. or they walk out with something kind of sub
par and they think that that's how thrifting is. my number one tip is to keep a list of exactly
what the gear is that you're looking to find, and the more specific you can be the better. i have a list and i always keep it in my car.
and the reason you want to make it specific is that you don't want to feel like you're
compromising, you want to look for exactly what you want or pretty close to it. so have in mind you know, specific details
about the item you're looking for. you know like certain brands you really like,
certain materials you want, certain features that you don't want to compromise on um so
that you'll walk away feeling happy. so for example you guys know in my other videos
i've shown i have a lot of mountain equipment co-op stuff but i rarely buy stuff new from
them, especially clothes. its helpful to also you know at least keep
in your head if not put it on your list too, where in the store you're likely to find that
gear. and that tip is gonna come in handy in a little bit. it's helpful to know when to look for this
kind of stuff. there are certain times of year when people
are gonna get rid of the stuff you're looking for as opposed to be searching for the stuff
you're looking for so it's always, you're always gonna be more successful if you look
in the off season for stuff. so you know when winter is nearing an end,
you know thats when people get rid of stuff. I wanted a pair of keen sandals for canoe
trips. got 'em. I wanted a pair of bug proof pants for camping. I found exactly what I was looking for- these
are pants made by the bug shirt company. they have elastics around the ankles and a
little stirrup, they're awesome for bug season. I wanted a huge goretex jacket with a hood,
so that I would be able to have something to put over my big bulky winter layers. P number two is patience. basically the thing to keep in mind with thrifting
is that its not like regular shopping. you're not gonna walk in and find everything
you want right away. it's really a patience game. and don't be
tempted too if you know you've been waiting a long time for something to show up that's
what you want and you know you find something that's almost there but kind of sub par, uh
you're kinda on the fence about it. that's the time when you're not gonna buy
it. because chances are, the next time you show
up that item that you really wanted is gonna be there and you will have wasted your money. so if you can get by with waiting um if it's
gear that you don't necessarily need right away. again that ties into my one of my previous
tips is that its best to shop in the off season, so you're not, you don't feel in a rush to
get exactly what you need and you're more likely to find it as well. this is a mountain equipment co-op rain jacket. this ties into the planning and patience part
of it. i waited over six months to find this jacket
because i was really specific about what i wanted and my patience paid off and i found
it. on my list i had a rain jacket but i had some
things that i really didn't want to compromise on. i had to have these pitt zips here, i can't
survive outdoors without those. and i had to have most importantly all these different
adjustments for the hood. so it has some here and it has some on the back of the head and
why that's really good for me is that um what kind of annoyed me about my last rain jacket
is that when i turned my head like that um i would be looking into the inside of my hood. okay so P number three is persistence. for
thrifting you're gonna wanna go as often as you can, and most of the time you're gonna
expect to leave empty handed. this is where kind of the last two tips all
tie in together because with your plan and with patience, you should be able to go to
the thrift store fairly often you know if its within reasonable distance from you and
it should take no more than ten minutes to get in and out of there to check for the stuff
that you really want. so you'll have your list, you'll know exactly
where to look for the stuff you want, you'll know when you'll be most likely to find the
stuff you want, you'll be able to just b line it right to those sections when its the best
time to look for them, and quickly shuffle through the stuff, go to the next section. it'll just become a routine, you'll be in
and out of there five, ten minutes. just the other day i had a few spare minutes,
I ran into the thrift store and i had been looking for down stuff for quite a long time,
its pretty rare to find that kind of stuff at the thrift store. and i ended up finding this really awesome
down parka with a hood. exactly what i was looking for. one of the awesome things about this coat
is that this uh down part zips out, so even if i don't wear the outer part, i can take
this little down jacket out and just bring that which i probably will do and wear with
my goretex jacket. here's another down thing that i found last
year that'll probably be on a lot of backcountry trips with me. this is just a little down
puffy that i've brought on quite a few cooler weather trips. alright p number four is pay it forward. and this is just kind of a personal philosophy
that i have. i don't know if i believe in karma or not,
but you know it doesn't hurt. whenever i have stuff that isn't serving me
anymore, whether its outdoor stuff or just other things, you know one man's trash is
another man's treasure. its just part of the life cycle or thrifting
and second hand store shopping you know, why not help out other people, help the environment. so i'm just gonna show you guys a few more
things to show you how awesome thrifting can be and how much money it can save you. this is a 100% merino wool top that i found
at the thrift store for seven dollars. i found these awesome sierra design shorts
with a um buckle belt, which i really love for backcountry. its pretty rugged, awesome material, really
durable. and uh i think these were about five dollars. i found my patagonia capilene shirt, which
i was actually looking at buying new until i found it at the thrift store. i found these alpine expedition um fleece
insulated pants. they're awesome for winter camping and just
winter activities in general. i found this mountain equipment co-op windbreaker
for cycling that i really like. again its got my favourite pitt zips right
here. and one of my favourite secondhand finds ever, was this um minus twenty degree rated
mountain equipment co-op sleeping bag. this is what i took on the killarney trek. so i
hope this video inspired you guys to get out there and try your hand at thrift store shopping. if you do go out and try it and you have success
with it, i would love to hear about it in the comments below or if you've scored in
the past. um give this video a thumbs up if you liked
it, and i'll make more of these kind of videos. be sure to subscribe right here if you haven't
already, and i'll see you guys next time!

Reader Comments

  1. Me and my fiancé just recently started buying hiking gear. I love REI but everything is soooo expensive even their clearance racks are preety pricey. So we started looking for hiking clothes & gear at goodwills since we go their atleast a couple times a week. We scored a REI half dome tent plus 2 for $5. Such a score😁 And I got some fast drying shorts & leggings for a couple bucks👍🏼 Definetly will be keeping an eye out for other gear and clothes in the future.

  2. Great video – I think it's super helpful for folks who don't know how to find things at their local thrift store! Love it!!

  3. ok this is ridiculous! lol I never thought you'd find anything like this at a thrift store! Fantastic video!

  4. thrifting while fat = sad face 🙁 haha, shopping while fat and masculine = sad face too though
    but i'm glad other folks find such awesome stuff even though i'm super jealous 😉

  5. I really love kijiji for finding used equipment. I recently found a Mec aurora 75 litre pack which was something I've been wanting for a long time and at half the price! I'm a plus size lady so finding technical clothing can sometimes be pretty frustrating but I recently found an awesome pair of rain pants for less than 5$. Next time I thrift I'm definitely going to keep your method in mind!! Also I just wanted to say that I just found your channel and it's really awesome to see another queer backpacker. Keep on being wonderful!!

  6. I really appreciated you putting the retail price compared to what you paid on there. It's cool to have the comparison right there. I shop military surplus sites for my gear for all the same reasons people like to go thrifting.

  7. at a goodwill i tripped over a Gregory 65 ltr pack and it just so happened to be stuffed with a northface polaris tent, blackdiamond trecking poles, military shovel all for the price of $25 . it was gold

  8. Thanks to this video, after months of looking, I thrifted a retail $250 rain jacket for $10. It has all the bells and whistles I wanted (pit zips, etc). THANK YOU.

  9. Wow, a to the point, informative, articulate, detailed, well executed and (perhaps most importantly) unpretentious video on backpacking gear!  Nice work, just subbed.  I have scored some good stuff at thrift stores in the past.  Now a days I do pretty much exactly what you describe in this video but for shopping for used gear online (especially forums and such).  I have gotten a lot of really great deals this way.

    But here is one of my favorite scores scores from a thrift store.  For a mere ONE US DOLLAR I got the most awesome hoody ever.  It was a synthetic fleece hoody that was white as the driven snow, and on the back of it someone had taken the time and energy to put beads (i.e. with a Beadazzler) into a rainbow colored picture of a hot air balloon.  I loved that hoody, but this was back in high school, and my mother hated it.  So after a few months she snuck into my room and stole my hoody from me and threw it away 🙁

    Happy trails!

  10. I've really enjoyed your recent videos about your experience outdoors. I've just started backpacking myself so hearing what you're doing is super exciting!

  11. You got some serious scores Alex. Good on you. With all that and the canoe you have done well. I'll have to come shopping with you. LOL

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