Free and Low-Cost Gear:
In alignment with our mission to provide equitable access to outdoor experiences for youth of color and low-income youth, Bay Area Wilderness Training provides free outdoor equipment loans to BAWT trained leaders who serve schools or organizations which meet either or both of the following criteria.
- 80% or more of the youth at the school or served by the organization identify as youth of color
- 40% or more of the youth at the school or served by the organization qualify for free or reduced lunch programs
Starting on January 1, 2018, BAWT trained leaders who lead trips for schools or organizations which serve a population of youth that do not meet either of the above criteria will be asked to pay a nominal fee to borrow gear. If you don’t know if your school meets these criteria you can run a report on the California Department of Education site here. For a detailed description of the fees please click here.
How to reserve the gear:
Our gear is available on a first come, first serve basis. To make sure you get everything you need, make your reservation well ahead of time. The earlier you complete and submit an equipment request form, the better. This is especially true in our busiest months: April – September.
Oakland Gear Library:
South Bay Gear Library:
San Francisco Gear Library:
Submit your gear request at least 14 days in advance of your requested pick-up date.
- Download the Excel form, fill it out, and rename it with your last name and the requested date of pickup. Example: Wei 4-29.xls
- Only request appointment times during Gear Library hours at your requested location.
- E-mail the completed Excel worksheet to Gear@bawt.org
- We will confirm the availability of your gear and appointment times
Gear Library Hours
If you have no time preference, please leave that field blank to allow us to more quickly schedule your appointment. Only one appointment will be scheduled at a time. If the time you requested has already been filled you will be assigned another appointment time by BAWT staff.
Gear Use Policies & Rules
By borrowing gear from BAWT, you are agreeing to our equipment use policies. Leaders are responsible for following these rules to ensure the gear library runs smoothly. Consistent failure to follow these rules negatively impacts our staff, our organization, and our gear.
What to expect at your appointments:
Please arrive at the pick up time you’ve reserved. Most pick ups take 15-30 minutes. At most times, we will have your gear staged and ready for you. We expect you to count the gear you get and sign it off. This way we can be sure of the number of items you checked out, in case something is missing on return. The person picking up the gear must be BAWT trained.
Please return everything clean in the condition you received it. Most drop offs take between 30-90 minutes, depending on the number of tents. All tents must be fully set up during the drop off appointment, we ask that you bring 1 additional helper for every 5 tents. If anything breaks or didn’t work well during the trip, let us know. When you return the equipment, we ask that you assist us in counting, folding and putting the gear back up. The person dropping off the gear must be BAWT trained, additional helpers do not.
Filling out Trip Reports is required to borrow gear. These reports help us better serve our community and secure funding to keep our gear library low to no cost. Please fill out your Trip Report after every trip.Gear is free for BAWT trained leaders serving populations of youth which are either 80% or more youth of color or 40% or more qualified to receive free or reduced lunch.
If you do not serve a population of youth which meet the above criteria, as of January 1, 2018, you will be requested to pay a fee of $5 per day for each person for which you borrow gear. You are still eligible to borrow all of the same gear you have always borrowed from BAWT’s gear libraries. The number of days for your fee will be determined by the number of days of your trip and not by the number of days for which you borrow the gear. You will still be expected to pick up during the week prior to your trip and return the gear during the week after your trip. You will only be charged a $5 fee per day for a maximum of 6 days. If your trip is longer than 6 days you will not pay more than $30 per person ($5 per day x 6 days = $30). The fee of $5 per person is the same whether you borrow one sleeping bag per person of if you borrow 10 items per person.
Here are the guidelines for fees:
- A fee of $5 per day for each person that borrows gear
- We will use the greatest number of any one type of item to determine how many people are borrowing gear for the trip. The “type of item” could be sleeping bags, boots, or even tent spaces (i.e. a 4-person tent equals 4 “tent spaces” or “4 people”).
- In most cases, gear fees will be based on the number of days of the trip and not the number of days that gear is borrowed.
- Leaders will be required to pick up and return gear within an 8 business-day “grace” period around their trip. If they cannot complete the pick-up and drop-off within the “grace” period they will be charged for each additional day greater than the 8 business-day period. Exceptions may be made if BAWT staff request to reschedule a pick up or drop off date outside of the grace period.
- Groups may borrow gear for trips of almost any length (at the discretion of the BAWT Program Director). Fees for borrowing gear will be capped at six days. Therefore, groups that take youth on longer trips will not be penalized by paying significantly higher fees. For example, a group borrowing gear for a 10-day trip would only pay a fee for the gear as if they were running a 6-day trip.
If you have questions about whether your group qualifies to borrow gear for free or if you should pay a fee, please email email@example.com or call 510-452-2298 x312
Here are some examples for how the fees work.
Gear is free for BAWT trained leaders serving populations of youth which are either 80% or more youth of color or 40% or more qualified to receive free or reduced lunch.
If the population of youth you serve does not meet the above criteria you will be requested to pay fees according to the following examples.
Brian has 20 people on his trip. He requests 20 sleeping bags, 15 jackets, 15 pants, 15 ground pads, and 4 four-person tents. His trip is three days and two nights. He picks up the gear three days before his trip and he returns the gear three days after the trip ends.
Greatest number of one type of item: 20 sleeping bags
Number of days of the trip: 3 days
Extra days for pick up and return: 0 days
Total fee: $5 X 20 X 3 = $300
Elena has 30 people on her trip. She requests 5 sleeping bags, 15 jackets, 15 pairs boots, 2 stoves, 2 pots, 3 three-person tents, and 3 four-person tents. She picks up the gear two days before her trip and returns it four days after her trip. Her trip is two days.
Greatest number of one type of item: 21 tent spaces (3 x three-person tents = 9 spaces, 3 x four-person tents = 12 spaces). Notice that even though her trip has 30 people she is only charged for 21 people because she only borrowed gear for 21 people.
Number of days of the trip: 2 days
Extra days for pick up and return: 0 days
Total fee: $5 x 21 x 2= $210
Petra has 30 people on her trip. She requests 10 three-person tents, 10 backpacks, and 3 stoves. Her trip is 9 days. She picks up the gear 4 days before her trip and returns it 4 days after her trip.
Greatest number of one type of item: 10 three-person tents = 30 spaces
Number of days of the trip: 9 days (rental fee capped at 6 days)
Extra days for pick up and return: 0 days
Total fee: $5 x 30 x 6 = $900
Martin has 10 people on his trip. He requests 10 sleeping bags, 3 stoves, 8 jackets, 8 pants, and 8 pairs boots. His trip is 3 days. He picks up his gear 4 days before his trip and returns it 5 days after his trip.
Greatest number of one type of item: 10 sleeping bags
Number of days of the trip: 3
Extra days for pick up and return: 1 day
Total fee: $5 x (3+1) x 10 = $200
Are there any other dates or times when I should expect the gear library to be closed?
BAWT’s offices and gear libraries are closed on many Federal Holidays including (Presidents’ Day, MLK Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day).
How long should I expect to wait before I receive a confirmation of my gear request?
We aim to respond within 7 days, but can usually respond in 1 to 3 business days. During our busy season (April to September) it is possible that communication could lapse. If you have not heard from us in 7 days, please call or email us.
Once I submit my gear request am I guaranteed to receive all of the gear requested?
We strive to meet all of your gear needs, but during our busy season we may run out of certain items. The number of available items can change day-to-day as items go out of service because they are lost or damaged. We strive to advise you of possible shortages as soon as possible so you can make other arrangements.
What if I cannot pick up or drop off gear during your available pick up and drop off times?
We aim to serve as many users as possible. We ask users to be flexible and to make picking up and dropping off gear a priority. This may require you to change your work schedule and find coverage and support for your work so that you can come during the available appointment times to pick up and drop off gear. It is possible that we may not have an available appointment time for your pick up or drop off that meets your requested times. In this case, if you cannot make it to one of the available appointment times, we may not be able to serve your group at that time. It is important to note that dates and times of both the pick up and drop off must be confirmed before picking up gear. Leaders without confirmed drop off times will not be able to borrow gear.
What support can I expect during my pick up and drop off?
Users should expect to retrieve their own gear (i.e pull from the bins) , set up all tents, count all clothing, and put away all gear with light direction and instruction from BAWT staff. Users should NOT expect that all their gear will be staged for them. All other gear use policies remain in effect and gear should be returned clean and dry.
What happens if I miss my drop off appointment time? What happens if I can’t come and have to send a person who has not completed the appropriate BAWT Training to pick up or drop off my gear?
When gear is not returned on time or returned with the proper care of a trained leader it causes problems for other trip leaders who are depending on that gear. The gear library is a service that depends on the care, responsibility, stewardship of all users. During our busy season gear returned in the morning will likely be sent out later that same day with another group.
Do not send a non-BAWT trained person to pick up or drop off gear. We rely on leaders’ knowledge of BAWT procedures to keep the gear library running smoothly and on time.