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 2019 to be the Year of Ice Skating/Sledding/Nordic Skiing, check out the goods at Portland Gear Hub on Washington Ave in Portland. (Note! This post was first written when the Gear Hub was on St. John Street, so the photos are from that location. But the truth about them having sweet used gear – like ICE SKATES – is still accurate!)

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.

There’s a ton of outdoor gear of all kinds at Portland Gear Hub. Shannon Bryan photos

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!)

Cross-country ski poles are only $10. Hockey skates run $10-$20 and there’s even a bin full of accessories – ski goggles, stabilicers – for $5 and $6. Shannon Bryan photos

When I stopped in, 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.

Iiiiiice skates. $10-$20. Shannon Bryan photo
Ski boots for cross-country skis. $5, $25 or $40. Shannon Bryan photo

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

155 Washington Ave, Portland
Open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.