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Tuesday, August 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Online resources make getting into the outdoors easier for all

For many outdoor enthusiasts – experienced or novice alike – it doesn’t make sense to buy outdoor gear. It can be a waste of money, time and space. It can also be harmful to the planet to buy things unnecessarily.

Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that can provide access to premium outdoor gear for a fraction of the price of retail – with no storage or maintenance necessary.

One company, Arrive Outdoors, recently announced a partnership with Washington State Parks to offer rental gear to parks visitors. Arrive Outdoors has established similar arrangements in other states.

CEO and co-founder Rachelle Snyder recounted the cross-country move she and her husband made several years ago. Their outdoor gear was lost in the transition and they were faced with costly replacement.

“We went through that user experience of like, ‘Do I rent? Not sure about the rental; is it going to be nice? Do I borrow from friends?’ and that was really difficult,” she said.

The pair decided to replace everything, but quickly realized the cost was prohibitive.

Three years ago, they surveyed the online economy and realized there was a hole in the market for quality gear rental.

“Everything else in our life is a service – we have Instacart for groceries, we have Grubhub, Airbnb, Uber,” Synder said. “There should be a service in the outdoor industry. And so we launched Arrive to provide people with a way to easily access gear, have it delivered directly to their door, you can order online, everything is through online e-commerce.”

She acknowledged that some folks want to have “their stuff,” but for others – especially those in more urban markets where storage is a huge issue, renting makes sense.

“There’s always going to be that group of people who should accumulate, like if you’re going hunting or fishing every week or even a couple times a month. There’s a high likelihood you should own your gear,” she said. “But most people are the casual outdoor travelers, and we’re trying to make that space available for them with the service.”

The company offers deep discounts over purchasing similar equipment, promises a “100% happiness guarantee,” and each customer gets a personal guide to help them find gear, select destinations and answer any questions they may have. Reservations are free, and customers can cancel or change anytime before an order ships.

The company works with manufacturers and retailers to have the latest equipment available, and does business out of a huge warehouse in southern California.

Since the pandemic, they’ve upped their gear-handling protocols.

“Ever since COVID hit we have implemented some pretty intense cleaning procedures,” Snyder said. “Every single thing is cleaned with CDC-recommended disinfectants, every single surface. We have extensive warehouse regulations that we put in place. We made that decision very early on that we wanted to manage that because we have such high standards for customer for the customer experience.”

In addition to camping and hiking gear, Arrive Outdoors also has an extensive ski and snow gear section.

If you order through Washington State Parks’ Gear Rental web page (parks.state.wa.us/1176/Gear-rental), a portion of the revenue goes to Washington State Parks.

“What we see across the country is people who live in cities tend to gravitate to this,” Snyder said. “It was really interesting with Washington is that outside of Seattle, it is almost evenly split across people who are renting and visiting us from across the state. It’s a really interesting case study of how much reach this program can get and how many people across the state. We can serve, no matter if they’re in a city or not.”

Off-road adventure in Idaho

The Inland Northwest has an abundance of beautiful backcountry, to be explored by multiple forms of recreation. An off-highway vehicle can be an efficient and exhilarating way to venture the backcountry – but unfortunately it can also be quite expensive to purchase a costly ATV or UTV, plus a trailer and a rig sturdy enough to haul everything.

Add in the required space for storage and added costs for operating and maintaining the vehicle and many people find this more of a hassle than it’s worth.

A newly founded UTV rental company in St. Maries offers basic rentals and self-guided tour options, providing customers with a unique opportunity to get an insider’s look at the wild and scenic St. Joe backcountry.

Northwest Outdoor Rental Company boasts it can remove the hassle, so customers can explore the backcountry in its entirety without the cost and effort required in owning an OHV.

NORC’s website offers three OHV models and several adventure packages to choose from, with links to over a dozen places for accommodations.

It can be reached at (208) 606-3626 or info@nwrentalsrock.com.

Online camping resource

Need help in choosing an outdoor adventure? Want to just get away for the night? The Dyrt is a website that calls itself the “Go-To Resource for Campers.” However you camp – tent, trailer, RV or cabin – The Dyrt believes finding outdoor accommodations should be just as easy as finding the indoor kind.

“At The Dyrt, it is our job to watch camping trends, and we’re in the middle of a huge one,” CEO Kevin Long said. Google Trends shows a similar increase: searches for ‘camping’ are the highest they’ve been since 2011.

“Our platform exists to help campers plan trips, and this month was our biggest traffic month in the last seven years of operation.”

Because of this surge in campers seeking information online, The Dyrt launched question-and-answer forums to help campers get the information they need to make the 2020 camping season a success.

The Dyrt Forums (thedyrt.com/forums) launched at the end of June and already have over 2,500 questions and replies from campers across the U.S.

The forums feature categories for state-by-state questions and answers, as well as categories for different types of campers to connect.

The website boasts to be the largest campground database on the internet, with over 44,000 public and private campgrounds. It’s the No. 1-ranked app for camping in the iOS App Store and Google Play and has over 1.4 million website visitors per month.

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