Rec Center offers outdoor sports equipment rentals

Rec Center offers outdoor sports equipment rentals

Rec Center offers outdoor sports equipment rentals
September 23
21:40 2014

Rhiannon Saegert / Senior Staff Writer

Students interested in trying their hand at rock climbing or just planning a weekend camping trip can visit The Outdoor Pursuits Center, located in the Pohl Recreation Center, to rent outdoor sports equipment and get advice.

Rental rates vary depending on the equipment. The most expensive item is a canoe, which costs $50 per week or $20 per day. Most items are around $30 per week and $12 per day.

Center attendant Devin Bennett said only those with access to the rec center can rent the equipment, but otherwise there are no restrictions. Some equipment requires renters to watch a training video before leaving the center.

“Our strictest safety measure for boats would be the whitewater kayak, and not many people rent that.” Bennett said. “Generally, when they’re here, we set them up. Like, set up the tent or the sleeping bag or whatever it is so that they know exactly how to set it up so that everything is safe. Nothing we rent here we just hand off and don’t tell them anything.”

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Even Kayaks are among the available equipment. The front desk of the Outdoor Pursuits Center has information on rental rates.

Bennett said the center hosts camping trips, hikes and other outdoor activities. The price of each trip includes the cost of the equipment used, and is generally the same price. For instance, an upcoming canoeing trip in October will cost students $55 to attend.

Kyle Tilton, who graduated from UNT with a Masters in recreational studies, is the center’s only full-time employee. He said in addition to the equipment, the center has a resource library of books, DVDs and guides for anyone who’s new to camping, backpacking, climbing or kayaking and looking for additional information.

“A lot of it has been donated. A lot of it has been built up over the semesters,” said Interdisciplinary art and design studies Junior Keara Soller, the current rec center manager. “We have everything from climbing videos and DVDs, yoga stuff and biking.”

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Kinesiology junior Max Olen shows off the tennis materials that are available at the Recreational Center’s front desk. Other sports equipment such as basketballs, soccer balls, and footballs are also available. 

Tilton said the center staff don’t have to have in-depth knowledge of outdoor sports, but share a general interest.

“A lot of our staff are experienced in outdoor stuff in general, so they’re always happy to talk to anybody and help them either make plans or learn more specifics about whatever they’re trying to do,” Tilton said. “It’s pretty rare for somebody to come by that has zero experience. It’s more frequent that they’ll come by with a little bit of experience, and they want to learn more.”

Soller said the center also keeps information on local parks and destinations on hand for students, as well as field guides.

“We’re really just here to help people plan their own trip, whether they want to go backpacking in another state or just to a local park or something,” Soller said.

The center also hosts free clinics on everything from the basics of kayaking to stargazing. A full list of equipment for rent, prices and clinics can be found at recsports.unt.edu.

Interdisciplinary art and design studies junior Keara Soller is a manager at the Outdoor Pursuits Center at the Rec. Soller takes part in overseeing transactions and shares the responsibility of keeping inventory with the other employees. Photos by Ben Regalado

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