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No gear? No Problem: How one company is making camping more accessible with its rental service

Aug. 01, 2021
4 min read
Tent camping at the wonder lake campground in Denali National Park. Denali is seen at back. Taken under the "midnight sun."
No gear? No Problem: How one company is making camping more accessible with its rental service
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If you're anything like me — someone who loves the outdoors but doesn't spend as much time traversing them as I'd like — chances are, not having the right gear plays a part in this scenario.

Camping can be inaccessible for many reasons, but there are two major reasons that ring true for me: gear storage logistics and cost.

Prior to trading 700-square-feet in NYC for something larger than, well, a shoebox in Philadelphia, I was working with very minimal space. And when I say minimal, I mean living in a studio apartment where having a single closet at all is a luxury. The idea of storing a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, proper attire and accouterments like headlamps and camping stove just wasn't feasible.

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In addition to a crisis of storage space, I also couldn't rationalize paying a grand on gear that realistically won't get used enough to justify the cost.

The good news is that companies have recognized this struggle and come up with a more affordable, urban-dweller-friendly solution: gear rentals.

The latest brand to get on the bandwagon is Eddie Bauer. Its "Rent Your Adventure" program advertises premium gear that's professionally cleaned and delivered to your door anywhere in the contiguous U.S. (including your destination) at any time. According to the website, orders get delivered "on or before your selected delivery date by 8:00 p.m.," so you can pack up your rental car (because let's be honest, there's a good chance that if you're in NYC, you don't have one of those, either) and head for the hills.

Screenshot courtesy of Eddie Bauer.

Orders can be canceled up to 10 days before the reservation date just in case you change your mind or the weather takes a turn. Free return labels are included with your order, to be dropped off at a FedEx location. For a limited time, you can also score free shipping, according to the website.

Campers can reserve everything from men's and women's apparel to proper gear. A men's parka, for example, will run you anywhere from $15 to $17.50 per day, depending on your selection. According to the site, that same parka would typically retail for $349. Sizing runs from S to XXXL.

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A tent will set you back anywhere from $6 per day for a smaller, barebones option to $35 per day for the sturdier high-performance choice. Those same tents retail for $119 and $699, respectively.

Related: Why this camping loyalty program is worth its $33 fee

One benefit for novices like myself is the option to order a pre-arranged set of apparel or gear. The Sleep Under the Stars camping set for two includes a tent, two sleeping bags, backpack cooler, two camping chairs and lantern for $32.50 per day. The listed retail price for this kit is $647.

I'm not going to lie; a huge part of the appeal of this service is not having to make endless decisions when it comes to gear selection, which I know nothing about. Now, if only these sets came with the reservations required to get into most national parks these days.

Screenshot courtesy of Eddie Bauer.

In case you're wondering, the website states that renters "will not be charged for items that are damaged due to normal wear," however, "you will be charged the full retail price of any item that is returned with significant damage, or not returned at all." So, camp with caution.

Stay tuned as we send the TPG team to test it out first-hand.

Related: 9 of the best national parks to visit in the fall

Photo by Brett Maurer/Getty Images.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more