Have you rented camping gear for a climbing trip?


Original Post
Chad Lawver · · Yosemite Village, California · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 654

My friend and I are starting up a camping gear rental company campcrate.net. I'm thinking one of our markets could be international climbers on trips, since it is difficult to fly all the gear. Am I wrong? Should I only advertise to city dwellers looking to camp, or would traveling climbers use this too? Troll my idea to tears, give kudos, or ignore me....all responses welcome. I'd appreciate checking out the website before commenting.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

Chad,

This seems like a good idea. Will customers sign an agreement that their credit card will be charged if the equipment is damaged or not returned?

Chad Lawver wrote:My friend and I are starting up a camping gear rental company campcrate.net. I'm thinking one of our markets could be international climbers on trips, since it is difficult to fly all the gear. Am I wrong? Should I only advertise to city dwellers looking to camp, or would traveling climbers use this too? Troll my idea to tears, give kudos, or ignore me....all responses welcome. I'd appreciate checking out the website before commenting.
Edit: Your bottom link "the website" doesn't work, but your campcrate link does.
Joe Petroske · · North Bend, WA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 15

Might be useful to have specialty gear that people might not use that often. For example, there are some climbs that I'd like to do that require #6 cams, but I dont climb enough stuff that needs this to justify buying a #6. I guess this applies to things like big bros, valley giants, etc.

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 20

I don't think you'll get many climber clients, but I've been wrong many times...
Maybe folks would rent portaledges--or other, pricey specialty pieces as mentioned above.

Edit: regarding climbing gear rental--imagine all the added liability you'll have!

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 181
Chad Lawver wrote:My friend and I are starting up a camping gear rental company campcrate.net. I'm thinking one of our markets could be international climbers on trips, since it is difficult to fly all the gear. Am I wrong? Should I only advertise to city dwellers looking to camp, or would traveling climbers use this too? Troll my idea to tears, give kudos, or ignore me....all responses welcome. I'd appreciate checking out the website before commenting.
Just spitballing here so don't take offense, why would someone want to have you ship them gear if they already owned their own gear. If they have an address where they can ship stuff and access to somewhere to ship it back it seems they would just ship their own gear. By the time you pay $200 minimum to rent from you they might as well have just shipped it themselves or payed the extra baggage fee.

BTW it says 3 days minimum but the way the calendar is setup it makes you do 4 days minimum, I.E. when I click on Feb 14th it won't let me choose any date until Feb 17th and charges for 4 days.

Also I know there are issues with shipping fuel canisters, but that kind of ruins getting a stove for some if you still have to find a gear store to get your fuel. Might as well just pick up some cans of sterno from walmart if it's a short camping trip.
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 40

Just some thoughts...

I'm thinking about taking a three-week trip to the Tetons this summer and will probably rent some equipment, but your Camp Crate mostly packages things I don't need.

The reason I'll probably rent some stuff is that I don't want to drive out and back (that would take one of the three weeks), and I can't take everything with me on a plane. But I don't need a sleeping bag or pad or headlamp or backpacking stove or backpack or water filter. I might want to rent a different tent than I have. I would definitely like to rent a two-burner picnic-table stove, a lantern, some pots, pans and utensils, and a cooler, i.e. some "car-camping" gear.

I would guess my situation is not unusual. There must be a fair number of climbers who want to take a week or more somewhere to camp and climb and intend to fly to their destination and rent a car. Like me, they're going to have a lot of the stuff in your Camp Crate, and in any case will be interested in some sort of item-by-item rental procedure, not a package. (Though if you want to make packages, the things I mentioned might be put together into a "Basecamp Kitchen Crate").

With the Tetons in mind, another possibility might be to rent complete climbing kits to folks intending to be guided up the Grand. Both Exum and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides have equipment lists for the climbs they guide, and a beginner fresh from their rock schools might have very little of it and so might find it attractive to rent the entire package.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 0

I´ve flown to the USA to camp (as a climber) a few times. The extra weight of camping gear is actually minimal compared with the rest of the junk, between 2 people you get 46kg hold luggage and the camping gear is maybe 5-10kg. An extra 23kg hold bag from Germany costs $65 so paying you over $1000 for a two week trip makes no sense whatsoever anyway.
Climbers already have rucksacks, a good down bag can go in hand luggage and Walmart supplies the rest.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 0
Jim Titt wrote:I´ve flown to the USA to camp (as a climber) a few times. The extra weight of camping gear is actually minimal compared with the rest of the junk, between 2 people you get 46kg hold luggage and the camping gear is maybe 5-10kg. An extra 23kg hold bag from Germany costs $65 so paying you over $1000 for a two week trip makes no sense whatsoever anyway. Climbers already have rucksacks, a good down bag can go in hand luggage and Walmart supplies the rest.
THIS.

If your trip is long. Visit walmart for basic stuff or just take it ALL with you. I've never had any issues.

For a shorter trips you might not even have a car so packing light is a necessity that isn't fixed by a big camping kit unless it is delivered at the campground.

Last climbing flight I took I fit it all into one rucksack. Tent, sleeping bag and essential clothes and basic stove. I brought a smallish rack and no rope. I climbed with people who had a rope. At worst I would have just bought a rope if necessary.
DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 181

I see your target market as people who have little to no camping experience and want to test the gear before they decide if they want to buy their own or people who are probably only going to go camping once or once every several years and don't want crap they barely use cluttering up their garage. Maybe you could give people the option to keep the gear for X amount if they decide they like it, and it would save you on return shipping.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91

If you aren't in an area with an REI or a similar store, do know that REI has a plethora of camping and mointaineering gear for rent. A lot of guiding companies also rent gear to clients and non-clients alike, such as RMI.

Seems like a very tough business model if that is your only revenue stream. Make sure you do the math on everything. God speed!!

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136
Chris Ccc wrote:If you aren't in an area with an REI or a similar store, do know that REI has a plethora of camping and mointaineering gear for rent. A lot of guiding companies also rent gear to clients and non-clients alike, such as RMI. Seems like a very tough business model if that is your only revenue stream. Make sure you do the math on everything. God speed!!
Agreed it seems like a tough business model. If you're dead set on it, I think adding more flexibility would help, like having the option to rent individual items or a discount on a package. Also, a wider variety of equipment, like winter specific gear, trekking poles, tarps, bear-hang kit, etc would help expand your market. Doing specialty items that most people don't want to buy just for one trip may open up another market as well. And the option to buy if you like the product you rented would help for people trying camping out for the first time.
AmandaM · · Jackson, WY · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0

We just car-camped in Kauai for two weeks, and rented:
1 6-person tent
air mattress and bedding
cooler
2-burner stove and fuel
pots and pans, utensils, etc
bath towels
plus a bunch of misc beachy items for....
$225 total for 2 weeks!

Granted the quality of the gear wasn't the best, but we wanted to go car camping for two weeks on the beach and not have to fly with or ship all of our gear.

Your crates really seem to have the bare minimum. This is essentially what I would take on a backpacking trip, not a car camping climbing trip. If I'm traveling somewhere to backpack, then I'm going to pack my own gear and fly with it...

If you really want to cater to people who are going climbing and just don't want the hassle of bringing all their camping shit with them, then I would think you should add in a cooler, a real stove (aka big 2-burner), some pots and pans and utensils. These people probably don't need a backpack because they will be bringing that with them stuffed with all of their climbing gear. Also, the price seems too expensive for what you're getting at the moment. Just my two cents.

Kyle vH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 3

I was thinking of renting a rope to climb in Kalymnos Greece. I've considered renting a crash pad for bouldering when I fly to a destination. But I think there are likely local places to rent at most established areas. I'd consider renting large cams, like BD #6 and above.

I've rented snowshoes and some other equip from REI which worked pretty well. But a mail-rental service might be pretty nice, driving to REI was a deterrent and you have to go twice.

But I've never rented camping gear for a climbing trip. I already have that gear. I think most of the folks here aren't your target demographic. Rather, your demographic is more casual campers which I think might really dig this concept. I think the idea has legs, in general. The mail-service is pretty clever I find myself increasingly relying on instacart, grubhub, amazon prime, etc.

Do you know hipcamp? Might be perfect to place ads there. Also check out this startup if you haven't heard of them: joymode.com

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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