UMD outdoor gear rental center open to everyone – Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — Let’s say you want to try cross-country skiing but don’t have the cash to buy all the gear. Or maybe you want to get your “Verified Minnesotan” certification by finally going ice fishing for the first time, but have no idea what you need?

The University of Minnesota Duluth Recreational Sports Outdoor Program Rental Center has all of the stuff you need for outdoor winter fun, and much more, and at reasonable rental rates.

It’s a great way to try new activities outdoors, or maybe do something just once a season, when buying gear just doesn’t make sense.

Patrick Kohlin, marketing director of the UMD outdoor program, said many Northlanders may not realize the campus rental center has always been open to the public, not just to UMD students. (UMD students who have memberships to the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program get a discount on all the gear.)

“Cross-country skis are our most popular item,” Kohlin told the News Tribune.


Snowshoes are available for anyone to rent at the UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program Rental Center on campus.

Bob King / 2013 file / Duluth News Tribune

For winter fun — in addition to classic, skating, backcountry and telemark skis, ice augers and fishing gear — the center also offers snowshoes, ice skates, sleds, tents, winter camping gear, ice climbing gear and even fat tire bikes.

Prices range from $15 per day for a ski package to $5 for skates and $12 for snowshoes, with winter-ready fat bikes offered at $38 per day.

Here’s how to get geared up:

  • Call the rental center at 218-726-6134 ready with information on what you would like to rent and with a credit card handy. If you are unsure, their outdoor experts can help you figure out what you need. If no staff answers, leave a message or call back later.
  • Stop by the rental center in person. Full rental amount is due at the time of reservation. Cancellations greater than 48 hours in advance will receive a credit on your RSOP account. No refund for cancellations with less than 48 hours notice.
  • Pick up your gear at the equipment center anytime on the day you have it reserved. You can also just stop by to see if the item you want is available. 
UMD outdoor rental center

The Rental Center at the UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program is open to the general public and loaded with winter gear for skiing, skating, fishing, camping, ice climbing and more.

Contributed / UMD

The center offers weekend packages for two people, and you can save 20%-30% when you bundle:

  • The winter camping weekend package includes winter-weight sleeping bags, sleeping pads, a snow shovel, back-country skis or snowshoes and one sled, called a pulk. The cost is $110 for the general public and $95 for UMD student members.
  • The ice fishing package offers two fishing rods, a Clam ice shelter, a hand auger, ice scoop, sled, shovel and bait bucket. (You supply lures and bait.) The price is $30 for the day for the general public, $27 for UMD student members.
  • The Boundary Waters Weekend package includes a Royalex canoe w/paddles, personal flotation devices, three Duluth packs, bear rope kit and a folding camp saw. The price is $125 for the general public, $110 for UMD students.
  • During September, you can try a sea kayaking weekend with kayaks for two people w/paddles, personal flotation devices, wetsuits, bilge pump, paddle float and four dry bags for your gear, all for $145, $125 for UMD students.

Camping packages include a tent, cook kit, rain tarp, water filter, one- or two-burner stove and first aid kit.
In the summer, there are also stand-up paddleboards for rent, disc golf sets, mountain bikes, rain gear and more.

The rental center is located in the UMD Sports and Health Center building, near the football stadium, in Room 154.

For hours and more information, go to

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