Outdoor gear is expensive, especially the good quality stuff. The best way to save a few bucks is not to buy inexpensive gear, but to borrow what you need from your friends (assuming they're not going on the trip with you). But there are rules to borrowing gear. Here are mine:
1. You Pick It Up
I don't run a delivery service. If you want to borrow gear from me, pick it up and drop it off.
2. Treat it Like it's Yours
Unless you treat your stuff like crap. Then treat it better.
3. Don't Ask to Borrow Shoes
I don't mind lending out my backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, jackets, hell, even my snowpants, but I draw the line at footwear.
4. Don't Borrow the Same Thing Too Many Times
If you start borrowing my stuff so often it's at your house more than mine, it's time to invest in your own equipment.
5. Don't Sleep In The Nude...
...in my sleeping bags or my tents. No commando in the snow pants either. Seriously, it's gross.
6. If It Gets Wet, Air It Out
A musty, damp sleeping bag is a great reason to never loan you anything again.
7. Don't Wash It
This might seem surprising, but I didn't mis-type. A lot of gear needs to be washed with special detergent. I'd rather get it back dirty than ruined by regular detergent.
8. Tell Me If Something Breaks
I use my gear a lot. I put a lot of wear and tear on it. If it breaks while you're using it, it's probably just bad luck. I'm not going to charge you for it. I'd just like to know so that the next time I use it I don't find out the hard way. There's nothing worse than getting soaked because my waders or tent have a hole in them that I wasn't told about.
9. Give It Back
Seriously. I'm still bitter at whoever stole my copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban. And that Starsky and Hutch DVD.