Synthetic coats dangle next to fleece Patagonia sweaters, worn climbing shoes are arranged next to Chacos with faded straps, used skis propped in a corner with whitewater kayaks in the rear, and Oakley goggles sit next to hiking guidebooks on a table near the checkout.

The spring sports exchange bustled with wildernessgoers, crowding the first floor of the University Center, Wednesday afternoon, April 10, 2019.

The market is a fundraiser for the University of Montana outdoor program. Jeff Heath, coordinator of University-promoted outdoor programs, says the event benefits Missoula’s outdoor community.

“It’s a service to the University community, as it is a money maker for the outdoor program,” Heath said, referring to how the exchange allowed students a portion of the profit by selling gear.

The outdoor program (ODP) keeps 20% of all money earned, using the income to fund future outdoor focused classes and backcountry adventures for students.

The ODP-sponsored sports exchange occurs twice a year, once a semester. However, shoppers did not need to be members of the outdoor program to get bargains on expensive clothing and equipment. 

Prices for secondhand ski boots ranged from $20-$100, and skis cost $40-upwards of $200. Esther Lyon Delsordo, a freshman, was able to purchase an affordable ski kit. She bought a beacon for $100, ski skins for $25 and Black Diamond telemark skis for $45.

Freshman Isa Murphy snagged a $20 dark green Patagonia fleece. The popular sweater can cost anywhere from $65-$140 brand-new.

“It’s cheaper buying from here than from anywhere else,” Murphy said.