The 2-second version for rentals:
You order - we ship to home or destination - you use - box back up - drop off at UPS. Or pickup/dropoff at our store.
The long version:
In addition to our local retail business selling camping, backpacking and kayak gear, we rent camping and backpacking gear via a simple ship-and-return process - make your selection; we ship it to you; and then you return it back to us with the provided shipping label when you are done. Camping gear is a bit heavier than a DVD, so shipping isn't free, but it's just as simple. You do not pay rent during the shipping transit time. When possible (almost every time), we target delivery for the day before your designated Start Date to build in a day's cushion to allow for any possible delay with UPS, but that day's cushion is not added to your rental period. Same thing on the back end; many trips end on a weekend and you can't drop off gear at UPS until Monday. So having the gear 8 days or so will still just be counted as a one-week rental. We're easy. You can also pickup and/or drop off gear at our retail store in Arizona if you're local or your travels have you nearby.
Another good place to start is by clicking on the "RENT ONLINE" link at the top of the page. You can search for gear to rent by category or scroll through everything at once. You'll also see a few common supply items we have for sale. There are detailed descriptions on each item, and most of our rental product descriptions include how-to videos and user guides.
If you are new to outdoor adventures and want some help on what to select, or have a question on any of our gear, just give us a call us at 480-348-8917 to speak with a real live person or check out all the pages under the "LEARN" link above. And if you really like to read, we've listed below just about every question we've ever answered over the past couple of decades - yep, we've been around.
Please choose an FAQ Category:
About our GPS Equipment
What brands do you carry?
Will the GPS "talk" to me?
What areas of the country are covered?
What countries do you GPS Units for?
What GPS is best for geocaching?
How difficult is the GPS to operate?
How is the GPS powered?
The Rental Process
Why rent instead of buy?
Why rent online instead of from a local store?
No, really - why should I rent from you?
How can I buy an item I have been renting?
You offer weekend to one-month rental terms. What if I need something different?
The Ordering Process
How do I place an order?
How do I make a change to my order?
How do I cancel an order?
What is your deposit policy?
How will the deposits and rental fees be charged to my credit card?
How far in advance must I place an order?
How do I pay by check instead of credit card?
How do I check out the status of an order or shipment?
How does the shopping cart work?
What payment methods do you offer?
How do you determine the reservation dates?
What can you tell me about your Prices and Shipping Costs?
Do you charge Sales Tax?
Delivery & Return of Eqipment
How do I know I'll receive my gear in time for my trip?
How do I track my shipment?
How do I get the gear back to you?
Where can I find your Shipping Policy and Procedures?
What kinds of gear do you carry? RETURN TO TOP
We carry tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, water filters, trekking poles, mattress pads and all of the accessories and incidentals you might need for an enjoyable turnkey camping experience. We carry top brands such as MSR, Kelty, Sierra Designs, Gregory, Osprey, Deuter, Leki and many more. Our gear is current model versions in new or like-new top condition. We also carry Garmin GPS units for backcountry trail use, US auto travel and international auto navigation as well as satellite communicators.
How can I find the gear I want? RETURN TO TOP
We carry a much broader selection of camping gear for rent than any normal brick-and-mortar store - dozens of items, not counting size and color variations. Of course we have a retail store where you can pick up anything we carry online. Everything we offer is new model, high-quality gear suitable for any backpacking or camping adventure. From our master rental list, you can search by category of gear or brand name, or enter a key word to search on. Each product listing includes a full description, photos, videos, rates for weekend to 1-month rentals, purchase price if applicable, a link to more detailed information on that item, and links to related gear of possible interest.
Not sure of what you need for your particular trip? Check out our Advice Page for trip suggestions, gear guides, gear owners manuals and much, much more. Or, we'll be glad to answer any questions or address your special rental needs - contact us here.
I'm a beginner. What should I rent? RETURN TO TOP
Same thing as an outdoors veteran! What kind of trip do you plan to take? Are you going for a short or long backpacking trip? What will the temperature ranges be? Will you be spending the night at an established, full-service campground, or out on the trail with no facilities of any kind? How many will be in your party? Are you taller than average? To see how this affects your gear decisions, check out articles under the "LEARN" menu above.
I'm an experienced camper/hiker. What do you have for me? RETURN TO TOP
Same as for a beginner! What kind of trip do you plan to take? Are you going for a short or long backpacking trip? What will the temperature ranges be? Will you be spending the night at an established, full-service campground, or out on the trail with no facilities of any kind? How many will be in your party? Are you taller than average? To see how this affects your gear decisions, check out articles under the "LEARN" menu above.
What should I do if I cannot find something I need? RETURN TO TOP
We carry a few select items in each of the major gear categories - tents, backpacks, sleeping gear, etc - and numerous accessory items. But we don't rent hiking shoes for example. You can search our entire list of inventory by category, or often we have stuff on hand not on the site - just give us a call here and ask.
What else other than your gear should I take on my trip? RETURN TO TOP
We provide the "biggies" and a good selection of incidentals and accessories you might need for your trip. You can usually round out your needs at the local grocery, outdoor store, or Wal-Mart. If you're in the Phoenix area, we carry anything you'd need at our retail store. See our Advice Page for checklists.
How can I figure out which of your gear is best for me? RETURN TO TOP
What kind of trip do you plan to take? Are you going for a short or long backpacking trip? Will you be spending the night at an established, full-service campground, or out on the trail with no facilities of any kind? What will the temperature ranges be? How many will be in your party? Are you taller than average? We have some suggestions online here or give us a call to discuss.
Will you sell the gear to me? RETURN TO TOP
We do sell a few incidentals and accessory items online, and we have pretty much anything you'd need at our store. We also usually have used gear for sale, generally in the fall and winter. We may be willing to sell to you whatever you've rented if you keep it within that same transaction period. It depends on the item, so just give us a call to discuss.
Where can I find your list of user guides for the gear I rented? RETURN TO TOP
We've summarized most of the manuals and reference guides we have at one location here. We include a general rental and gear guide sheet with each rental, but since the models and brands vary, you can always find guides and videos from the manufacturer and other users before heading out on your trip.
How do I contact you if I have more questions? RETURN TO TOP
We're ready to answer your questions about our products and services, but we've tried real hard to provide a lot of info on this site to minimize any problems. In addition to these FAQ's, find many articles under our Advice page. Also, full instructions and additional contact information are provided with each gear rental shipment. If needed, the best way to reach us is here; if we're on another line when you call we will reply or call you back within a few hours during business days.
What GPS brands do you carry? RETURN TO TOP
We carry mostly Garmin products. We have models for backcountry use, as well as auto travel in North America and Europe. We also carry satellite communicators to stay in touch with friends and family back home.
Will the GPS "talk" to me? RETURN TO TOP
Each Auto GPS Unit provides directions via audio 'voice' and also via a color LCD display. Our handheld GPS Units do not have audio capabilities but provide directions via coordinates on the display screen.
What areas of the country are covered? RETURN TO TOP
Our auto navigation units come with maps that cover the lower 48 states in the US. We also have auto units for many international destinations, primarily Europe. Handheld units for backcountry use work most anywhere in the world.
What countries do you have GPS Units for? RETURN TO TOP
Currently we cover the lower 48 States in the US and all European countries.
What GPS is best for geocaching? RETURN TO TOP
The models we settled on for a good compromise between ease of use and functional value are in the Garmin eTrex line. This is a high-quality, well-reviewed product specifically designed for hiking and geocaching use from one of the world's top manufacturers of GPS units. It costs a bit more, but we also have a more powerful units available in the Garmin Map6x series. See the GPS Navigation category for full details.
How difficult is the GPS to operate? RETURN TO TOP
Because each person's technical ability is different, this can be a difficult question to answer. I can say however, that they are created to be user friendly and that with a couple of minutes playing around, most people are able figure it out pretty quickly. If all else fails we provide links to how-to guides in the product listings. The manufacturer websites also have 'quick start guides' that can help.
How is the GPS powered? RETURN TO TOP
Handheld GPS Units are powered by AA Batteries available almost anywhere. Our Auto Units are powered by the vehicles 'cigarette lighter outlet', with light-use rechargeable batteries.
Why rent instead of buy? RETURN TO TOP
You can save money by renting gear you need only some of the time. Unless you are a frequent camper or backpacker, investing in costly gear for only occasional use doesn't make financial sense. You can rent our high quality, top-brand gear for much less than you'd pay to buy even inexpensive, low quality brands. For the price of a round of golf for a few hours, enjoy the great outdoors for days!
Why rent online instead of from a local store? RETURN TO TOP
The typical local rental option - if available in your area at all - is an inconsequential sideline to a retail dealer's primary mission of selling new gear. Our main focus is rentals - we want to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience possible. Even though we have a retail store in the Phoenix area that sells normal backpacking and camping gear and supplies, rentals are still the biggest part of our business. Most stores offer limited selections of worn out, low-quality gear; we offer only high-end gear in top condition while maintaining very competitive rates. Trust us, the last thing you'll be thinking about a few miles into a long hike with bad gear you picked up somewhere else is any saved dollars.
No, really - why should I rent from you? RETURN TO TOP
How about convenience? Select the gear you want from the comfort of your home or on your boss's dime, and we'll ship direct to your house or destination. No running across town to pick up and then drop off the gear by a retailer's deadline. Sure we have some shipping charges, but I'd bet that's less than the gas and hassle cost of going across town, and in at least 49 states we charge no sales tax - which will further offset a chunk of the shipping costs as well. There are other online sources of rentals, but we're the biggest, the oldest, and hopefully you'll find - the best!
You offer weekend to one-month rentals. What if I need something different? RETURN TO TOP
We're flexible with arrangements and will try to meet your needs. Email us from here; and let us know what you have in mind. Also, keep in mind that transit times are on us, and are not part of your rental period.
How do I place an order? RETURN TO TOP
As you browse our gear inventory, you'll see the price ranges for various rental lengths. Clicking on the product title will take you to the full write-up and a drop-down list with rental terms and rates - select the term there to add the gear to your shopping cart. Rent that one item or continue shopping for more; each item will be added to your shopping cart. Then just follow the simple steps for "checking out". But don't mix different rental lengths within the same order.
How do I make a change to my order? RETURN TO TOP
To make sure we talk to you about any changes, we currently do not allow making a change to previously placed orders online. Just contact us at any time with the particulars; we'll reply to acknowledge your request, let you know of any problems, or ask any questions we might have about the change.
How do I cancel an order? RETURN TO TOP
There's no way to go thru the site and edit or cancel a previously submitted order, but we can handle it in other ways. Send us an email to cancel the existing order and then go back online and submit a new one with any changed info; or, just call or email us with what you need to happen and we'll straighten it out. We must have a paper trail for a cancellation, so email that and make sure you get a confirmation.
If you cancel your order less than two weeks in advance of the scheduled day of shipment, a $10.00 processing fee will be charged to your card. If we made special inventory arrangements and have made advance deposit arrangements with you for this special order, this deposit may be forfeited if you cancel. For obvious reasons, cancellation of an order is not an option once the gear has left our facility and is on its way to you.
What is your deposit policy? RETURN TO TOP
Our rental prices are low, but we must be protected from loss of the high value of our gear while it is in your possession. For the most part, we simply have your card on file for any supplemental charges that might arise. On some occasions, we may place a reserve against your credit card as a deposit, which will be no more than the retail value of the gear. When we receive the gear back in a timely manner and in good condition (see Rental Policies); we would release the reserve and charge only the rental fee with any applicable shipping and tax charges. If we don't charge a deposit, we charge the rental and shipping at time of shipment.
Some special orders - high volume or of other unusual nature - may require a non-refundable deposit if we have to make special inventory arrangements to meet your needs. We will immediately contact you to discuss the matter if such a situation arises. Some smaller dollar transactions with little loss exposure are just charged in full at the time of shipping, with no added deposit.
How will the deposits and rental fees be charged to my credit card? RETURN TO TOP
Most transactions are simply charged the rental and shipping around the time we ship. While unusual, in some circumstances we may put an "authorization hold" on your credit card account for the deposit amount. This will not show up on your statement, but will affect your available credit. There is no interest charged to your account by your credit card company during the hold period. When you have returned the gear in a timely manner and in good condition, any "authorization hold" amount placed prior to shipping is then automatically released from your account. Only the actual transaction that is posted after we receive the gear back shows up on your credit card statement. To review our complete rental policy statement, see here.
How far in advance must I place an order? RETURN TO TOP
We encourage placing your order as soon as your dates and needs are confirmed. There's no downside to placing your order early as typically nothing is charged until we're about ready to ship. However, we can generally ship your order the same day it comes in if given enough time before UPS shows up. Since delivery via ground shipment typically requires 3 to 5 business days from the ship date, at a minimum your order should be placed at least 5 - 7 business days in advance of your Start Date -just to get it there - and that's pushing it. Reserve as far ahead as possible to ensure best selection of gear, particularly if you want it in May thru September, the busiest time of the year for us.
At certain times, inventory may not be available for your desired Start Date. IF that happens, you will be advised as soon as possible if your Order cannot be accepted due to prior inventory commitments. Alternative products or dates or can be discussed with you at that time.
Rush shipments may be available at an additional expedited shipping cost as charged by our carrier; contact us for special requirements.
How do I pay by check instead of credit card? RETURN TO TOP
There's a couple of ways you can do that if you order well in advance. Go ahead and place your order through normal means, using a valid credit card that the system will accept to allow submission of your order. Nothing will be charged or reserved against the card. Write down the order number that you see when the order is submitted and send that to us along with your name, address and contact info, plus a check equal to the amount due on the order. We'll deposit the check and ship the gear. Any payment in the form of check will need to be received by us at least 10 days prior to our shipping the order.
How do I check out the status of an order or shipment? RETURN TO TOP
As soon as we receive your order, we review it for any problems or questions that might arise. We will contact you as needed. You can contact us at any time if you have any questions on your order. When we ship your order, we will email you a notice, along with a shipping tracking number (usually from UPS) that you can use to follow the progress of the shipment to you.
How does the shopping cart work? RETURN TO TOP
STEP 1. Browse all of our rental gear and at the description page for each item see the rental terms and rates. Make any quantity changes and "Add to cart". From there you can then either click on the button that says "Continue Shopping" to add more gear, or proceed to checkout. When your cart is complete, you can enter your destination zip code to see total shipping costs without entering any personal information. Of course pickups at our retail store are free of shipping costs!
STEP 2. Here's where you register as a customer and add your billing and shipping information. This will include your preference for delivery - you can pick up at our store in Tempe; have it shipped to you and we provide a return label to send back. pick it up at the store and we prepare a label for return; or we ship it to you and you drop it off at our store - whatever is most convenient for your travel plans. You can add any special notes to us, and you'll specify your "Start Date" which tells us by what date you need the gear. Any time we can, we ship the gear in time for it to be delivered to you on the day before this Start Date. The billing address for the credit card you use must match that on file at your credit card issuer. This is a secure site; your card info is not maintained by us after the transaction is complete.
STEP 3. Review and finalize your order. You can edit quantities, add more gear, change shipping info and enter any special instructions or requests. Once everything is just the way you want it, confirm "Rental Policies" page for a chance to review everything to make sure we're fully aware of each of our responsibilities. There's no "gotcha" text in the fine print or anything like that - it's all pretty much common sense - but take just a minute to quickly review the policies. Enter your payment info as the final step, and you'll get an confirmation on the screen and via email.
What payment methods do you offer? RETURN TO TOP
Our online shopping cart will accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Charges made thru our shopping cart are secured and very safe - the card information is not retained, nor do any individuals, including anyone at our company, have access to it once entered.
You can place credit card orders over the phone if you prefer. Call us at 480-348-8917 if you would like to do so, or if you have any ordering questions.
If you want to pay by check, we can accommodate your request thru a telephone order. Call us at 480-348-8917 to discuss details.
How do you determine the reservation dates? RETURN TO TOP
You should place your order as soon as possible to ensure availability of the gear you want. Note that our inventory can get tight in the Summer months. Since we may need to allow as much as seven days for regular UPS delivery to your address, and we may need a couple of days to process your order, we may have to contact you on short-notice orders to arrange expedited shipping. Or, just contact us if you need something on short notice.
There is no downside to placing your order well in advance - we usually do not charge your credit card until we prepare the gear for shipment to you or until you pick it up at our store.
You do not have to factor shipping time to and from for the rental period length you want the gear. The in-transit time to and from you is "on our clock", not yours. Be careful and don't mix different rental period lengths on the same order, such as renting a tent for a weekend and a sleeping bag for a week.
Because of UPS delivery schedules, we cannot accept a "Start Date" falling on Saturday or Sunday is shipping is required. You can pickup or drop off gear for return at our store 7 days a week. If we anticipate an inventory problem at your requested start date, we will contact you ASAP to discuss options.
What can you tell me about your Prices and Shipping Costs? RETURN TO TOP
As you browse through our product listings, you'll see the prices for various rental time periods. If applicable, also included will be a purchase price alternative. We invite comment and comparison to any other rental or retail source - local or on the web - of comparable gear, as we have tried to price everything at very competitive rates. If you have some unusual circumstances, high-volume requests or longer rental period needs that our standard options do not meet, we'll be glad to try to accommodate you; contact us here.
Shipping costs are based on UPS delivery to and from your location and ours in Tempe, AZ, which is a suburb of Phoenix. The shipping costs are calculated based only on the gear weight, box size and distance. There are no handling or boxing fees. The shipping cost that appears on your shopping cart invoice comes direct from the current UPS rate sheets. The site will calculate the shipping costs after you have entered your ship-to zip code and have entered the items of gear you want. You can change, cancel or add to your order after reviewing the total charges including the rental fees and shipping. There are no charges made to your credit card until the gear is actually ready to ship to you.
If you want gear shipped to multiple locations, we can accommodate that request, but unfortunately not thru our site's shopping cart. Contact us and we'll be glad to work thru this or any other unusual ordering need you may have.
Do you charge Sales Tax? RETURN TO TOP
We ship from our facility in Arizona. Any shipments to addresses within Arizona are subject to sales tax, as are local pick-ups from our store, but we do not charge or collect sales tax on orders shipped to any other state. This policy is of course subject to change as may be required by any new laws governing Internet sales.
How do I know I'll receive my gear in time for my trip? RETURN TO TOP
Every effort is made to deliver the gear to your designated address not later than the day before your Start Date, although we only guarantee delivery by the end of the Start Date. So if you are planning on leaving in the morning on some date, you'll want to use the preceding day as your start date. Occasionally there are weather delays, or UPS screws up. That's why we give it a day's cushion to get there. The best prevention is ordering well in advance. When we ship, we send you tracking information so you can check into the status and location of your gear as it make its way to you. We generally use UPS for shipments. They can be a pain to deal with sometimes, and they aren't the cheapest option, but I'll give them their due - they are reasonably reliable. We've done this for about 80,000 customers at last count - you can depend on us too!
How do I track my shipment? RETURN TO TOP
If you want to check on or confirm the status of an order prior to shipment, just contact us and ask any questions - we'll reply ASAP. When we ship the order, you should get a tracking email direct from UPS; you can go to www.ups.com and follow its progress en route to your designated delivery address.
How do I get the gear back to you? RETURN TO TOP
Easy. Inside our shipping box to you with the gear is a return label. If applicable, clean and dry out the gear after your trip, and then re-pack into this same box if it appears solid enough to make it back to us - if any doubt, buy a replacement box of comparable size. Remove the original label, affix the return label in place, re-seal tightly with strong boxing tape (not duct or masking tape) and then drop off at any authorized UPS shipping point. The shipping is already paid if you use the enclosed label. Just drop it off by your "Drop Off Date" to avoid any late charges. Unless not properly boxed up, you are not responsible for any delays in shipping after you've dropped it off; just be sure to keep your shipping acknowledgement from the shipping point you choose to prove your drop off date in case of a problem. You are, however, responsible for lost or damaged goods, from the time you receive the gear until we receive it back; so you should consider adding insurance to the return shipment. The cost is nominal. To review our complete rental policy statement, see here.
Are Group Discounts available? RETURN TO TOP
Yes - Group and volume discount programs are arranged on a case-by-case basis, but options are limited during our peak summer season. Call us to find out more.
What services do you offer Groups, Outfitters and Guides? RETURN TO TOP
We can work with outfitters, churches, tour guides, other rental companies, corporate meeting departments, hiking clubs, training groups - just about anything you can imagine. To discuss your group's needs, simply contact us here. Depending on your group size, we may need extra time to make inventory arrangements, so plan to make your reservations as far ahead as possible. We can handle groups of hundreds if needed.
We offer discount and "partnering" programs for outfitters and guide services who may not want to deal with the inventory and administrative aspects of handling gear for their customers, or who need occasional supplements to their own rental inventory levels. If you'd rather concentrate on the fun part - leading groups into the woods - then we can handle the gear inventory, cleaning and organization for you! These programs are arranged on a customized basis to meet your specific needs; simply contact us here to discuss.
What are your guidelines on Group Sales and Donations? RETURN TO TOP
We offer custom programs for self-guided groups and offer donations to certain nonprofit associations in the outdoor industry; see here for more information.