Dat REI Garage Sale Doh

Look at me – all hip with my smart-alecky hashtag-able subject line. We usually avoid the REI Garage Sale because we wind up with too much stuff – good stuff, handy stuff but sometimes…not urgently needed stuff. This time it was actually pretty profitable if expensive.

I acquired this long down skirt for under $15 – while I usually look the price up before buying, I just figured it was the perfect thing for walking the dogs in the winter – put this on, then come on and don whatever work attire I had planned. Or just pull it over my work pants. I stole this sucker at that price. Amazing.

We each got a pair of these Marmot gloves – cheap due to sun damage on the stock. Someone obviously had them near a window. I replaced an aging pair of Merrell shoes for 1/3rd the retail price. You can get Vaque, Lowas (including Sarge’s favorite pair), Asolo’s and other great boots at great prices. I wish I’d had time to see if my fav pair were there – a great buy at any discount. Usually the shoes have been worn at least a few times and some obviously worn out but the owner abuses the old return policy, now changed. Before, they would essentially replace/refund anything you weren’t happy with – obviously, some people are assholes and returned things long-used. I think they now have it set to a one year limit which is still a VERY generous return policy. (This may be a good time for me to note that I have zero qualms about pre-worn items. I was raised in a very frugal lifestyle so I didn’t have the benefit of being choosy. Used gear and attire are fine with me.)

We found Sarge a nice Columbia shirt with venting and long enough to cover his carry in summer. He is reticent to spend much but when I find quality names at a good price, I get it. Some good wool socks will make a nice gift for my friend – she will recognize the X’d out mark on them but won’t care. She gets those bargains when she can, too.

I let a few things remain – a nice MSR cook stove for one. People often buy camping gear to take a single trip and then return it. There were many sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and a few nice backpacks. One has to be willing to deal with rude and pushy idiots at the event. But I don’t mind – I have a knack for finding the good stuff and judging it quickly. And my Yankee roots allow me to be comfy with the rudeness. Sarge has to stand in a corner and observe – he cannot stand people in his personal space which makes perfect sense. I did it while hobbling around and that was an added degree of difficulty. More on that in a bit…suffice to say – if there is an REI in your area, get on their mailing list and always check out the sales. You just never know what you might find.

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