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In the shadow of the nearby snow-capped mountains, the Weber State University Outdoor Program hosted the 10th annual Gear Swap on Friday. The event drew vendors as well as members of the surrounding community to WSU’s campus.
The event was the largest it has ever been, with more than a dozen different vendors showcasing their products and WSU students looking to sell and trade outdoor gear.
“We brought out about 15 vendors this year,” said WSU Outdoor Program coordinator Daniel Turner, “which is about four or five more vendors than we usually bring out. I think the response is a little bit more consistent than in years past. We are drawing out more people outside of the WSU community, which is kind of cool.”
Among the vendors were two new stores that made their debut. Brandon Long, director of media and marketing for Gear:30, a recreation shop that opened last year in downtown Ogden, said he hopes this can be an annual event for the store.
“Our goal at Gear:30 is to help get more people outside. We want to be a resource for the community. Yes, we sell gear, but come down to our shop. We have trail maps. We have people that get out all the time. If you need to know where to go hiking, we can help you.”
Long added that this Gear Swap was the best one he had seen in Utah this year.
Another new vendor was 2nd Tracks Sports, a shop that opened over the summer. Its booth was primarily skiing and snowboarding equipment.
“We own the store in Salt Lake,” said Ben Johnson, who owns 2nd Tracks along with his wife, Katie. “We just decided to start a store here in Ogden this summer. The people moving here spend more energy in the outdoor sporting world. There are more trails. There’s Snowbasin and Powder Mountain and Wolf Mountain. It draws a little bit more attention to this area.”
2nd Tracks Sports offers a chance to buy and sell gear right in its store, with a certain percentage going to the company. It will hold a ski swap this coming weekend.
“We are a consignment shop, too,” Katie Johnson said. “A lot of people are intrigued by the concept of consignment, buying used gear and selling their own gear. Interest has been pretty high. It’s like a co-op. People buy and sell there. They become pretty involved in the process.”
WSU student Alex Kurth also had success at the swap, as he sold an abundant supply of his own ski gear. He took advantage of the fact that WSU does not charge non-businesses to sell their own gear at the event.
“I think I’ve seen a decent amount of interest,” said Kurth at the swap. “Oakley is a pretty big name brand, which is what most of my stuff is. It’s drawn people over.”
The swap has seen increased awareness from students who want to sell their own gear and buy new equipment for the upcoming year. Tim Nguyen, the WSU Outdoor Program assistant coordinator, said the swap has gotten better every year.
“What we’ve noticed is that our core group that has been coming to swap every year has continued to increase the product they bring,” Nguyen said. “The great thing about this is that they understand that they are dealing with college students. I was a college student at one time, and I was poor.”
Turner said the Outdoor Program will continue to hold the event on WSU’s campus for the foreseeable future.
“We’ve been asked many times to bring this downtown and run it downtown or at some other venue in the area. But we continue to do it here because we want our students to have these benefits.”