By Ben Sokolow/ The Outdoor Center
You may have seen the signs or heard rumors of the mysterious event the signs speak of but unless you work here with me in the Outdoor Center, a very legitimate question has probably gone unanswered regarding the event advertised on the posters: what the hell it is, where it’s gonna take place, and when.
The posters advertising a so-called ‘Gear Grab’ are what you may call a partial ‘W’ advertisement; the goal of these seemingly illogical ads is to create intrigue by providing only a vague impression of the nature of an upcoming event, in attempt to draw the observer in and then send them away thinking seriously and asking questions about what they just witnesses.
The rest of the ‘W’s – the what, when, where, and why are coming soon to posting centers around campus, but right here, in the Review, you can preview the elusive and much anticipated details of the upcoming Gear Grab.
The Gear Grab, an event highly coveted by veteran outdoor enthusiasts at Western and in the greater Bellingham community, is an outdoor gear exchange extravaganza hosted by the Associated Students’ Outdoor Center. The Gear Grab takes place twice per year: at the start of fall quarter, and then again during spring quarter. Telemark skis, backpacking stoves, full size backpacking backpacks, kayak accessories, snowboards, crampons, and ski jackets are just a few items amongst a myriad of outdoor goods exchanging hands at any given Gear Grab event.
The upcoming Grab is on October 11, from 6-8 p.m. It will take place in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room, which is located next to the VU dining hall and is accessed via climbing the three steps toward the glass doors next to Vendor’s Row outside the High Street entrance to the Viking Union.
Anyone can sell their outdoor goods at the Grab; all they need to do is check it in at the Multipurpose Room the day before, or the day of, the event. Drop-offs will be accepted from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, October 10, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11.
While you will likely not get trampled during the mass flood of rabid outdoor fanatics possessed of their primal instinct to hoard (as has been the case with some unlucky individuals at past REI Garage Sales), the climate in the Multipurpose Room is one of lust, greed, and exhilaration. One thing is for sure: the elation felt by those who acquire what they want at the Gear Grab will never be matched by the feelings evoked during the later utilization of those items.
IMPORTANT! Unsold items must be picked up immediately following the Gear Grab – which will conclude sharply at 8 p.m. You have until 10 p.m. on the night of the 11th to claim your unsold booty. If no such claim is pursued that evening, your partially-valued items will make their way to a dark and drear, cement-walled room behind the Outdoor Center, where they will desperately await your rescue, which, if you are any better than FEMA and their White House puppet masters, will come before one month time has elapsed.
The Outdoor Center is an outdoor recreation resource center, located on the first floor of the Viking Union, and featuring guided group excursions for all skill levels, in addition to a full-service bike shop, an outdoors-dedicated film and literature library, and a comprehensive outdoor gear rental shop.