Increasing access to the great outdoors around Glenwood Springs |

Increasing access to the great outdoors around Glenwood Springs

Community center gear library expanding gear offerings

Kaleb Cook saca un chaleco salvavidas de la biblioteca de equipos en el Centro Comunitario de Glenwood Springs.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Glenwood Springs’ gear library now includes camping and backpacking gear.

The Glenwood gear library, located inside the Community Center, has partnered with the White River National Forest to now offer camping and backpacking gear.

“They have partnered with us to expand the gear library to include camping and backpacking gear, which is a really exciting addition to our collection, because it’s new equipment to the library, and also enables folks to get out and enjoy our public lands,” said Bryana Starbuck, Glenwood Springs public information officer.

Starbuck said that they have already received the first tent and will be receiving more gear shortly. When everything arrives, Starbuck said that they will have camping gear for families of four and six, along with all of the additional gear like tents, sleeping bags, cooking pods, lanterns and even bear tumblers, to keep the family and the food safe from bears. 

“A big part of the library is to make outdoor recreation more accessible, and inclusive for all,” she said.

The gear library has been open for more than a year, and can be accessed both at the Community Center or online through the Community Center website. In order to reserve gear, make sure to reserve at least 24 hours ahead of time. Some gear requires that you’re 18 and older to rent. The website shows the gear when using the search bar. 

The city plans to have gear to rent for all four seasons as they plan to continue growing the gear offered. Most of the gear offered right now is for summer, and the camping gear will be coming soon.

Gear can be checked out for free or low cost, and aims to serve people who are either part of an underserved or underrepresented community or are someone who wants to attempt a sport without committing to the high cost of recreational sports, Starbuck said. 

“I have been invited to paddleboarding with friends before, but I myself don’t have a paddleboard. So in theory, this is something where someone like me who is interested in the sport but I don’t have, you know, several hundred dollars to just throw at new equipment in a way to explore a new sport,” Starbuck said. 

The gear library just began its partnership with White River National Forest and also receives gear from mostly Colorado retailers, the Recreation Economy for Rural Community and the VF Foundation, a part of the VF Corp., which owns Smartwool. 

“Outdoor recreation should be for everyone, but sometimes the cost of gear is prohibitive,” said Recreation Manager Steve Frederick in a statement. “The Gear Library program is aimed at making outdoor recreation more inclusive for all and accessible for lower-income individuals and families. We’re very grateful to the Forest Service in helping us broaden our offerings to our community.”

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