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Giving away gear to family or others?

Oct 6, 2014
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Long Island NY
Clemency mentioned in another thread about giving away gear to his son. I too have given away gear to my daughter because she showed a love for camping, hiking and paddling. Nothing I gave her was new, but all in good condition, I think.

Let’s see
BA solo tent
Neo air mattress
Older air mattress
Bought her a 10F enlightenment equipment quilt
Pocket rocket stove
Coleman large propane stove
Kelty tarp
Assorted cooking pots and pans
Pocket knives
Next month large NF 6 person tent
Next year I’ll drive to Minnesota or Denver and give her the Old Town canoe I bought from Robin years ago.
Micro spikes
Trekking poles
Probably more stuff.

I’m so happy when she “oohs” and “ahhhs” and smiles. She’s so happy and talks about her camping and hiking trips. Her boyfriend is from the Twin Cities and the BWCA is on her radar after our Teton trip a few years back.

So, isn’t it a great feeling giving away gear to a child, relative or friend.
Early in my journey into the outdoor world, I relied so much on the good will of others. Hunting, fishing, camping, all of it was an exercise in "I have these two pieces of gear, can I borrow the rest?"

Now I have more gear than I can shake a stick at and love nothing more than paying it forward. It's a very rewarding aspect of the hobby. Have I been taken advantage of? Oh yeah. Destroyed gear, lost gear, guys who never tried to add to their own supplies... but it has been worth it. I try to make it so that the only excuse for not going is "I don't want to". 😅
I was refurbishing a 16' Penobscot with new gunwales and trim and decided to give it to friends of mine as a wedding present since they wanted to do more canoeing on our local river. They were thrilled. They got it out 2-3 times, let in sit on the ground in the backyard for a few years, got divorced, and let it sit around another year or more. It's supposed to be his canoe now but I doubt it's going to get picked up off the ground and used anytime soon. By the time it is it will probably need new gunwales again.

After the divorce I thought about suggesting I get custody of the canoe. :)

I gave my sons a canoe each, they don't use them much but they are royalex so they should be good till they have more time in life.

I'm not sure what I will do with my wood canvas canoes, they require decent storage, maintenance, and proper care, not sure they would get that with young families in this fast-paced world.
I’ve given away a fair amount of usable gear to “others”, including tents, sleeping pads, stoves and the like. The family just takes what they need, they kinda all have their “own” favorite gear.

Lots of paddles and PFDs, either to friends starting out or thrown in as a bonus when giving away or selling a used canoe. Still have a surplus of both.

In bigger ticket items I’ve given away quite a few rebuilt canoes and kayaks. I kept a list; most of these were gotten free, all given away for free, and many are still in use.

‘70’s vintage plastic tandem canoe. I “repaired” the gunwales with sliced garden hose and construction adhesive, my first (and least proud) gunwale work.

‘70’s vintage fiberglass slalom kayak

’71 Old Town Rushton canoe, after both my sons had outgrown it

Dagger Tupelo canoe, likewise when my sons outgrew it

’84 Dagger Caper canoe

’88 Prijon Slalom Special kayak

Unknown vintage Noah Aeroquatic kayak

’91 glass Mad River Explorer canoe

‘70’s Old Town Chipewyan canoe, not either of Chip’s specimens, but replacing the same brittle white gunwales

’77 Sawyer Champion canoe, both stems had gaping holes, my first major epoxy and cloth repair

‘70’s glass C1

‘80’s Mohawk Challenger, too far gone for repairs, used as a safety class pinned “victim” canoe

Some other too-beat canoe that did not make my list, also for use as a safety class “victim” canoe

’87 kevlar Blue Hole Sunburst canoe

Unknown vintage glass Phoenix kayak

’84 Royalex “Dreamboat” canoe, actual manufacturer name

’97 Mohawk Probe 12 canoe

’87 Blue Hole Sunburst 1 canoe, with Perception saddle and float bags

Shenandoah RX tandem canoe, maybe a famous “Warsaw Rocket”

A second identical RX Shenandoah canoe

And one that came back, the ’89 Mad River Explorer, which returned 20 years later to become OOSOBO permitted at the reservoir.

P3190001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I learned something on each of those rebuilds, and I’m still learning.
I’ve given away a strip boat and a couple fiberglass canoes, not much in terms of other camping gear. My son in into climbing, not canoeing. I offered him some of my climbing gear but it was declined as most of his climbing is on a gym. He does get out bouldering on occasion. My daughter does a lot of canoeing and camping but she travels light and worked for an outfitter so got a discount on what she wanted. I was able to buy her some things but that is not the same.
Tools, now that is another thing. Since I’ve retired I’ve given away hundreds of dollars of tools, mostly hand tools but some machine tools and still have more to part with. Anybody need anything?
I just remembered there was another boat I gave away. I picked it up for $150 (I overpaid) and once I started sanding off the paint and oozed resin it turned out to be an old cedar stripper. I'd guess from the 60's based on the psychedelic bow art. It would have been really cool to restore but the resin was very opaque and sanding it back to bare wood would have been the only way. So I spray painted it (my first restoration project, didn't have a clue what I was doing) and put new gunwales, trim and seats. The seats were my first try at fiberglass fabrication and they came out decent.

It was about 18.5' long and I guess you'd call it something of a prospector design. Fun boat but I had no use for it so I gave it to some friends of mine in Minneapolis who were always talking about getting a canoe. Much to my pleasure I occasionally receive pictures of them out in the canoe with their two young boys, who I adore. The boys didn't have paddles so I carved out some crude kid paddles for them, which they thought were great.

So happy to see others contributing to getting people outdoors. I've not given a boat away yet but folks know they can borrow them if they'd like. I have gifted lots of snowshoes over the years along with some tents, packs and various accessories. All have gone to good homes and been used in good health so that's a plus. I remember the many gifts I received when I was younger and getting started so it's nice to be able to reciprocate now that I'm able to repay the favor.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

If I have something I can’t use and is still I good shape, I’ll pass it on; canoe related or otherwise. Once REI sent me some kind of camping fancy coffee maker. I called REI to tell them about it and they didn’t want it back. So I passed it on to someone on another forum who was (I thought) unreasonably ecstatic to get it. I was pleased to make someone happy.

Also passed on with great sadness the child and infant paddling gear…special pdfs, good quality rain gear, etc. when my foster child was returned to her family of origin. I was glad to have the gear used. The sadness was losing the child I had raised for so long.

Other than that, I don’t have the great accumulation of gear others seem to have.
Erica, what you did to help a child is the highest blessing I believe to be in the world. I have a niece who is 10 yo now who was adopted by my sister in law and I can’t wait to take her out tripping.
Erica, what you did to help a child is the highest blessing I believe to be in the world. I have a niece who is 10 yo now who was adopted by my sister in law and I can’t wait to take her out tripping.
Thanks. She may have been one of the greatest blessings in my life. I had a great time paddling with her in Florida and in Maine. I believe I mentioned in another thread she had an amazingly accurate loon laugh.

I hope your niece loves paddling and you enjoy sharing all that with her. One of the greatest gifts you can give a child.
over the years I've given away tons of gear from packs to paddles, to pots...
When I was a Scout leader and Mentor I probably gave a way a pickup load of gear annually, to the point that I became sort of a gear clearing house- people would drop off gear, and I'd fix it up and pass it on. With just pads alone I've probably given away 30-40, most if which were donated as leakers, repaired, and passed on to some deserving kid, (I completely set up one family with an underemployed working mom) and there's dozens of Scouters and others that have received various cookstoves and lanterns that were completely restored, I've even given away several hot tent and stove sets, mostly hand crafted by me, the last was a woodstove I built and used for a few years then gave away last fall to a guy taking his grandkids winter camping for their first time.
I don't give any of it away for any financial reward or accolades, I do it because I love to tinker, and it feels good to know that you've helped someone get outdoors that may never had the opportunity without a little help. I still have a full set of loaner gear (including a canoe) that I occasionally loan out to those that need it
I have normally been one to sell unneeded gear so I can afford to try new/different gear. That seems to have changed with having children. We cleaned and priced used kid accoutrements and sold them at twin club sales and a consignment shop. This got to be overwhelming with 2 sets of twins and once we got the big ticket infrastructure items sold (strollers, pack n plays, cribs, etc.) we just focus on getting the outgrown clothes and whatnot out of the house. We first try to give them to other families with younger children and after that we donate to a local place that’s similar to Goodwill but is still actually a non-profit.

A couple years ago, I picked up a pink-handled Spyderco Delica for one of my daughters. These were fairly limited runs, not regular production, and thus hard to find now. I figured with 3 daughters how could I miss? They all preferred different colors! So I gave the knife to a coworker who is obsessed with pink. As in, I ordered her a pink hard hat when I ordered a batch of PPE at work.

More recently, another coworker has gotten engaged and invited me and my wife to the wedding which will take place at Big Blue Spring on the Wacissa River. They’re wonderful people, and if I may say so, he is beyond lucky to be marrying her. Both are kayakers. The groom-to-be recently used his father’s canoe, a rather heavy old fiberglass tandem of unknown provenance. He was favorably impressed with the load he could carry on a camping trip, though he was trying to manage the boat from the stern. I had him try my Kevlar Wenonah Encounter on a local day paddle, and he loved it. I described to him how this was too much boat generally to paddle around empty, that it was designed with extended tripping in mind, and would perform better with a load. In short, the wrong boat for me as a daytripper, and when I go canoe camping it will most likely be with kids so I’ll use the Polaris. He asked if it would work for an Everglades trip. I thought so. At the end of our paddle, I asked how he liked it. He did, very much, but said he couldn’t buy it until after the wedding and honeymoon trip. So I gave him the boat. We went out last week and practiced recoveries and he did very well. Was able to flip, bail, and re-enter all on his own. I have converted a yakker to a canoer! 👍
Clemency mentioned in another thread about giving away gear to his son.
I said nothing of the sort. I said he absconded with it. :)

The most egregious absconding was when he took my Honda Element. But he drove it from NC to spend three days at and in the Grand Canyon the next weekend, so I've forgiven him. Mostly. He also has my solo tent, my old (i.e., for younger people) sleeping pad, a 20 degree bag, and who knows what else. OTOH, he has grown up to be an Outward Bound instructor, so my permissiveness has at least done some good.


Currently trekking in Ireland. Yes that is my backpack.

You should be proud! I’m at the other end of the journey with 2 sets of twins, 10 and almost 7. One boy, the youngest.