Sierra used to be known as Sierra Trading Post10% Off and was established in 1998 in Nevada. The retailer has physical stores and online ordering. Catalogs are no longer in circulation since 2017. The company is owned by TJX Group, which also owns TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls. This is why most brick-and-mortar Sierra stores can be found close to one of them.
The current stores feature over 18,000 square feet floor space and focus on exceptional customer care, low operating costs, and treating everybody just the way you would want to be treated yourself.
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Sierra was affected by 2009 financial crisis and had to let go of about 130 employees from its operations in stores and behind the scenes in shipping.
Sierra, along with similar sporting goods retailers, focuses on outdoor gear, apparel, and equipment. The company operates with the principle that nature is the best background for exercising, staying fit, and leading healthy lifestyle.
Pursuing your hobby and going with your heart can be expensive – activities like backpacking, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and mountaineering all cost pretty penny. Some supplies can be used from your current resources, like hiking boots and pants, but many other items are not likely to be just lying around in your home and have to be acquired.
Many outdoors needs are very expensive – a good kayak can run well into hundreds while a mountain bike can cost you thousands. And the worst thing is that you have to spend this kind of money up front before even knowing if you will really like the sport.
This being said and before panic sets in, we have some good news – there are ways to get all of those supplies cheaper, rent them, or find discounted deals when you are ready to take up a new outdoorsy activity or need an upgrade on you r current gear.
Let’s take a look at ways to save money on gear and apparel for all your outdoors needs:
If you have been dreaming about kayaking, skiing, diving, or climbing, buying all the needed things new will seriously set you back. Rent it first to find out what brands you like or if you like the sport all together.
Most people don’t know that their local outdoor shops, like some Sierra locations, REI, and even local universities have some gear for rent. The stores rent area specific products, for example Sierra at Lake Tahoe will rent snowboards and skis, while REI in Seattle will offer wet suits, mountain bikes, and kayaks.
If there are no local outdoor shops in your area, check out online companies like Outdoors Geek, Last Minute Gear, and Gear to Go Outfitters for rental gear, which you will send back after enjoying.
Many avid outdoorsmen travel to destinations to enjoy their favorite sports and rent what they need locally, where choices are usually abundant. This might not be the cheapest option, but a good way to try a sport and to avoid transportation hassle.
Work eBay and Facebook Marketplace to look for local used gear and apparel. If that doesn’t work, consider using sites like Mass Drop, where items can be bought at great prices because the site aggregates buyers and gets collective discounts for everybody’s benefit. This method is not the fastest because you will have to wait for a group of people to accumulate for specific product, but you will get a great deal.
Two other discount gear sites and physical stores are Sierra and REI Outlet. There you can find discounted last year’s models, so if you are willing to accept that, you will be able to save some money without sacrificing quality.
You should look for second hand stores that are geared towards outdoor gear and visit them instead of going to all second hand shops. Check out Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for specific categories. Thrift stores and Goodwill are very likely to have used gear, but you will have to dedicate some time for search there.
The biggest choice of gear is definitely right before the season, but the best prices are right after it’s over. Don’t wait too long though because while the store might have discounted kayaks in the fall, they won’t have them until Christmas. Give yourself a month after a season and not more.
REI online has used gear section and Gear Trade is dedicated for just that, so you have options.
If you want to dip your toes into an outdoor activity, there is a high chance that either you yourself or a friend of yours knows somebody in that sport who has a full closet of things that you can borrow for a weekend. If there are a few people with similar interests, you can start a sort of gear library, where you can borrow each other’s things for common good and savings. This way when one goes to kayak, another can go camping, and everybody will win when a need to buy expensive stuff is eliminated.
Many outdoor organizations, clubs, and associations that are related to outdoors activities one way or another, often have gear library to share.
Some things are of necessity – sleeping bags for cold spring nights in the tent or good skis for winter slopes, but you really don’t need brand name camping fork and knife when anything from your kitchen can do the job. Think of other ways you can repurpose the things you already have to serve you without spending extra money. Take a look around the house and use zip locks for rain proof storage or old medicine bottle as spice carriers.
Finally, ask yourself if you really need that upgrade. You might want it, but do you really need it?
When you have used all rental and used-buying options and still have something big left to buy, do it during sales.
Retailers have some well-known sales, so it’s not that hard to plan your big purchases. Memorial Day, July 4th weekend, and Labor Day would be some good times to go to Sierra and REI for exclusive deals on many outdoors supplies.
Sierra has various other sales through the year, so you can sign up for their email or newsletter and stay in the know about upcoming discounts on everything you might need.