The Portland Gear Hub is a hidden gem for hikers, campers, cyclists, snowshoers and weekend adventurers — it’s even better for people who aren’t hard-core into a sport, but hope to try one. For instance, a cross-country skiing set up can top $300 at a ski shop. At the Gear Hub it will run you $25 for a used set-up — boots, skis and poles included (or $45 for a brand-new set up).
And the proceeds go to children’s programs. How cool is that. The Gear Hub is located at the Portland Branch of the YMCA (the entrance is on Forest Ave., just a few steps down from the entrance to the Y. Look for the bright yellow door) and is open 1 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The other day the Gear Hub had tubs overflowing with snowshoes. Here’s an idea of what you’ll find there:
A unicycle for $35. So cheap!
A setup of used skis, boots and poles is $25 for everything. New sets are closer to $45 ($30 for new boots, $15 for poles and skis).
Poles are $5. They have downhill poles too.
Snowshoes are $12-30.
Coats and snowpants are $5-15.
These are $5.
Bikes start at $50 and are usually around $140. There are mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrids.
Donations are continually finding their way to the hub, so inventory is continually changing. That said, they’ve got a ton of outdoor gear to keep you entertained this winter. (And if you have outdoor gear you no longer use, consider donating it to Portland Gear Hub so it can find a new happy home with someone else.)
Portland Gear Hub, 70 Forest Avenue, Portland | 207-874-1111 x 102