Whether it’s your golf clubs languishing in a crate during your latest PCS or your camping gear collecting dust in the garage while you’re TDY, there’s nothing worse than being somewhere without the necessary equipment to enjoy whatever location the military takes you. Sure, you can rent the best gear that 1994 has to offer from the local club (or take your chances on whatever is available through the base), but why limit yourself? For a small investment of time and funds, the following resources connect travelers with top-of-the-line gear, often delivered to you directly, so you can hit the ground (or the green or the snow) running come Friday COB.
Nothing relieves the stress of moving and traveling like a day on the links. Gratefully, many military bases offer up at least nine holes in addition to the area’s public courses (TPC Sawgrass when TDY to Jacksonville, anyone?) Clublender, a premium club rental service that offers complete Callaway and TaylorMade sets and individual clubs, delivers right to your door or clubhouse anywhere in the United States. Complete sets include a premium white or black and white Vessel bag, a towel, tees, a ball marker, and a divot repair tool, the last three of which are yours to keep. If you’re hitting the driving range, you can test-drive individual clubs. All you need to bring are your pastel pants and trash talk – your clubs will be waiting for you there. (https://www.clublender.com, rentals starting at $85/day for the first day and $35/day thereafter)
Ready to channel your inner John Muir and answer the call of the mountains? Whether your idea of camping involves a bare-bones wilderness excursion or you’re more of a “comforts of home” outdoors person, you can find practically everything you need via gear delivery service Arrive Outdoors. Arrive offers both a-la-carte items and convenient packages (the “Backpacking Set for One,” for instance, offers up a Deuter pack, Black Diamond Headlamp, and MSR tent, along with other essentials for $54/day) – reservations are made online, and cancellations are free (you know, in the unlikely event the military changes your plans last minute – not like that ever happens). Catering to the more leisurely camper, Arrive also offers YETI coolers, hammocks, and even solar-powered chargers. When your adventure ends, stash the gear in a pre-paid FedEx box and return it. Easy. (https://arriveoutdoors.com, prices vary by selection, but shipping and returns over $25 are complimentary)
You might be stationed in Hawaii or Southern California, but there’s no reason to miss out on powder days should duty transport you closer to the slopes (nor should you resort to your on-hand denim – it doesn’t end well). KitLender follows a similar model as the above services, offering everything from goggles to gloves delivered to your address on demand. If you’ve PCS-ed with the family, gear rental is a cost-effective way of trying out winter sports without the huge investment in gear the kids will only outgrow next season. Offering established brands like Patagonia, Obermeyer, Burton, and The North Face, you can show up for the first chair and stay until the last call without missing a beat. (https://www.kitlender.com, prices vary by kit selection)
Nothing beats biking for acclimating to and enjoying new surroundings – but packing up your wheels for a couple of weeks of TDY is often impractical in terms of cost and elbow grease. Enter Spinlister is a peer-to-peer bike lending service offering thousands of bikes, meaning everyone from the serious road racer to the beachfront-with-a-basket crowd can find what they’re looking for. The simple online interface allows users to enter dates and locations to produce a roster of available rides. Lounging around after your move, waiting for your HHG? Why not rent an electric bike and explore your new city? Offering insurance options against damage and theft as well as local bike-store kiosks and delivery services (meaning you don’t have to have an awkward interaction with a stranger to secure your bike), the process is seamless, cashless, and an excellent option for both serious riders and casual peddlers. (https://www.spinlister.com, prices vary by selection, mobile interface available in the App Store)
Should duty call you to Hawaii (or somewhere with a decent body of water), don’t let a lack of equipment leave you sitting on the shore. While local rental opportunities abound, accessing them often proves a hassle, as does transporting the gear – when the waves are firing and the liberty hours are few, there’s no need to waste precious time. The Quiver, a collaborative marketplace run by and for surfers, offers everything from shortboards to soft tops worldwide. For the landlocked, Quiver has SUP options in Denver, Dallas, and beyond. Listings are grouped by skill level and size, so even if you’re bringing the whole family for a post-PCS shred-sesh, there’s bound to be an option for everyone. Word to the wise – owners set prices and can fluctuate with demand, so booking ahead can save you some of that sweet per diem. (https://thequiver.com, mobile interface available in the App Store)
The opportunity to explore new places is genuinely one of the military service’s most incredible benefits – each duty station and TDY location offers unique outdoor adventures and experiences. Lending services streamline the process of rounding up the right equipment, so service members and their families can spend their off hours making memories. Whether your next PCS or TDY takes you to the North Shore of Oahu or the mountains of Colorado, embracing all a new location has to offer starts with the right gear.
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