I recently went on a backpacking trip and re-discovered the value of super light (which is also super expensive) gear. Somewhere along the many miles of hiking I started thinking about the sharing economy as a way to rent better gear through some of the peer to peer gear-focused startups.
Backpacking is great fun.
But if you are like me and only anticipate backpacking a few times a year, you might not want to invest in buying the latest and greatest technology. I borrowed some decent stuff from friends, but there are a few areas I’d really like to upgrade. And even if I do want to buy, I’d rather try out the gear first before committing.
This makes me excited about companies like GearCommons where you can find peer to peer rental of outdoor gear. I know it’s possible to rent this stuff from stores like REI, but I anticipate peer to peer rental services could provide a much greater range of options, and hopefully a marketplace that drives prices down a bit.
I might even consider investing in some gear, like a high end (light) bear canister, and then put it on a gear rental site to try to earn back some of the cost.
There are just a few of these peer to peer gear rental sites, and they are rather new and don’t have many listings. You can see all the ones I’ve found so far on my spreadsheet of peer to peer travel stuff.