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Entry Level Access to Outdoor Adventure Sports

Every type of adventure sport has different financial entry points. The cost of equipment as well as other factors can create serious barriers for many would-be climbers, skiers, and mountain bikers.

But before high prices scare you away from an adventurous lifestyle all together, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on brand new equipment just to have a go.  Sometimes the most ideal way to get some experience is by using someone else’s gear.

Ski Resorts, Mountain Bike shops, and Indoor Rock Climbing areas all have one thing in common: they want you to get hooked on their sport. That’s why many places that sell adventure gear will also rent it out. It can still be relatively expensive, but it is much cheaper than buying it all upfront.

Once you have tried your hand at skiing down hills or mountain biking up them, the best way to get the most bang for your buck is by finding out what bare necessities you need to get started. Some things may be okay to buy budget brands or second-hand through various websites, second-hand stores, and apps. But there may be some equipment which will require a larger investment.

If you decide you want to try snow skiing, for example, spend as much possible on the most comfortable boots, and pick up a cheap set of second hand skis. Cheap or slightly incorrect size boots can cause discomfort, pain, and severely effect your enthusiasm. But cheap skis will never hurt your feet and can be upgraded later whenever you are ready.

The high prices of daily lift tickets used to be a big barrier for any snow hobbies. Thankfully most resorts realized that the hardcore powder enthusiasts will always be their core group of repeat customers, but most people who go skiing will try it once and never return. So they now have package deals which include lift tickets, rental equipment, and skiing lessons.

If you are curious about rock climbing, indoor places have a community of enthusiasts who are always around, ready and eager to help you with belaying or pointing out footholds. Finding a more experienced partner or group can also be useful, not only because of their knowledge, but they most likely have access to spare ropes and other equipment. Then, if you like the rock climbing lifestyle, a basic set of beginner equipment including a harness, helmet, and rock climbing shoes should only cost around AUD $250-350.

Mountain Bike stores can sell you an entry level bike, help you find second hand bikes, or at least give you information about brands and styles. Some shops also organize local group rides, or can give you information about them. Otherwise, Facebook groups are another way you can connect with local enthusiasts for pretty much any outdoor sport you can think of.

And remember, it doesn’t matter how fancy or expensive your equipment is. Just as long as you’re getting yourself out there and having an adventure.

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