Educators and youth organizations can borrow jackets, rain pants, layers, boots and packs to outfit their outdoor experiences and tents, stoves, sleeping bags and sleeping pads for camping and backpacking.
WTA focuses resources on the priority audience with availability to the gear library. The gear library is first-come first-served for gear requests with the following update, started in the 2019/2020 school year.
We will continue to accept requests several months out for our priority audience who serve youth who attend schools where 40 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunch and/or schools that have a student body with at least 40 percent students of color.
If you do not serve this audience, please still submit a gear request when you are ready. Expect a confirmation one month prior to your outing. If you don’t hear from us then or if you have any questions prior, please send us an email for more clarification.
Learn more about the free gear we have currently available to borrow.
>> Download the gear request Excel spreadsheet
Attend a Gear Orientation and an optional Trip Planning Workshop.
>> Find out about upcoming workshops and events
Steps to Borrow Free Outdoor Gear for Youth Groups
- Register and attend an Outdoor Leadership Training workshop
- Register and attend a Gear Library Orientation
- Submit a Gear Request (At least two weeks prior to pick up date)
- Receive confirmation of Gear Request and pick up and drop off times
- At pick up, confirm number of items and sign Gear Borrowing Agreement
- Get outside and enjoy a fun and safe activity!
- Clean and dry gear (using methods discussed at Gear Library Orientation)
- Complete online Youth Outing Report (prior to gear drop off)
- Drop off clean gear and identify any damaged or malfunctioning items
- The items are ready for next group to use. High fives all around!
Requesting Gear for Your Group
- Submit your gear request at least two weeks ahead of your trip. Requests submitted less than two weeks before the trip are less likely to be filled. Requests that are submitted less than 4 days ahead of a pick up time will not be accepted
- Major changes to gear request reservations should be submitted at least 24 hours in advance of a pick up time. If items are available, some changes can be made at the time of pick up
- All requests must be submitted by a trip leader who has participated in a Gear Orientation
- The same WTA-trained trip leader who submits the gear request must be present at both the gear pick up and drop off
Picking Up Gear from the Library
- Arrive at your scheduled pick up time. If running late, call 206-485-7060
- Review the tallies of items checked out and make sure the final numbers are entered on the request form in the appropriate column
- Sign the Request Form confirming the quantity of items received
- Sign a Gear Borrowing Agreement form with credit card information
- Receive a copy of the gear reimbursement price list
- Receive gear repair label bag
- You’ll receive an electronic copy of the final, signed gear request with any changes marked
Prepping Items for Return
- Clothing: wash and thoroughly dry, but do not use fabric softener and use low temperatures
- Boots: clean and dry, then tie pairs together
- Packs: clean, dry and empty all compartments
- Zippers: zip them up and look for problems
- Tents: Look for problems, clean and empty tents, thoroughly dry and ensure all parts are packed together
- Sleeping bags & liners: empty and thoroughly dry bags and wash and dry all liners
- Kitchen kits, stoves, water bottle & animal proof containers: clean and sanitize surfaces and bottles, thoroughly dry items and enclose wet towels and sponges in the provided Ziploc bag
- Use repair tags to note and date problems
Dropping Off Gear at the Library
- Submit a Youth Outing Report before drop off or you will have to complete it at that time
- Arrive at your scheduled drop off time
- If borrowed, set up tents for inspection, then repack
- Ensure that everything is clean and dry and report any wet items
- Report any problematic equipment so we can fix the issue for the next user
- Make sure the quantities dropped off match the quantities picked up
- If necessary, receive an invoice for all lost or damaged items