Acquiring Equipment

Before you buy: 

  • FOP has a substantial supply of equipment available for rent; free rentals are included in our financial aid packages. 
  • Check  your closet. Many students already own athletic or workout clothing. As long as it doesn't contain cotton, such clothing would work fine. Basketball shorts are great quick-dry shorts, pajama pants are often wonderful fleece pants; and long-sleeve sports shirts are great as long underwear.
  • Consider borrowing from family or friends. Asking around will sometimes produce unexpected results. Did your friend's cousin do a similar trip when she went to college a few years ago? It's worth asking.
When shopping for FOP gear, remember to look for practicality and functionality above all else. Flashy, big-name gear is nice, but by no means necessary. And though an ULTRACORE SPACE-ALLOY SPOON might sound like the sweetest innovation since the escalator, a plastic spoon probably works just as well.

Also remember that you are moving to Boston, where wintertime lasts 7 months - at some point you will appreciate the warm layers and waterproof boots. Fortunately cheap clothing alternatives abound. Several tried-and-true techniques include borrowing from your buddies, using wool instead of fleece, and shopping at thrift stores. The following websites can also deliver crucial savings on clothing and equipment.

  • Often, great deals on clothing can be found at Walmart, Target, and discount sporting goods stores. Just remember that clothing must have no cotton content.  For example, Walmart often has polyester fleece pants for $10-$15; similar deals can be found at discount sporting goods. Our director's favorite outdoor shirt cost $7 at Old Navy.
  • Recreation Equipment Inc. (REI): A big ole' retail chain specializing in outdoor gear of all shapes and sizes. Everything they sell comes with a dynamite lifetime guarantee. For their closeout deals, check out their outlet store.
  • Backcountry.com: Another huge retailer, but it operates exclusively online. Like REI, they have an outlet store with great deals.
  • Eastern Mountain Sports: A Northeastern retail chain with lots to choose from on their website.
  • Campmor: A big online retailer with a comprehensive selection. Check out their "Hot Deals" and "Web Exclusives" for the biggest savings.
  • Sierra Trading Post: The go-to place for discontinued and closeout goodies. Top-notch stuff at bottom-notch prices.
  • L.L. Bean: Mail-order, online and storefront sales.

FOP Gear Rental

In recent years, FOP has collected gear donations in the memory of two beloved FOP leaders, Denny and Haley. Parents, leaders, and friends have all contributed, and through their generosity we are able to provide loaner gear to FOP participants. We charge a small rental fee to cover cleaning, repair, and replacement. Although we work hard to provide gear for all those who need it, inevitably we may run out of certain items. Therefore we cannot guarantee the availability of rental items, though we promise we'll do our very best. Please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in renting gear from FOP. Below is a list of available gear and prices for gear rental:

  • Backpacks: $15
  • Boots: $10 (Rental boots aren't ideal, since feet come in all shapes and sizes. Remember, your feet are your wheels, and they should be comfortable. If you need to rent boots, however, you should contact us ASAP.)
  • Fleece jackets or pants: $5
  • Polypro long underwear top or bottom: $5
  • Rain jacket or pants: $5
  • Sleeping bag: $10
  • Sleeping pad: $5