Club gear is managed by the Quartermasters. Club members can borrow gear for free if they leave a deposit. A full VOC gear policy should be made available. Everyone is supposed to do a workhike before borrowing club gear, although exceptions are sometimes made for new members early in the year.
Club gear includes :
- Back-country Ski Gear and Snow Sports
Other Gear Rental
Mountain Equipment Co-op is probably the best source of rental equipment. More information can be found on their rentals page.
Not having hundreds of dollars to spend on gear should not be used as an excuse for missing out on all the fun. The VOC has always been about doing more with less. In that spirit, here are a few ideas that will save you some money (and, best of all, they'll also save weight) :
- Stove : For full-on winter use nothing beats a good white-gas stove (MSR or similar). However, for summer trips there are much cheaper and much lighter alternatives. Consider building your own. There are plenty of designs out there. I've tested this one and it works great.
- Gore-tex is nice in really stormy weather. But for most trips, it's just too heavy and expensive. Consider a lighter-cheaper windbreaker. You get the added bonus of increased breathability. Cut three holes in a garbage bag and wear it like a vest to supplement your windbreaker if it gets rainy. No, this system won't keep you dry in a downpour, but who cares?
- Tents are heavy; why not leave them at home (or at the store)? Going for a one-night trip and the forecast looks good? Just grab your sleeping bag and mat and go. You'll be amazed at the refreshing feeling of fresh air as you doze off at night (as opposed to your partner's socks you'd be smelling if you had brought a tent). If it's bug season, you might want to rig up a bit of bug netting over your face. In winter, tent free camping gets even better with snowcaving. With practice, you can dig one in an hour or two (not a big deal when the sun sets at 4:30pm) and they are actually warmer and more windproof than any tent. All you need is a shovel (which you should have along anyway!)
Making Your Own Gear
For those poor students who would rather invest time than money even though both is lacking, usually time is more available and easier to come by. So those can consider sewing your own gear. A good resource for how to do it is available on the Homemade Outdoor Gear website. They have information of how to make your own sleeping bag! If you are looking for fabric in Vancouver, try asking Roland first as he has sewn his own booties. Otherwise, some places that might have appropriate fabric is Clothworks of Vancouver. There is also a good store with a large selection of outdoor fabrics (including Goretex and heavyweight cordura for backpacks) at Main and 16th in Vancouver. They also carry patterns for all sorts of outdoorsy things, such as ski pants and jackets for the really ambitious. The Textile Clearance House at Fraser and 41st in Vancouver is an excellent place to score super cheap fleece in all weights, as well as ripstop nylon for stuffsacks and the like and polyester knits for long underwear and hiking shirts. And when you make your own gear, colours and patterns are limited only by your imagination, not some unfashionable MEC designer who thinks lime green and magenta doesn't match...