Renting equipment from Outdoor Recreation


Courtesy of Jerry Rupert

Every few months, the Outdoor Recreation Program takes students, faculty and Ames community members on trips across the country.

Chris Wolff

Students looking for an adventure should check out Outdoor Recreation, part of Iowa State’s Recreation Services.

Located in State Gym, Outdoor Recreation allows students to rent various equipment at cheap rates. The equipment ranges from tents to canoes to snowshoes to mountain bikes and everything in between.

For those who are less adventurous, Outdoor Recreation also has basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, Ultimate Frisbees and other less extreme sporting equipment to rent.

The best part?

“Everything is really reasonably priced for students,” said Elizabeth Happ, senior in dietetics. Happ has worked for Outdoor Recreation for a year-and-a-half.

Most of the equipment is rentable for just a couple of dollars per day, with the most expensive items running between $10 and $15.

To rent an item, students and faculty must present their ISU card, fill out a quick contract and pay for the equipment they intend to rent. They can either reserve items for a future date or take them that day if the equipment is in stock.

Students and faculty are then free to take their equipment and have some fun without breaking the bank.

“All our gear is really cheap for students, which is excellent,” Happ said. “Plus a lot of this stuff, like cross-country skiing, you might have never done before, but you can come rent it out from us. When else are you going to get an opportunity to rent it out for like $5 a day?”

Outdoor Recreation is also convenient for tailgating, when students might need a large cooler to store drinks. 

Last winter, many students camped in line at Hilton Coliseum for men’s basketball tickets to the Iowa State-Kansas game. Happ said Outdoor Recreation rented out nearly all of its tents and a lot of its sleeping bags to students who decided to brave the cold for tickets.

In addition to equipment rental, Outdoor Recreation also provides the opportunities for weekend trips and extended trips, where students can go with a group and do various activities.

Whether it’s white-water rafting, canoeing, skiing or mountain biking, Outdoor Recreation probably is already planning the trip.

Happ has been on many of these trips during the last few years and said it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, make friends and have a lot of fun.

“College is when you want to have the experiences and try new things, and this program definitely gives you a chance to try these new things that are out of your comfort zone,” Happ said.