Acquiring Equipment

Before you buy: FOP has a substantial supply of gear available for rent; free rentals are included in our financial aid packages. Also don't forget you can borrow from family members or friends!

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.

  • Gear Exchange. GearX is offering a 15% discount for any FOPper purchasing gear. Go to, set up an account, and enter the code "harvardfop16" at checkout.  This will activate a 15% discount on any full-priced items in your cart. You may use the code as often as you wish. 
  • 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.
  • 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