Gearing Up

MSU, gear, rental

Gearing Up

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An introduction to Bozeman's gear-rental scene. 

So you arrive in Bozeman with ten-year-old skis, an ultra-hip fixed-gear bike, and an eight-person Coleman tent from Walmart. Now, you could probably have 90% of the fun with outdated, regionally inappropriate gear, but why not get the goods? ‘Cause they're expensive, obviously. Our solution? Rent, and here are some leads to do just that.

MSU Outdoor Recreation Center
If you're an MSU student or member of the Alumni Association, you have unlimited access to the on-campus Outdoor Recreation Center. That means rafts, canoes, backcountry skis, ice-climbing kits, and more—all at ultra-low prices. Plus, the center hosts clinics, float-trips, and overnighters for a very low fee.

Demo Days
If you’re into singletrack, you probably cry at night, saddened by the multi-thousand-dollar price tags dangling from the bike of your dreams. Luckily, most of the shops in town, such as Owenhouse and Chalet Sports offer free demo days. You can test entire product lines before going deep in debt to fun-hog around the trails.

Powder Promotion
Odds are, at least for your first year, you’ll be doing most of your skiing at Bridger Bowl. Nine times out of ten, any ol’ pair of skis will do for skiing the resort. But once in a while, when the Bridger Bowl Cloud descends on our community ski hill, you’ll want something fatter. Instead of adding a ridiculously fat pair of planks to your quiver, rent when the time is right. PhD Skis, Chalet, and Round House all rent high-end demos for fair prices.

Wet a Line
Montana State didn’t get the nickname Trout U for nothing: the fishing is really good here. But maybe you’re used to chucking lures for bass in Minnesota and have never casted a fly rod. Lucky for you, local shops such as Crazy Mountain Outdoors and Montana Troutfitters will not only rent you gear, but many of them offer well-priced clinics for beginners.

Float Your Boat
If watersports are your thing, look no further than the Barn on Huffine, where you’ll find what you need to tackle everything from flat-water lakes to class-V whitewater. Closer to town, Round House rents rafts for the day or weekend. If you need a driftboat for fishing the Madison or Yellowstone, check out Big Boys Toys. Come winter, Big Boys toys also rents snowmobiles for tooling around in the snow.

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