Adventure seekers on a budget may not have to search very far for gear at a bargain.
The Outdoor Pursuits program at Colorado State University-Pueblo offers the CO-OP membership to students, staff, faculty and community members for a one-time fee.
Through the CO-OP membership, individuals would gain access to rental equipment at the OP for as many times as desired throughout the semester.
“You sign up for the membership, then you can come in as often as you like and check out equipment,” said Luke Poole, lead facilitator with the OP.
With the CO-OP membership, individuals would have access to tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, stoves and other gear suited for camping and backpacking trips.
“We have just about everything you need for most backpacking, camping type of adventures and some snow, winter adventures as well,” Poole said. “We can also do the car type set up. We can send you with an ice chest, a big tent for a lot of people, and that way you won’t need to carry it anywhere, you can just throw it in the back of your truck.”
In addition to the camping and backpacking gear, the CO-OP membership provides snowshoes, Telemark skis, winter gaiters and other winter and snow gear for renters.
Say someone hiked a really cool trail over the summer, and they wanted to hike it again over the winter, the CO-OP membership will have the gear to do that sort of winter hiking activity, Poole said.
The CO-OP membership also has biking gear such as locks, child carrier trailers, helmets and mountain bikes available for members.
“With us, for the biking stuff, it’s here on campus. If you wanted to check out a bike here, then ride it downtown, we have bikes for that,” Poole said. “Some of the trails start really close to campus and you don’t have to worry about transporting the bike on a car or in a truck or something like that.”
The CO-OP membership costs $40 for students, $60 for staff and faculty and $80 for members of the community.
“We’re primarily geared to help the student body. We’re not here to use up fees to help the community go do that kind of stuff,” Poole said. “We do allow community members and faculty and staff to do stuff with us, but mostly focused on the students.”
For those who may be looking for one specific item, the OP offers a one item one-time option, which costs $15 for students, $25 for staff and faculty and $34 for community members.
If an individual has all of the equipment beforehand, and just needs one item, the OP won’t make that person buy the whole CO-OP membership to get that piece of equipment, Poole said.
The OP Equipment Room is located in the Student Recreation Center; equipment is on a first come first serve basis. Gear that is checked out Monday through Thursday must be returned within 24 hours, while gear checked out on Friday must be returned by the following Monday at 6 p.m. Late fees will begin to accumulate after the equipment due date, starting at $10 per day. After five days, the renter will be billed with the full replacement cost of the equipment, according to the OP website.
“The late fee stuff is unfortunately necessary, because people won’t bring back their gear,” Poole said. “Most of the time, if people call ahead of time and just arrange for an extension or say ‘hey, I just won’t be able to bring it back by the cut off point,’ we’ll work with them more often than not.”