There are plenty of upsides to getting outside (the fresh air, the sense of adventure, the joyous realization that you’re nowhere near a cubicle and how fantastic that feels). But all that outdoorsing means you could end up spending lots of cash on equipment. Boots, bicycles, coats, socks, skis, sleeping bags. It adds up.
If you’re on a budget this winter, but still really want 2017 to be the Year of Ice Skating/Sledding/Nordic Skiing, check out the goods at Portland Gear Hub on St. John Street in Portland. Nearly all the gear here is used and has been donated by some person, family, or organization. There are a few new items, but on the whole it’s all pre-owned outdoor equipment for every season.
This time of year, most of us are on the hunt for sleds, snow pants, and snowshoes. And cross-country skis, boots, and poles. The Gear Hub has all of it, although the selection is always changing.
ANOTHER BUDGET-FRIENDLY SHOP: Buy inexpensive workout apparel at Goodwill (sometimes with the tags still on!)
When I stopped in recently, there were loads of cross-country skis ($15-$40), figure skates ($10-$20), hockey skates ($10-$20), and winter accessories like snow pants, ski goggles, stabilicers, mittens, and more.
You’re welcome to donate gear you’re no longer using here, too. What’s especially cool about the Gear Hub (aside from the fact it helps us afford our outdoor adventures) is that it’s powered by Camp Ketcha and funds support Maine programs that get kids outside. And when it’s bike-riding time, Portland Gear Hub is a great place to buy a bike or learn how to repair your bike with open bench time and workshops. They also have a Bikes of All Mainers Program.
Portland Gear Hub
244B St. John St., Portland (Union Station Plaza)
Open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday through Monday, noon to 4 p.m.