Buying a pair of ice skates or a kayak to hang outside with friends can be a pretty big investment for some college students, who are often low on funds. UND’s Outpost can be an outlet for students who still want to spend time outdoors, without breaking the bank.
The Outpost, ran out of UND’s Wellness Center, allows students and the community at large to rent outdoor gear for less than $20 a day.
During the winter, snowboards and cross country skis (both include all of the extras, such as bindings, bag, helmets, boots and poles), snowshoes and ice skates are available to borrow. Camping gear, including sleeping bags, a tent and hammocks, along with canoes and kayaks, are available to rent during the spring and summer months.
The items range in price but all are available to rent for less than $20 a day, with many items around $5 a day. While the Outpost is open to the community to use, no membership required, the group’s main focus is helping students afford outdoor equipment, Analee Hokkala, coordinator of guest services and head of the Outpost, said Thursday.
The store offers discounts to students on certain items each month. For example, during January cross-country skis are half off for student rentals. Hokkala also can point people in the right direction to local trails. Hokkala said the No. 1 item during the winter is ice skates.
“Those items are not cheap to purchase and so we want to make sure that we just have them accessible for students if they want to check them out,” she said. “Our main focus really is the students so that they have that stuff that's easily accessible for them.”
The Outpost has been in its location, in the lobby of UND’s Wellness Center, since 2013. Some of the equipment the Outpost uses was previously located in the Memorial Union prior to 2013.
“The Wellness Center focuses on seven dimensions of wellness, and physical health doesn’t just mean working out,” Hokkala said. “It also includes that outside element. Right now, it’s cold but, on those warm days, we really do want students to be out and active as well.”
The Outpost is funded by student fees, which Hokkala said is why the store’s main focus is on students and purchasing items they like. The items are replaced as needed.
The Outpost is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year. Saturdays it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. For questions, visit the Wellness Center.
For a complete list of items and prices, go to und.edu/student-life/wellness-center/programs/outpost.html.