The Best Gear Deals at Costco and Sam’s Club
Yes, good things do come in bulk
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Back when I made my living as a river guide, I was a bargain hunter, trolling for high-value gear wherever I could find it. And while many adventurers turn their noses up at the outdoor products sold at big-box stores, there are some great deals to be had. So for anyone shopping on a tight budget, here’s the best gear you’ll come across in the aisles of Costco and Sam’s Club while stocking up on toilet paper and Snickers bars.
Kirkland Signature Outdoor Trail Socks ($18 for six pairs)
Of all of the sport socks in my dresser drawer, I wear these the most. A friend gave them to me for my birthday seven years ago and I still think kindly of him every time I pull on a pair. (Worth noting: socks may seem like the the most boring gift ever, but they’re always appreciated.) The Outdoor Trail socks are comfy to wear on backpacking trips and muted enough so they don’t clash with slacks, in contrast to the garish colors so many hiking brands use. Eighteen bucks for a six-pack of durable, moisture-wicking, merino-nylon socks? Sold.
The Ready Project 72-Hour Tactical Backpack Survival Kit ($100)
Sure, you can put together a bug-out bag for less than $100, but that takes time and research. This pre-made Tactical Backpack Survival Kit includes 3,000 calories’ worth of food, a hand-crank charger for electronics, a water filter, a flammable gel for lighting fires, and more, all in a hearty rucksack. Keep one in the trunk of your car in case you get stuck and have to hunker down until help arrives.
Wavestorm 9’6” Stand-Up Paddleboard Bundle ($600)
“Which SUP should I buy?” is a question I get a lot. If you’re a beginner, I’ll immediately tell you to get a Wavestorm from Costco. Yes, these 9’6” foam-top boards are slugs in the water, but if you’re just getting out for the sake of paddling, there’s no more accommodating setup. In this bundle, you get two boards, paddles, leashes, and board socks for about half the price of a single fancy epoxy touring model. Bonus: the burly Wavestorm withstands the inevitable bumps and scrapes that novices inflict on their SUPs.
Coleman Triton+ Propane Stove ($70)
With a 22,000-BTU output, the simple Triton+ has plenty of firepower to cook up a rib eye, but the controls are also responsive enough to dial in the flame for simmering beans. And, as is to be expected of a Coleman product, this stove will last you a lifetime.
North Range Buffer Sleeping Bag Liner ($13)
A bag liner is a remarkably useful piece of gear. It will add a few extra degrees to a bag or serve as a stand-alone barrier from questionable hostel mattresses. The Buffer’s polyester body is plenty soft, and the built-in sleeve keeps your pillow in place.
North Range Quakie 40-Degree Sleeping Bag ($30)
For summer camping, a lightweight synthetic-fill bag like the Quakie will do just fine. Its boxy cut provides ample room, and a cinch cord tightens the opening to keep warmth from escaping. Best not to test the 40-degree rating, but the Quakie is perfect for camping out when warm days turn to brisk nights.