Second hand gear

WM Ultralite

There seems to be a lot of second hand gear on offer at the moment. If you keep your eyes peeled you can pick up some real bargains. For instance, in October, I bought a barely-used Western Mountaineering Ultralite sleeping bag for £180. The cheapest I can see this bag new is £360.

I’ve also just bought a second hand ZPacks Arc Blast 52L for £150. New with duty and VAT this would cost about £250 before P&P.

The beauty of buying second hand, apart from saving money, is that you can try out gear with minimal financial risk. If you don’t like it, you can sell it on for the same price or at a slight discount.

This appealed to me with the ZPacks pack. I’ve had my eye on one for a little while. If I’d bought it new, I probably would have opted for the 60L version, but it will be useful to see whether I can fit my gear into a lower volume pack. If it doesn’t work, then I’m not going to die wondering and I’ve saved myself a substantial financial hit.

Although I’m no longer an active participant, I still keep an eye on the OM forum. Other forums also have For Sale sections. Occasionally you get really unusual gear turn up. For instance, Andy Walker is selling his Stephenson’s Warmlite 2R for a £140. If I didn’t have so many tents (!), I’d be tempted to give it a go.

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