When you want to try out a new sport or show a visiting friend a good time in the backcountry, you don’t have to plunk down an entire paycheck (or two) buying new gear—just rent it.
REI is one store to rent gear.
Dave Smith, gear rental manager at the Salt Lake City store (3285 E. 3300 South, 801-486-2100), says, “We rent a full line of tents and backpacking gear as well as sleeping bags, cooking gear, stoves, crampons, and climbing helmets. We also rent bear canisters, which some areas now require. It’s a bear proof container in which you store your food. In Grand Teton National Park, you have to use a bear canister if you’re camping below timberline.” Gear can also be rented at the REI in South Towne Center (230 W. 10600 South, Sandy, 801-501-0850).
The University Of Utah Outdoor Recreation Program offers inexpensive rentals to the public as well as guided rafting and climbing trips locally and in the Wyoming and Idaho area for university students. The program also offers new mountain-bike rentals; a full-suspension bike for a three-day weekend costs $60. A “hardtail” (no suspension) is $40 for a three-day weekend. Gear can be rented for as long as desired.
Store hours are 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The Outdoor Recreation Program is located at 2140 E. Red Butte Road and is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Phone 801-581-8516 for more information.
You can also rent online. Arizona company Lower Gear (LowerGear.com) makes it easy, with excellent prices and a huge inventory, including GPS units, two-way radios and personal rescue devices. Company owner Dallas Shewmaker, in business for 10 years, says, “We ship to Utah frequently, especially for people who are tourists traveling to Utah. People need to order at least two business days in advance to get rentals in the most economical way. They come in a cardboard box or several boxes, depending on the order.
There’s a pre-paid return label inside the box. All they do is put the gear back in the box, tape it up, put the return label on and drop it off at any UPS location. We only charge what it costs us for shipping.”