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.
Carrying 50 pounds of gear makes it less 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.
Gear Around Here is for anyone who believes in or want to partake in the sharing economy. The goal is to build a network of communities, coming together with a shared purpose in mind – to reuse and reduce our footprint.
Here’s who’s involved, you (the owner of an item), a renter (someone who wants to rent or borrow your item) and Gear Around Here. The website has been designed to be an online marketplace for you to advertise your ‘rather nice’ backpack or 8 person tent, or fancy sleeping cot and any other great outdoor gear that you don’t mind sharing or renting within the GAH network. Trust and integrity are really the heart and soul of Gear Around Here.
Maybe you make a few bucks, make a new friend, teach someone a new skill, maybe even join a group on a camping trip – who knows. At the end of the day, the gear you have, taking up space, that you only use once a year, is gonna make someone very happy for a few days. Using the GAH marketplace, you advertise what you have – someone from the network makes a reservation to rent it, they use it and then return it. You charge a few $$, GAH takes a small fee for the service, you rate the renter, you get rated and all is good and the earth is happier.
Unfortunately whenever I try and open the spreadsheet I am unable to see the travel peer to peer sites that are on the excel file. Is there anyway you could email these to me, because I am very interested in seeing the different companies out there.
Sorry Matthew, I really need a better solution than google spreadsheets! In the mean time I may have fixed the problem. I think a filter was turned on that cut out some of the info. Try again?
Definitely checking out the resource you shared. Gear sharing seems cool. I’m an avid backpacker and this is absolutely helpful. Thanks!
Glad to hear it’s helpful! 🙂