Author Topic: Finding great outdoorsy deals!  (Read 1016 times)

carozy

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Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« on: September 09, 2017, 09:21:52 PM »
The Inflatable kayak

Amazon has a great deal on an inflatable kayak called the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak.  It's a personal kayak and only $69.

Here are the wonderful attributes:

~ a great deal!  $69 is a really great price!  Also, if you want to go even cheaper and don't need a kayak per se, google Intex Challenger in Amazon and there is an inflatable boat set for 2 called Intex Challenger 2 which is only $49.99!

~ you can also get the Intex inflatable kayak with 2 seats!  Just poke around on Amazon to find it.  I think it's $99.  I saw a couple on Tenaya lake in Yosemite with them (their kids were in the front) and they said they loved them.

~ Very stable

~ Inflates and deflates fast

~ Light enough to carry to water or to car, not as heavy as hard kayaks

~ Packs small for easy storage for apartment renters or limited storage peeps

~ Easy to transport in car/truck/even cargo bike or with a bike trailer because it packs small

~ Includes a net so you can pack a bag with lunch, a towel, thongs, etc.

If you decide to get it, it's a good idea to read the directions first..don't over-inflate it.  It's easier to inflate if you do the bottom part first.  Treat it well, avoid sharp rocks, and I feel it should last a long time.  A lot of reviewers said they were able to take their dog out in it without any problems from their dog's nails.

I took mine out for a Labor Day trip to Yosemite.  It was a beautiful, serene, and fun way to enjoy nature and some beautiful lakes I saw.  So I wanted to suggest that to my fellow Mustachians because I feel it's a great deal and gets you out in nature beyond just being stuck at the beach part (especially if the water is too cold).

Now for, My Incredible Luck Out with My Ski Set Up!

I lucked out on a great deal with my ski set up this year.  Here's what happened...

I knew that September was when my local ski shop has sales and discounts.  Since I already had a ski pass, but no skis or boots, I was going to rent again this year.  I'm new to skiing (2 winters down) so have always rented.  My ex had been the skier but since we broke up, I figured this would be my last season since while I like skiing, I like saving for FIRE more.

So I figured I'd rent again this year (since I'd get the ski boots and skis rental early it would be 20% off $230 for a season rental).  I arrived at the shop and they had a used ski boots and skis sale booth outside.  I poked around and the guy said the boots were $10!  What a steal!  Luckily the first ones I tried on fit really well too.  (I swear it was not the $10 price that was making them fit well.  I'm picky because I have had ruined ski days when wearing ill-fitting boots.)  Not being a purest, I don't mind that they're used (I mean I rented for the past 2 winters, right?)  So the boots were $10 and the skis I got were $100!  $110 for a ski setup!  My boots also have nice straps.  The used skis did look used but honestly who even cares?  They should last a nice, long time and in that time they'll look just as used as they do now!  I got matching poles for $20, and decided to upgrade my goggles for a nicer pair that fit better (no freezing head gap) and will last longer because they're better made.  Goggles were 30% off also.

All in plus tax it was $207!  $130 of that for the ski setup, about $60 for the really nice goggles, and the rest was tax.  The goggles are an indulgence, but I think it'll be worth it on those super cold days.  Having a forehead gap drove me crazy last winter -- it was so, so cold.

I'm super excited because this means that I have the option to ski in the future, after this season.  I had sort of envisioned that my ski days were over because I thought the ski setup was too expensive.  Now I feel like even if I don't get a season pass, I can do the hike and ski down thing or ski on a buddy pass.

Hope everyone can enjoy nature, hopefully safely and cheaply. (I know it's been super crazy lately and I feel for those victims of hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes right now.)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 09:24:02 PM by carozy »

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 05:22:40 AM »
Hmm, I don't know...
Everything inflatable that I've ever owned has eventually leaked or gotten punctured/torn.  It might be good for a one-time trip where you need something that packs easily, but if I was into kayaking near home on a regular basis, I'd spring for a real kayak.
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Capt j-rod

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 05:40:02 AM »
I bought my used trusty old Grumman aluminum canoe at a neighbor's moving sale. $150 with paddles. I even fixed up an old 4hp outboard that I got non-running for $75. I know it doesn't pack as nice but my daughters and I literally use this thing every week of summer.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 05:55:33 AM »
Hmm, I don't know...
Everything inflatable that I've ever owned has eventually leaked or gotten punctured/torn.  It might be good for a one-time trip where you need something that packs easily, but if I was into kayaking near home on a regular basis, I'd spring for a real kayak.

You do know MMM himself has an inflatable kayak?

The Intex Challenger will be my Black Friday purchase this year (it usually gets marked down further). Once the hurricanes pass, it'll be great to get back out on the water here!

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 06:43:24 AM »

You do know MMM himself has an inflatable kayak?


So the fact that MMM mentioned it once in passing in an article from 2012 means it's a great piece of equipment?  Maybe we can PM him and ask him how it is holding up five years later.
"Take this job and shove it" - David Allan Coe

cl_noll

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 10:22:00 AM »
I had an intex airbed that I slept on for about 6 months while I was in a living temporary situation. After fixing multiple pinhole leaks over that time, on one of the warmer days that summer (maybe got to high 80's inside) the glue holding the inflation unit failed, and literally peeled out of the bed.  Needless to say I was not impressed with their construction and regretted buying it.  That was $100 down the toilet.

Sooner, rather than later, I strongly suspect you will have a worthless pile of PVC to chuck in the landfill that required the discharge of many toxic chemicals to produce. Buy a decent, used, real kayak, and you can probably sell it down the road for about what you paid for it and have a much nicer paddling experience with more opportunities in the meantime.

But if all you want to do is float around on some flat water every once in a while and avoid silly rental fees, then I guess it could be an OK option.

In terms of outdoorsy deals, I think it boils down to buying what you can used (local swap meets are great), knowing exactly what you need, avoiding overpriced clothing, and waiting for sales on the rest.

carozy

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2017, 11:00:37 PM »
I, and aparently from the Amazon reviews a lot of other people, do not want to own or rent a hard kayak.

- they're heavy, and bulky which is not fun or easy for transporting in a car, let alone carrying down to a river or lake
- they're expensive (by my standards the used ones are expensive also)
- renting repeatedly costs more than this inflatable kayak even if you have to replace or patch this kayak every year, and you only get an hour at a time or you have to pay more.  (There was a wait list at one of the lakes I was at so if I had been renting, I would only get an hour anyways!)
- many people (myself included) have nowhere to store a big, heavier, hard kayak, nor any desire to store something that big and bulky which will only be used a few times a year
- this inflatable kayak, if cared for well, is good quality and should last a long time.  One reviewer said he'd left it hanging over a fence for a year or two outside and when he decided to kayak again and it was fine.
- because I want mine to last I was very careful in the shallow parts (like getting into it) where there were rocks and I was careful about where I laid it.  I also did a very thorough job drying the kayak, not just relying on the sun but I crawled inside with two dry washcloths and went to town.  I don't want to deal with mildew, water damage, or thin the material in any way.  I was also careful to read the instructions thoroughly and to not overinflate the kayak, which can cause it to rupture/split
- like I said in my post, many (positive) reviewers were happy they could take their dog out in it and could see that they didn't have to worry about the dog nails scratching the material

Seems to me there is a definite, frugal audience for this kayak.  There are a lot of positive reviews, a lot of "exceeded expectations" and talk about how it lasted over downed tree branches without a scratch, dog nails, through a storm outside hanging on a fence, etc.  There are also negative reviews - occasionally someone got a lemon or complaints about the skeg falling off (mine was hard to get off, very secure), complaints about the ore (I was fine with mine, didn't even know what the issue was), leans to the right (someone posted that but I didn't have that issue or notice it), the lasted less than expected, or whathaveyou.

Personally, I'm with the many positive reviewers.  I'm not a damn professional kayaker and I don't need to tackle rapids to have fun on a lake or river.  Under $70 for fun on the lake a few times a year.  No way would I even want to get a hard kayak I would have to drag around.  Judging from my experience and the quality I felt and saw, I think this kayak should last a long time, many years.

Also, renting can be damn pricey.  I went to Maine on a trip and paddleboarding and kayaking at the campsite was $5 an hour.  Sweet!  Here in California - $50!  Also I've seen $25 but either way - that only gets you an hour.  I got to kayak as long as I wanted and it wasn't any big hassle because it was easy to carry.  I didn't need a trailer or a big van or to get a hard kayak onto the roof of the car or any kind of nonsense like that.  Also, it fits under my bed along with a ton of other stuff I have down there.

I personally think it's a great Mustachian deal.  Maybe those who have more to spend and don't mind lugging around a heavy kayak could do with a used hard kayak, but I don't think I'll ever bother with them unless maybe I had my own pier or something.

Now, for another great find...Bike News!

Incidentally, I came back to post that I came across another good deal on a vintage French Aquila bike for $20 at an estate sale!  I'm super pleased with it.  It needs some work but I think it'll be a fun project and then I can use it as my regular bike when I convert my current bike to an ebike.

EDITS: fixed some typos and added a sentence
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 11:04:48 PM by carozy »

cl_noll

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 03:02:57 PM »
Fair enough - see my qualifier about paddling flat water a few times per year to avoid rental fees.  You get what you pay for in those inflatables and I will bet that it will end up in a landfill in 5 yrs max.

Sub-50 Lb used sea Kayaks can be had for under $1000 and greatly expand your range of exploration options, but yes you need a place to keep them. To each their own!

My local St Vincent De Paul store has an "outdoors chic" sale a couple times per year, which is great for picking up branded outdoors clothing on the cheap. This might be the product of living in a semi affluent liberal town though!

Meadow Lark

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Re: Finding great outdoorsy deals!
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2017, 08:24:55 PM »
I am very happy with my inflatable kayak.  Since I live in an RV and kayaking is not my great passion, they work perfectly well for us.  Sometimes it is hard to read tone on here.  Cl, hopefully you were going with helpful and enthusiastic, but what I heard when I read your words was rude and insulting.