HireSquire

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gairym
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HireSquire

Post by gairym » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:35 am

Morning all,

I saw this on the facebook and thought it worth sharing:

https://hiresquire.co.uk/

It's a subscription based outdoors kit lending/sharing scheme with the emphasis on lowering the environmental impact of getting out into the hills etc...

Worth a look and a noble aim, no?

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Charliecres
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Re: HireSquire

Post by Charliecres » Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:57 am

Nice idea but I’m sceptical it’ll work. It seems to rely on people buying gear, agreeing to give it away, to be shared with others, and then paying £300 a year for the privilege. The upside is you get to share others’ gear as well.

I see lots of people liking the idea of joining for a month to get access to premium gear for a single trip. I don’t see anyone joining for the long haul and donating kit.

Then there’s all the logistics of getting stuff to people, sorting repairs, etc

I’m particular about my kit and how I set it up. I wouldn’t want to start a trip not knowing if my mat had a slow puncture or my sleeping bag was full of lice or my bar harness was missing a crucial strap.

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: HireSquire

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:22 am

I love the concept but I can't help thinking it's flawed but maybe I misunderstand?

How 'eco' is sending stuff over the country or possibly world to be delivered by diesel vans?

What's the incentive for me to buy a £300 sleeping bag then lend it to people? It appears that I'm simply giving it away?

I may decide to buy myself a new sleeping bag and donate my existing one but who's going to want to hire kit that's past its best?

They also say that no outdoor kit can be recycled - I don't believe that's true.
#corporate shill for hire

lune ranger
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Re: HireSquire

Post by lune ranger » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:44 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:22 am
I love the concept but I can't help thinking it's flawed but maybe I misunderstand?

They also say that no outdoor kit can be recycled - I don't believe that's true.
With you on both counts.
I’d absolutely love this to be workable but it just doesn’t look like it right now.
Clearly some outdoor gear is recyclable but my gut feeling is very little is. But that’s missing the point somewhat. We shouldn’t be recycling usable gear anyway, we should be making it last or making sure it gets reused by someone who wants it. Like Stu selling his old sleeping bag.
Whether we want it or not doing outdoor sport makes us consumers of stuff we could easily live without. As I see it, our responsibility and that of manufacturers is to make and buy gear that is made to last, is repairable and has spares readily available. We need to get out of the rut of gear with built in obsolescence - clothes used for one season then ditched or 11 speed this year 12 speed next.
Most of my best gear is old, built by people who cared about it and care that it is used and that it lasts a long time.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: HireSquire

Post by ScotRoutes » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:51 am

Andy at backcountry.scot runs a "consignment store" which is a way of selling stuff to folk rather than binning. He has lots of good-quality but second-hand kit - ski wear, bike gear, rucksacks etc. I sold my fatbike through his store. He takes a small percentage of the sale price. He is looking to find (possibly employ) someone who can repair stuff too. That seems like a nice "sustainable" route that could be copied more widely.

jameso
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Re: HireSquire

Post by jameso » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:54 am

ScotRoutes wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:51 am
Andy at backcountry.scot runs a "consignment store" which is a way of selling stuff to folk rather than binning. He has lots of good-quality but second-hand kit - ski wear, bike gear, rucksacks etc. I sold my fatbike through his store. He takes a small percentage of the sale price. He is looking to find (possibly employ) someone who can repair stuff too. That seems like a nice "sustainable" route that could be copied more widely.
This is great. Premium second-hand businesses have a good future.

tobasco
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Re: HireSquire

Post by tobasco » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:02 am

Doesn't seem like a viable model. I like the Scotroutes model where kit gets another life after refurbish/repair. I prefer to buy good kit, look after it and get many years of use. Kit becomes 'old friends', learn the strengths and weaknesses of my kit - I have a favourite walking jacket that must be 20 years old and still has at a good few years in it.

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faustus
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Re: HireSquire

Post by faustus » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:03 am

I agree that initiatives that help kit last longer are great, the example above looks really good. Outdoor brands are doing a bit more repair and repurpose, but it could be much bigger. All of that kind of thing is a step in the right direction to getting more use out of the stuff we have....it's a tiny glimpse of what circular economics could be. :-bd

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ScotRoutes
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Re: HireSquire

Post by ScotRoutes » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:21 am

I guess I have a lot in common with other folk on here.

I have some kit I've bought and rely liked. It tends to be used until worn out or unreperably damaged. For instance I have 10 year old Gore bibtights they don't make anymore and I've yet to find something just like them. Holes are now appearing where the seat is wearing through.

I also have other kit I've bought and simply not got on with, or my requirements have changed. Sometimes it's been following a fashion/trend and I've worked out its just not for me, but often if you don't try, you'll never know. Of course, "upgraditis" plays a part - I eventually tired of resetting my BB7s every wheel swap and upgraded to hydro brakes. That meant going from 10 speed to 11 speed too...


I tend to hoard some stuff because it's still "nearly new". It's this that I need to learn to move on somehow!

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gairym
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Re: HireSquire

Post by gairym » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:39 am

Totally agree with all of the above.

I like the idea and completely understand the desired outcome but can't quite see it working in the current format.

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PaulB2
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Re: HireSquire

Post by PaulB2 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:56 am

I'm another 'nearly-new' hoarder - I have a couple of baselayers and 2 pairs of baggies with integrated chamois that I never use any more but everything else gets enough infrequent use that they're worth keeping. About the only thing I've got that might have benefited from this scheme is my bar bag but that's more from the try before you buy aspect.

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whitestone
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Re: HireSquire

Post by whitestone » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:15 pm

There's an almost (im)perfect storm going on here. The combination of cheap, and let's face it pretty poor quality, goods along with the leaving behind of the "make do and mend" mentality, easily available credit and larger disposable incomes means that the lifespan of goods is ever shorter.

The consequence of this is that many people don't recognise high quality/durability. Until we as consumers tell retailers that "I'm not buying that because it's cheap tat/poor quality/won't last, etc." then we'll get served up even more cheap tat.

On occasion "cheap tat" can work out: we bought a medium sized frame tent for car camping for £70. It lasted ten years until a thunderstorm when we were camped by Lac Annecy got to work on the UV damaged material and we spent the night holding the tent together!

At the packrafting event at Lake Bala last year I mentioned to Stu that I'd a Mountain Equipment Polartec top that I've had for at least twenty five years. It's had just about daily use during that time, not necessarily all outdoor activity. Until a month ago the only sign of wear on it was a hole in one of the pockets caused by a set of keys rubbing there. A pocket zip has now pulled apart but the jacket is still functional, until I manage to fix it I just have to be careful not to let items fall out. A couple of years ago we were in Pitlochry and one of the assistants in an outdoor shop (who was probably younger than the jacket) noticed the top and said rather wistfully: "They don't make jackets of that quality anymore.".

That's just one item, I've rucksacks and boots that are maybe a decade old. My favourite thermal top is now more holes than material :lol: but it's fine for work.

Andy's "consignment store" is a good idea. Not sure how many other shops will have the room to implement it, floor space costs money and business rates are pretty high. I'd imagine that a significant proportion of what Andy "takes" from those sales would be simply covering his costs.
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sean_iow
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Re: HireSquire

Post by sean_iow » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:10 pm

If only there was some easily accessible way to sell off/buy kit that's still usable but no longer needed by the owner :wink:

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benconnolli
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Re: HireSquire

Post by benconnolli » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:01 pm

I feel this is onto something but has missed out some critically important parts. Sharing works if you care about the community you are sharing with. Obviously you couldn’t do it just with your mates, as you’d all want the shared sleeping bag for your trip away at the same time, but some connection is important.

I think a log book where users wrote up the experiences the kit had, similar to bothys, would be an excellent addition. The original donor could get updates of the journey travelled by their kit, which is a much nicer prospect than it disappearing into the ether.

Another advantage they have glossed over, which may seem medial to full grown adults with full grown houses, is not having to store all the kit when not using it. Not needing dedicated space in your tiny hip London flat.

I’m not sure it would work for me as I am critically spontaneous about my trips out and they are usually just a single night. Organising and paying postage every trip would be a small but significant enough barrier to stop many of them. It works so well for big week long holiday city types.

Also scratched out roughly what I’ve spent on decent quality used gear and it was £50 for entry level gear, then another £350 for my current set up which copes with anything the U.K. can throw at me and packs small enough too.

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Re: HireSquire

Post by Gregsie » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:31 pm

I did point out to the guy behind the idea when he put it on Facebook that you can rent various bits of bikepacking kit from Pannier,cc, but he didn't reply to that.
Last edited by Gregsie on Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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redefined_cycles
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Re: HireSquire

Post by redefined_cycles » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:35 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:51 am
Andy at backcountry.scot runs a "consignment store" which is a way of selling stuff to folk rather than binning. He has lots of good-quality but second-hand kit - ski wear, bike gear, rucksacks etc. I sold my fatbike through his store. He takes a small percentage of the sale price. He is looking to find (possibly employ) someone who can repair stuff too. That seems like a nice "sustainable" route that could be copied more widely.
Do you have to have a FB account to get access to said store please Colin.. seems like you do but I could be wrong...

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ScotRoutes
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Re: HireSquire

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:12 am

redefined_cycles wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:35 pm
ScotRoutes wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:51 am
Andy at backcountry.scot runs a "consignment store" which is a way of selling stuff to folk rather than binning. He has lots of good-quality but second-hand kit - ski wear, bike gear, rucksacks etc. I sold my fatbike through his store. He takes a small percentage of the sale price. He is looking to find (possibly employ) someone who can repair stuff too. That seems like a nice "sustainable" route that could be copied more widely.
Do you have to have a FB account to get access to said store please Colin.. seems like you do but I could be wrong...
I'm not aware of an up-to-date list of what's for sale. Much of the trade is from actual, physical shoppers, though he will occasionally post on Facebook if there are some tasty tidbits. There's certainly nothing on the website but I can imagine that the effort required to list single items would be cost-prohibitive.

Gummikuh
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Re: HireSquire

Post by Gummikuh » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:57 am

I for one can't really see this working.

I carry very little and just what I need, and I look after it (ex forces) as I may come to really rely on it one day, is this something that others will copy? or will it be like you hire a car with 4 bald tyres?

I think the repair and mend is a much better way to go, buy once buy wisely, not always easy I know.

I would not be happy to lend my kit out to strangers, obviously in an emergency I wouldn't be that selfish, but I can't imagine anyone wanting to use my scratcher, my wife doesn't let it in the house!

I could imagine cycling with someone who has hardly any kit or what kit they had didn't work, somewhat testing. Or worse they hire a few bits and they think they are good to go and get into trouble.

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Re: HireSquire

Post by Lazarus » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:22 am

i dont really get this - ami meant to lend my kit to total strangers whilst paying £25 per month for the privledge?
Secondly even one years subscription will get you usable stater kits -might need to use LIDL chinese tents but it would be ok
two years or £600 is some pretty tasty kits i would say

I would quite like to try a quilt before commiting to £200 for one though

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