Author: Kristin Hall
The summer isnâ€™t over yet and now that friends are back in town, itâ€™s the perfect time of year to go experience the outdoors, but not having the right gear can be a huge problem for those living on a tight budget that canâ€™t go out and purchase gear. Lucky for all those weekend warriors, Fort Collins has many options for gear rentals that will be easy on the bankroll.
One of the most convenient resources, located on campus, is the Outdoor Program at the Recreation Center. They offer basic outdoor gear that ranges from tents and sleeping bags to rock climbing and snow shoes, and they offer all of this exclusively for Colorado State University students and Rec Center members.
The Outdoor Program has made some big changes to its rental system this year. Instead of paying for each individual rental, students can purchase monthly or semester passes and rent an unlimited amount of gear. Also, the Program has bought more gear and moved their desk. Rentals now go through the Rec Center service desk, allowing students to rent gear any time the Rec Center is open.
According to the Outdoor Program Coordinator Eric DeLuca, this change was made to make the whole process easier and less expensive for students.
â€œTo be honest the reason we can offer such low prices is that we arenâ€™t here to make a profit â€” we are supported by student fees. The goal is to get students outdoors,â€ said DeLuca.
DeLuca said that though they are a great rental program, they canâ€™t offer everything.
â€œIf youâ€™re looking for technical gear for something like Nordic skiing, weâ€™re fairly limited,” he sad.
If you are looking for more technical gear, no need to fear, there are still more options in town. Jax Outdoor offers a wide range of affordable rentals charged by the day. The first-day rental will run you a bit more but each successive day costs less. And according to Jax employee Mike Engelstad, you can expect the gear you rent to be newer and less worn.Â Engelstad cautions students to call and make reservations ahead of time to be sure they have gear because it often goes quickly depending on the time of year.
If youâ€™re looking for a place where the employees are knowledgeable about recreation areas near Fort Collins, Jax is your best bet according to Engelstad.
â€œPeople come in all the time talking about where they are going and how their trips went, so the employees know all the best places to play,â€ he said.
Another option is REI. They offer a wide range of gear for rent and not just purchase. According to REI employee Tegan Plock, itâ€™s a really great deal if you are an REI member.
â€œMembers donâ€™t have to pay the $100 damage deposit and they get a discount on our gear,â€ she said. Plock notes that they also work well with busy schedules and can schedule pre-pick up and drop off.
No matter what outdoor adventure is calling, Fort Collins has plenty of options to satisfy your wallet and your wild streak.