5 Best Times to Get Cheap Camping Gear

By Emma
Best Times To Get Cheap Camping Gear

Camping is a pricey hobby to start. There’s a ton of gear to buy, and it rarely comes cheap!

Best Times To Get Cheap Camping Gear – Most manufacturers sell last year’s surplus supply of gear at a discount in the offseason. Purchasing your summer camping gear in winter will get you the best deal, and buying your winter gear in summer has similar benefits. 

There are other times of the year where you’ll get a fantastic discount on camping gear, and I’ve researched them for you to provide the guide below.

When Is The Best Time To Buy Discounted Camping Gear?

If you ever want to buy anything at a discount, buy it off-season. This means you’re buying something that has recently gone out of season—for example, it’s like buying a heavy winter coat in the middle of July. It’ll cost less because fewer people are buying it.

The offseason tactic works for camping gear, too. You’ll find deals on things like the best blackout tents or best tarps for hammock camping.

But there are a few other times when you’ll want to hunt for bargains on camping goods.

Summer Offseason

Buying your summer camping gear in September and October is an excellent idea. You’ll be getting last season’s summer tents, sleeping bags, and more. 

Camping gear retailers are starting to sell their winter gear, but they’re not about to throw away their summer stuff. They’ll lose money doing that! Instead, they’ll discount it to try and sell it faster, making more room for them to stock the newly in-demand winter gear.

Take advantage of this natural yearly occurrence, because you’re sure to snag tons of high-quality summer camping goods when the offseason rolls around.

Winter Offseason

When buying winter gear, you want to apply the same tactics as above. Purchase your gear when winter things aren’t in season.

In most places, the winter offseason is in early spring, around March and April. This is when you’ll see summer stock start to go on sale, and winter stock will start showing up with some fantastic discounts. You’ll want to grab it while you can.

However, it’s not always early spring when the winter gear starts going on sale. It could be much earlier or later in the year depending on where you are.

For example, if you’re in Death Valley, then it’ll be warmer for much longer throughout the year. Winter gear from local stores might stop being in demand as early as February.

If you’re somewhere colder, then winter gear may stop being in demand when you hit May or June. 

Keep an eye on manufacturers’ websites to know when the gear is going on sale!

End Of Year Sales

End-of-year and holiday sales are common, so look out for discounts around December. You’re likely to get a very good deal, as retailers know that camping gear makes a wonderful Christmas gift for the right enthusiast.

These sales are also a common way to get rid of last year’s items to get new things in for the New Year.

You’re highly likely to find a great deal the day after Christmas, as retailers want to get rid of the stock that people didn’t purchase as holiday gifts. Getting a deal before New Year’s Eve is also common, as they’ll be trying hard to push the previous year’s stock onto people.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving in the US. They’re two days where you’ll find deals on almost everything, from every retailer. These events started in the US, but now many countries in Europe do them, too.

If you’re going to get a discount at any point during the year, then you’re going to get one on one of these days! Some retailers have sales on the week leading up to Black Friday and the week following Cyber Monday.

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime day usually happens around mid-July. It’s a period where Amazon Prime members can get great deals on a variety of items on Amazon, including camping goods.

Be sure to research the deal you’re getting before buying something at a “discount.” Sometimes Amazon will tell you that you’re getting a discount, but you’re not. Use a price history tracker to ensure you’re getting a good deal.

July is a great month to use your free trial of Amazon Prime!

What Kind of Discounts Should You Expect?

The offseason and various days throughout the year will likely get you a 15–30% discount on camping gear from various retailers. However, Back Friday and Cyber Monday often bump these discounts to 50–70%!

You’ll find discounts differ between websites, though. Sometimes buying right from the manufacturer will get you the best deal. Other times, a third party offers a bigger discount. Amazon sometimes has better deals than manufacturers.

If you want the biggest discount possible, consider buying gear from a brand you don’t know. 

Big names like REI are tempting and trustworthy, but smaller brands have bigger discounts. They have to provide a larger discount to seem more enticing, as people are less likely to buy from an unknown brand.

Make sure you read reviews before buying from a brand you don’t know, though. Lesser-known doesn’t mean low-quality, but it can mean low-quality if you choose the wrong brand or product.

Amazon is a great place to find gear from lesser-known brands, and the reviews are right there. 

Read reviews carefully, though, as sometimes they’ll be from a previous version of the listing. I was once shopping for a pair of shoes on Amazon, but all the reviews for a particular pair were about a musical instrument.

Where Can You Buy Discounted Camping Gear?

If you’re looking for a brand recommendation, then I suggest looking at REI gear. In fact, REI has a deals section on its website.

Amazon is also a fantastic place for running discounts and promotions, and you can find gear from big names in the camping industry on there!

Other great manufacturers include Backcountry, Camping World, and Camp Saver.

Tips on Getting the Best Deals

There are ways to ensure you can get the best deal possible when you’re already getting a discount. Here are a few tips:

  • Ask: If you’re in person, ask about deals—sometimes they won’t tell you about deals until you ask
  • Research: Search for a product online before you buy it, and compare prices from different websites
  • Look for a manager: Try to talk to managers about deals when shopping in-person; lower-level workers might fear they’ll get in trouble by giving you a deal that’s too good
  • Shop at the end of the day: If shopping in person, go at the end of the day, as people will want to give you good deals to make their sales quotas
  • Package pricing: See if websites offer discounts while buying lots of things at once, or ask in-person about package price deals

Summary

If you want a good deal, then wait to buy your summer gear in winter, your winter gear in summer, or all of your goods on Black Friday or similar.

Make sure you shop smart. Check different websites. One might have something for 50% off, but another will have it for 70%. Do everything to get the best deal on the best gear you can!

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AUTHOR

My name is Emma, and I’m a city dweller who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I’ve gone on a number of car camping and backpacking trips over the past few years. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.