For those of us interested in outdoor sports, the cost associated with them can be frustrating and limiting. If not completely debilitating. Thankfully there are some ways to bring down the cost. The chances of scoring some gear at an affordable cost are a direct result of the effort you put into finding it. Here are some tips to maintain or break into some of the outdoor sports, such as running, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, and cycling.
1. Cost of gas
Pile a bunch of friends into a car and save on those longer trips to the mountains or the nearest state park. If your friends aren't too interested, or you moved to a new area, join some of the groups on meetup.com and carpool with them.
2. Cost of the gear/apparel
This is maybe the biggest limitation of outdoor sports. There are some tricks though. If you haven't already, here are some online sites that might have just the gear you are looking for: 6pm.com, ebay, craigslist, and theclymb.com. There are two other options that may be even more worthwhile. One is to check out local tag sales, and the second is to go to Rei garage sales. The garage sales are held once per season at Rei, an outdoor retail store. Definitely check them out.
3. Not having to buy more gear
Something often taken for granted is the value of used gear. Yes, it's been used and probably has some signs of wear and tear. That doesn't mean it should be abused though. Think about it. If you misuse your used gear and have to buy more gear in a short period of time, you won't have saved anything. Treat all your purchases so that they last, even if they only have a little life left.
4. Prioritizing activities
In reality, you may need to hold off on some of the more expensive hobbies until you've wisely put away enough money and found the right deal. For now try running and bouldering if you can!