Loaning gear

11:59 p.m. on August 9, 2013 (EDT)
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I recently loaned out a tent to a friend who brought it back without one of the poles and only half the stakes, also brought back my camelback bladder with gatorade residue still in it (that was a pain getting out). I have loaned gear out a lot before and never had much trouble. This was the first and last time this individual will be loaned any gear.

Now, I was wondering what your policies on loaning gear are?

Do you loan gear? Do you only loan it to certain people? Do you only loan older gear? Or do you just have a no loan policy?

12:36 a.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I will only loan gear to people I know know what it is, how to care for it, etc.

Generally that means I have gone on an outing with them and seen how they handle themselves and gear.  

So far, no regrets.  But if I were to make an error in judgment, for sure, as you say "the first and last time" loaning gear to that person.

6:11 a.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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Sliding scale depending on particular item and particular friend ;) If someone has a history of being trustworthy, no problem.  If someone has a history of not being trustworthy, no gear.

Loaned one of my big family tents to some folks headed to a music festival once. When they returned it a few days after they got back they said they'd had rain but dried the tent before packing it up.  I immediately unrolled it on the lawn and sure enough the mold was just starting to form. They are still friends but off the gear loan list, that's for sure!

6:26 a.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I also only loan to those I deem knowledgeable and trustworthy. I also only loan my "old" gear aka not the gear I am currently using for my average outings. I never loan my pack, hammock, tarp, or my hammock quilts. Everything else is pretty much fair game if they need something. I have enough gear to completely outfit about 2 or 3 people, so I tend to lend a lot of gear to people in the local area that are just getting into backpacking while they slowly purchase their own gear.

If they damage something due to misuse, negligence, or otherwise don't take care of the items then they are usually removed from the loaner list with a few exceptions. If its something minor and they are a newbie I tend to explain the correct way to use/do it and give them another chance. I also try to explain an item thoroughly and demonstrate its use before I sen them off with a loaned piece of gear.

9:26 a.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I will loan out gear only if some of my criteria is met.

  • I am going on the trip and can keep an eye on my items. This doesn't happen very often being most folks that I know think I am nuts. So far I have been flying solo for a very long time. This has it's advantages but at the same time it is nice having someone to chat with while in transit(talking to trees can become somewhat boring after 100 miles.)
  • This individual possesses common sense and a bit of experience with the type gear I am loaning out. I have no problem getting the individual dialed in as far as how to use the item correctly, and things to keep an eye out for, etc.
  • They know that they are 100% liable for any damage, mishaps that may occur while the particular item is under their care.
  • The individual has the resources to replace the item such as and not limited too cooking inside one of my tents and sending it up in a blaze of glory. (I won't loan out my Hilleberg's.) 
10:19 a.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I have a number of items I consider "loaner gear," stuff that I'd probably put on Craigslist otherwise. But I don't loan out gear that I would want/need to replace. I learned that lesson when a friend left a $100 caving helmet & $45 headlamp in a parking area and drove home 5 hours. He didn't even offer to replace it. We're still friends, but he's on my "no loan" list.

11:47 a.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I agree that loaning "old stuff" is the best policy. But over the years I have given in to close friends with varying results. I will never forget loaning a sleeping bag that was burned up by being too close to a fire and the guy refused to buy a new one.

I do not loan anything with a cutting edge, high value, or with sentimental value. That helps a lot. I have given away lots of equipment to keep it in circulation.

12:36 p.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I only loan gear to people I know and trust to take care of it. And they know that, no matter how old and beat up it is, they are responsible for 100% of the cost of a replacement is there's any damage.

12:54 p.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I like to help people out, but I won't loan out my "best" equipment, and I won't loan equipment out to people who haven't been reliable or trustworthy in the past.

1:39 p.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I loan out to mostly family.But I only loan old gear to them..If they want to borrow some of my gear from kit they have to know how to use it and I would like to be there when they do..

5:34 p.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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The first thing I ever loaned was a 35 mm camera to a new friend about 33 years ago. He brought it back in one piece but failed to tell me he had dropped it, which I found out later when I had my film developed as the back had enough of an opening to let light over expose the film.

Another time I loaned a tent and the friend started a candle burning in it, left it unattended and burnt a hole in the floor.

I never loan gear or money now a days

3:58 a.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
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It's nice to be nice but in the long run it can cost! I only lend out gear that I expect not to get back. Made that mistake one time. And only one time!

5:41 p.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I definitely echo some of the other responses in regards to loaning "old" gear.  I don't mind giving the "old" gear away to my friends if it means that it will expand our current hiking group.  But yeah.. typically, since we have a pretty solid core of friends who backpack, loaning gear is not so much an issue.. except for one of our friends who is a little lacking in the gear department (but he makes up for it in enthusiasm).  Gear envy is a much BIGGER problem for me.  Like when my buddy showed up on our last trip with a North Face Verto Summit pack that doubles as a stuff sack.  Or when two of our buddies showed up with titanium sporks.  You get the picture.

8:34 p.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
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macchiolives said:

Gear envy is a much BIGGER problem for me.  Or when two of our buddies showed up with titanium sporks.  You get the picture.

 You mean one of these?

LHHT-6-26-to-7-7-2013-137.jpg

:p

8:49 p.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
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@Rick.. wait.. is that the optimus folding spork?  I knew my plastic sporks were obsolete!!!  Now where did I put that credit card.. 

The worst part about it is that I'm gonna have to spend an extra 40 bucks worth of gear just so I can qualify for the free shipping.. I MUST HAVE FREE SHIPPING AND TITANIUM UTENSILS.

Side Note:  One night, right after pay day, I was reading through forums noticing that the lids on Snow Peaks weren't Ti.  So what did I do?  Spend 14 bucks I didn't need to spend on a Ti after market lid from Four Dog Stoves.  I need to read more Siddhartha and get away from this consumerist mentality...

10:31 p.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
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One of my hike leaders borrowed a tent from me a few weeks ago, and she assured me she'd made certain she'd dried it out completely before returning it. Now I'm afraid to open it up and check. 

Thanks, guys!

6:14 a.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
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macchiolives said:

@Rick.. wait.. is that the optimus folding spork?  I knew my plastic sporks were obsolete!!!  Now where did I put that credit card..

 Lol, it is a Sea to Summit Ti. Same thing, different manufacturer's name on it. If you put it next to a Optimus Ti they are identical. 

8:46 a.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

macchiolives said:

@Rick.. wait.. is that the optimus folding spork?  I knew my plastic sporks were obsolete!!!  Now where did I put that credit card..

 Lol, it is a Sea to Summit Ti. Same thing, different manufacturer's name on it. If you put it next to a Optimus Ti they are identical. 

 Wait! You mean you're not using your Sea to Summit Foon for your backcountry needs? Shocking!!!

10:28 a.m. on August 17, 2013 (EDT)
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macchiolives said:

@Rick.. wait.. is that the optimus folding spork?  I knew my plastic sporks were obsolete!!!  Now where did I put that credit card.. 

The worst part about it is that I'm gonna have to spend an extra 40 bucks worth of gear just so I can qualify for the free shipping.. I MUST HAVE FREE SHIPPING AND TITANIUM UTENSILS.

Side Note:  One night, right after pay day, I was reading through forums noticing that the lids on Snow Peaks weren't Ti.  So what did I do?  Spend 14 bucks I didn't need to spend on a Ti after market lid from Four Dog Stoves.  I need to read more Siddhartha and get away from this consumerist mentality...

 Macchiolives - sounds like we have the exact same problem!  Every trip I seem to "need" to buy something.  online sales are my major problem!  I have an amazing ability to justify my purchases to myself though :)

I only lend gear to friends I trust to look after it and I know would offer to replace anything that got damaged without having to be asked.  I do have one or two items though which I am strangely sentimental about so they stay with me!

2:54 p.m. on August 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I borrowed a few items from friends for my first ever backpacking trips this month.  We hiked Mount Langley over three days and I borrowed a bear canister, sleeping pad and rain cover.   I was really grateful to be able to save some money on a bear canister and sleeping pad.  I never needed the rain cover but it was nice to know i had it if needed.  

Last week we hiked for 5 days and climbed Mount Whitney the last day.  Again, I was grateful for the bear canister and another friend lent me an insulated sleeping pad.  I was very grateful for that.  I also borrowed a MSR stove since my new Snow Peak piezo failed to ignite on the Mount Langely trip to I returned it.  

I also borrowed a steripen since the water is mostly clear and free of little critters.  I ended up using one once or twice but borrowed my buddies Platypus gravity filter.  Those were the best.

I guess you have to know who you are lending stuff to.  I took more care with the borrowed stuff than I did with my own (though it was all new and in perfect condition).  

Cheers!

5:05 p.m. on August 25, 2013 (EDT)
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@Klur.. online sales are the worst.  I have an Arcteryx softshell that doesn't have a hood.  It has decent waterproofing abilities and its very breathable.. but since on our last trip.. my buddy got a Marmot Nano.. I had to go out and get the hooded Marmot Precip.  Kinda overkill since I already have a waterproof softshell and I live in So. Cal where IT NEVER RAINS. Justified it by thinking that it'll give me better waterproofing capabilities and of course, the hood.  But hey.. the Precip was 55 bucks on sale with shipping from steepandcheap, so you gotta buy something on sale right?  Now, let's see if I actually use it!

5:36 p.m. on August 26, 2013 (EDT)
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i will loan basic things that would not be terribly expensive to replace - so i won't be very put out if they come back damaged in some way.  the really valued backpacks, sleeping bags, stove, etc. aren't geting loaned out.

i guess that puts me in the 'loans old gear' category, except that it's gear we still use.  i have loaned sleeping bags, backpacks, and tents in the last year.  fortunately, the few people who have asked are either hiking partners i have known for a long time or co-workers, and they have been respectful at taking care of things - tents dried out before they were rolled up, sleeping bags aired out, and so on. 

5:20 p.m. on August 27, 2013 (EDT)
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I'll loan out older gear - though over the past year or so I've sold some of it to fund my own selfish newer purchases.   haha

The only current-use gear I'll loan out is the stuff that's really rugged and harder to destroy.

September 20, 2014
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