New Personal Lending Through The Mountaineers Gear Library

The Mountaineers Gear Library reduces barriers to outdoor adventure by providing free outdoor equipment to youth groups. Since youth groups can't go outside, we are now offering personal gear rentals to Mountaineers members. Read on to learn how it works!
Hannah Tennent Hannah Tennent
Youth Outreach Coordinator
June 18, 2020
New Personal Lending Through The Mountaineers Gear Library
Thank you sign from the Gear Library Opening Party

The Pacific Northwest is filled with incredible spots to explore but the type of outdoor recreation we teach at The Mountaineers teaches isn't easily accessible to everyone, To learn about barriers to being "outdoorsy", I recommend starting with this Code Switch podcast. Because gear can be one of those barriers, The Mountaineers Gear Library normally loans outdoor gear to youth groups for free. In light of COVID, we're now offering pearsonal gear rentals for Mountaineers members.  

During normal operations, the gear library is used to support youth groups on camping, backpacking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing adventures. Since the launch of our Gear Library in 2018, we have supported over 1,000 students and teachers on adventures, from hiking in local parks to experiencing gliding over snow on skis for the first time. 

Unfortunately, the majority of our gear is currently sitting on shelves as youth groups can't gather outside. Until King County is in Phase 3, we will be loaning a small collection of our gear to individual Mountaineers members! We hope to support the pursuits of our members and continue to provide affordable gear to those who want it. 

Available Gear 

While King County is in Phase 1.5 and Phase 2, Mountaineers members can get outside with one of these three gear packages! 

  • Hammock Kit: Have you always wanted to try hammock camping? Do you want to be one of the folks relaxing in a public park? Now is your chance. A total of 5 hammock kits are available. 
  • Camping Kit: Containing a 2-person tent and a solar lantern, the camping kit is perfect for an adventure by yourself or with a friend. Allow this list of open state park campgrounds to inspire you or try camping a night in your own yard! A total of 10 camping kits are available. 
  • Hiking Kit: Hit the trails with a pair of hiking poles and a headlamp from the gear library. If you've never used poles before, your knees will thank you. A total of 5 hiking kits are available.  

Rental process 

Gear is available on a rolling basis, although this is subject to change based on popularity, and reservations can be made the week before of your rental. 

At least one week before you'd like to a borrow a kit, fill out our rental form. Gear will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. You'll receive a confirmation email shortly after you fill out the form, confirming your rental package, as well as your pick-up and drop-off times, or discussing alternatives if the gear is already reserved. 

Rental terms and agreements will be discussed throughout the process. You are expected to take care of the gear and return it clean and dry. 

As opposed to charging set fees for gear rentals, we ask that you make a donation of any size to The Mountaineers upon confirmation of your gear rental. More details about this are included in the rental form. 

Rental Form

COVID Protocols 

All gear will have sat, untouched, for at least one week between rentals. The pick up and drop off systems will be set up so that everyone can maintain 6ft of distance. Additionally, we ask that you wear a mask when you come to pick up or drop off gear. 

We encourage you to use this gear in alignment with outdoor guidelines that have been published by the state. Practice social distancing, don't gather with more than 5 people outside your household, and remember to bring a mask. 

Recreate Responsibly

FAQs about Personal Lending 

Have fun out there! If you have any questions about personal borrowing, email us at

Chrysalis High School -1-L.jpgStudents with Chrysalis High School explore the Dungeness Spit on an outing supporting by the gear library. Photo by Nina Crampton.

FAQs about Personal Lending 

Who is this rental program open to? 

It's open to anyone who is a Mountaineers member. Become a Mountaineers member

How will I know if I got gear? 

You'll receive an email outlining if you have a gear reservation. The email will include directions about how to pick up your gear and a link to The Mountaineers website so you can make a donation, among other information. 

Why aren’t there more options for rental? 

The gear library's full inventory isn't available for rental right now. We don't have enough of all the gear to be able to offer it every weekend while also guaranteeing a safe quarantine period. We also want to be ready to support our youth partners as soon as they are able to go out again and having limited quantities for rental allows us to be nimble. 

What happens if I damage or lose the gear? 

You are responsible for any damaged or lost gear. You'll be billed for the full price of the gear you borrowed. That way, we can replace it for other members and youth groups in the future! This gear belongs to all the youth groups we work with. Please treat this gear as you would if you were borrowing a friends; keep it in good shape for whoever uses it after you! 

What if I've never set up a tent or a hammock before? 

No problem! You should definitely rent one. If you'd like any guidance or a how-to, simply share that in the rental form and I'll be happy to go over the details with you. 

I work with youth and I'd like to learn more about the traditional operation of the Gear Library. 

Excellent! I'd love to hear your ideas and learn how we can support your youth group. You can learn more about the Gear Library and attend a virtual orientation.  Also, email me at

Main image: Students with Refugee Women's Alliance (ReWA) climb snowbanks on an adventure supported by the Gear Library. Photo courtesy of ReWA. 

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