How Scouters can save money on outdoor gear and more

A Scout is thrifty. But even frugal youth and adults sometimes face overwhelming expenses associated with Scouting.

Don’t let the cost of gear keep your unit from reaching for the next challenge. There are a handful of companies seeking to make things a little easier for packs, troops and crews, and we’re happy to report that we can now add Coleman to this list.

Register your unit at and purchase select Coleman gear at up to 30 percent off normal retail prices. Awesome!

You can find even more ways to save money in this story published in the November-December 2015 edition of Scouting.

Note that other large, national retailers — like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops and more — leave it up to each individual store to decide what, if any, discounts or deals are available to youth or adults associated with Scouting. So it never hurts to ask if discounts are available for Scouts when you find yourself at a checkout register.

Do you know of a store that offers discounts to members of the BSA? Share these with others in the comments.

Illustration by Bill Butcher.


  1. Unless Coleman has changed their program, the discount plan was from May – Dec 2015. (see on your link above).

    Let’s hope they keep the program going !

  2. The last time I checked, Campmor and REI both offered 10% off every purchase for BSA members. Also, don’t forget about your local gear shops. All of ours in this area that I’ve asked will give 10% off, as well. They love to get your business and support their communities.

  3. Could ;we advertise and have seniors or people with camping gear they no longer use donate it to a Scout Troop? I have my second sleeping bag, bought for camp staff use in 1963 and used ever since, up to the 2013 Jamboree. I keep it and the liner clean. I had a Coleman lantern with a stainless steel bottom/tank, don’t know what happened to it, but when my father-in-law died last year at 101 he had the same lantern in working condition. We should encourage the passing along of camping equipment as well as uniforms; I wonder how much useful stuff is sitting in closets all across the country,

  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for donations. Visit flea markets or post a request for gear on Craigslist. You’ll be surprised how much people are willing to donate just to get the stuff out of their garage or basement.

    As part of my Woodbadge ticket, I organized a District “swap meet” where units could trade or donate unneeded equipment. Some units grow very large and then collapse, leaving them with an abundance of gear (or are small and happy to get any gear they can). The swap meet was a HUGE success!!! Contact your DE and see if they will help you facilitate & communicate the event.

    If you’re buying new stuff… places like REI, Coleman’s, etc all have “clubs” you can join for discounts and then get invited to SPECIAL SALES where they will clear out old (but new) inventory at deep discounts. They will also kick “free points” back to the card holder who, in Scout spirit, will use the points to get free gear for the Troop.

  5. “”How Scouters can save money on outdoor gear and more”” Google old Boys Life magazines and look for the “do it yourself” articles. Make your own tarp tents, your own cook gear out of #10 cans, use Gmoms old fry pans, ask uncle Harry if he was a Scout and go thru his old gear. Go to Surplus R Us and try the used ALIS packs. Lots of good ways for a “Scout is Thrufty”.

  6. My Bass Pro doesn’t know anything about the discount and when I called the 800 number they say they just give it to the organization, not to the individual scouts and scouters. Do you have additional info on this alleged discount?

  7. I have used an outfitter called Mountain Sports out of Texas. For large gear orders they give a hefty discount for the scouts. Guys name is Bill I think.

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