Camping gear sold out?

Hi all, I have a curiosity question. Does anyone have any insight as to why most gear on our favorite partner sites is sold out or seems to have super limited gear? Is it Covid based supply challenges, more people camping in quarantine, the Suez canal blockage?

Take Wenzel and Kelty for instance. I’m seeing a lot of their sold-out gear on sale through REI or Sierra Trading Co. A lot of the companies are saying that they will restock soon when you email them but they haven’t shared a big reason on Social Media or on the sites.

It really depends on where people are buying from. If an item is Sold Out on the brand/manufacturer website but still available at REI, it is because the 3rd party retailer bought in bulk and has some left. Long gone are the days of finding both lots of choice and killer deals at the same time on last seasons gear (not limited to outdoor stuff), because many companies have gotten better at predicting market needs and therefore are not producing overstock. Now instead of holding 2020 products in the warehouse, they sell out and you have to wait for the 2021 model, which may only be a different color. I used to buy everything during the “off season” because you could get a $800 snowboard set up for $400 and still have lots of choices, but that’s just not the case anymore.


Highly likely re-stocking with newer models, and just haven’t done so yet.

One of my sons works in international shipping and his clients are still a long way from getting back to any type of normal in their supply lines.

Manufacturers were shut down and have yet to get caught up. Shipping is still trying to catch up after the early COVID shutdowns and lots of capacity that remained was reserved for PPE. People are having to use air freight more than they normally would but that is cost prohibitive for many.

And, more people are camping which has driven up the demand for all things camping related. Plus, as noted above, some places were better stocked when all this happened so have been operating more normally than others.


Another big reason is more people are taking trips to the outdoors instead of busy theme parks and cities. You have a lot of people that have never owned any sort of camping gear starting to buy it. Same thing was happening with fishing gear last year. Retailers had empty shelves of gear.

Outdoor retail of all sorts got hit with a double whammy since the outbreak of the Mexican Beer Virus.

We’ve been faced with raw materials,a nd maufacturers shutting down for extended periods to try to limit the spread, so stuff isn’t getting made. Global shipping is tangled up in knots as ports are short staffed, again due to the virus, and what material gets in is what gets in. Locally manufactured stuff might be in better supply aside form the fact that again, raw materials problems…

And to top it off, people got scared off of going to hotels and resorts due to the virus, and are trying to keep costs down so many are chosing camping instead. Yeah that saves money… but I digress…

We’ve seen a HUGE increase in first time campers, or older folks that finally talked their kids / grands into going on a camping and fishing trip with grandpa and grandma…

This is resulting in all sorts of short supply for online, and brick & mortar retailers, RVs, Tents, you name it from a simple tarp and some guyline to make a tarp rig, all the way up to a giant class A motorhome, gear is selling, or sold out and back ordered.

Some specialty items are still in plentiful supply, but many, not so much.

To top it off, a good number of MFGs are honing their offerings even further so old models are going out the door and likely already gone, while new models are being phased in more slowy than usual…

SO that brings us back to… Be patient, use what you have where you can, and enjoy.

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