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When you purchase camping and hiking gear, you may be tempted to hit garage sales and flea markets to look for used camping equipment. That can be a good idea if you know what to look for.
First, look for camping and hiking gear that has never or hardly ever been used. It should be free from wear, especially at stress points like pole sleeves or tie-downs. There should be no holes or cuts in tents and sleeping bags, and you should always hand wash sleeping bags if you buy them used. Backpacks should have all the straps, buckles, and webbing attached, and they should not be worn at the stress points.
You can find some great bargains buying your camping and hiking gear used, just look for good quality gear that still has a lot of life left in it. Some online sites specialize in used gear, including details about the condition, so shop around before you buy.