Outdoor gear sale takes over WCU lawn

This year outdoor gear sale was bigger and more successful. Photo by Kristie Watkins.

This year outdoor gear sale was bigger and more successful. Photo by Kristie Watkins.

Rafts, tents, sleeping bags and more filled Western Carolina’s University Center lawn as well as eager students and community members ready to participate in Base Camp Cullowhee’s annual outdoor gear sale.

Students, community members, local business and Base Camp Cullowhee all set up tables and brought gear and apparel to sell for discounted prices Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 1 to 6 p.m.

The gear sale is something Base Camp has done a few years in the past but this year after Western was named “top adventure college” for the second year in a row, the employees of Base Camp wanted to do something bigger with the sale.

They invited local business such as Black Rock Outdoor Company in Sylva and Navitat Canopy Adventure of Asheville to come and sell their equipment or promote their brands.

Individuals were also allowed to rent a table for a small fee and sell some things of their own.

“In the past it would take a few years for us to build up enough gear to sell. We wanted to make this more of an annual thing by inviting other companies,” Director of outdoor programs at WCU, Josh Whitmore, said.

Many students circled through the tables of gear and clothes trying to find the best deals.

“I’m really impressed with the tent I bought. At $25, you can’t beat that,” WCU sophomore, Jonathan Calhoun, said.

Another student, Jakob Phillips added, “I’m really glad Base Camp is selling this stuff to us rather than just getting rid of it. I was able to get a rock climbing hold and I’m going to use it for a coat rack.”

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Eno hammocks set up for students to relax. Photo by Kristie Watkins.

Community member David Lindsey said, “I’m really excited about this. I got good gear for dirt-cheap prices. I’m super pumped because I’ve always wanted to kayak and now I have some gear to get started.”

Navitat is a zip lining tour company from Asheville was not just here to sell their gear. They were trying to tell students who they are, what they do and where they are located.

“We want people to know about our different packages, like how on Tuesdays we have a 15 percent discount for WNC residents,” Navitat sales manager, Maggie Whitaker, said.

Tour logistics manager, Brian Johnson, said they realize a lot of students don’t have the money to go zip lining but it could be a fun thing to do when parents or other family and friends come to visit.

The Base Camp employees said they were overall pleased with the turnout. A lot of the bigger items such as tents and rafts were all sold very early on in the sale.

Whitmore said it was a great day to do an outdoor sale like this, and they were happy with the flow of people that came by during the day.

“I’ve seen other schools do stuff like this and it’s grown into a community event,” Whitmore said. He hopes this will become an annual event and that it can grow bigger each year.