Military Surplus is a Cheap Resource for Backpackers and Campers

Military Surplus is a Cheap Resource for Backpackers and Campers

Military Surplus Supplies

Insulated hiking boots?  Check!

Down-filled hooded parka?  Check!
Multi-compartment backpack?  Check!

Whether you love camping overnight in your local state park or backpacking around the world, purchasing the gear that you will need for either can become an expensive proposition.

So, how does one get around this reality of increasing prices for recreational gear and stagnant incomes?  The good news is that there are resources that will help you get everything you want at a fraction of the retail prices of stores like Dicks or REI.  Army/Navy surplus stores offer many items like camping equipment, tents, sleeping bags and outerwear for pennies on the dollar.

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There’s an online store that I frequent often to purchase travel gear in general and hiking gear specifically.

The Sportsman’s Guide is primarily aimed at the residential consumer looking for great deals on everything from furniture to toys.  However, you can still find great deals on things like:

A 17 piece aluminum cookware set for 21.97!  Soothe those hunger pangs while you dine under the stars:

Military Surplus

Executive Travel Fly & Spinning Rod Combo for $35.00

Military Surplus

Men’s Itasca Bridgeport 4″ Low Hikers for $35.00

hikers (1)

Communing with nature has never been so fun or so cheap!

This site tends to focus more on the athletic-minded consumer and some of the more interesting offerings on this site are Foreign military overstocks sold at cut-rate prices.

Some of the best deals are:

New U.S. Military issue Chemical Suit, Woodland Camo for $25.00

camo (1)

High Sierra Piton 35 Frame Pack



Five (5) New Swiss  Military Surplus Work Jackets for 20.00!

work jacket (1)

The moral of this story is to check out military surplus stores first, whether brick and mortar or online, to find some incredible values on very durable and well-crafted travel gear.   For the those who love to “rough it” every now and again, you will find that this is a great way to minimize expenses which will allow you to pursue the pastime that you love.



Renee King
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  • Greg Gross
    Posted at 14:47h, 27 October Reply

    Taking advantage of military surplus means big savings for backpackers, but if you like to do your backpacking near or south of the Equator, there’s one really BIG caveat.

    Developing countries with twitchy governments and ill-trained police and border guards may look upon a foreigner sporting military field gear with suspicion — and that suspicion can add some MAJOR complications to your trip.

    In the developed world, especially the States and Western Europe, no worries.
    Greg Gross recently posted…Airport lounges for the rest of usMy Profile

    • Renee
      Posted at 14:59h, 27 October Reply

      Excellent point, Greg. It is important to look at geopolitical implications in almost everything these days…including surplus gear.

  • Annie
    Posted at 03:41h, 21 October Reply

    I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this! I need to check out if there’s something like this in my area 😀

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