And so it begins, AKontheGO’ers; this weekend begins the annual rush to gear up for winter fun in Alaska. The first two of probably many gear swaps and sales have crossed my email path, but before I list their locations, here are our best tips for getting the most out of your favorite used-gear sale…
1. Take the individuals who will be using, wearing, or otherwise utilizing said gear. Kids, particularly, have different proportions and need to try on boots and skis. Height and weight are everything when it comes to skis, so rustle up some snacks and drinks pack ’em along.
2. Do your homework. Research gear online or in your local sports shop. REI has a terrific gear guide on its web site, and the store staff are equally knowledgable. Do some talking with the pros before buying equipment you are unfamiliar with.
3. Go early. Really early, if you have to. Have an idea of what you are looking for, and head directly for that section. Ask questions of folks working the sale/swap.
Got that? Better get to bed early Friday night. The first sale starts at 11 a.m. in Palmer at Colony High School to benefit the MatSu Ski Club’s programs. Gear drop off is at 10 a.m. and the sale ends at 2 p.m.
The second swap is being held on Saturday, October 17 in Eagle River at Gruening Middle School. This is the Eagle River Nordic Club’s annual benefit sale for the club’s growing Jr. Nordic program (great program, parents and worth looking into). This could be a good opportunity to score some great kid gear.
Let us know about any other sales or swaps going on in the coming weeks. The snow will start falling soon, and we want our kiddos to be ready!