Okay, so it may not be your ideal way to kick off the weekend, but Black Friday deals may make all the madness worthwhile. With all the money you’ll save, you can buy more gear, plan more trips or maybe even save up for a trek along the Appalachian trail.
The secret to making your way through the day with money in your pocket and new gear in your bag is to be prepared. Know exactly what you want and where you’re going to get it.
While we’re anxiously awaiting the 2016 Black Friday flyers to start rolling out, let’s look at some of the best outdoor-sport deals of 2015.
With a look at where the sales were last year, we can get an idea of where they might be headed in 2016. The deals may surprise you. For example, you may not think to shop for a GoPro at BJ’s, but if you have a membership, it may be the best place to find a deal.
Have you been waiting all year for a deal on the latest GoPro? If last year is any indication, and it likely is in this case, Black Friday will not disappoint. In 2015, Target offered the GoPro Hero + LCD bundle for $299.99 with a bonus 64GB Lexar microSD card and a $60 gift card. BJ’s Wholesale Club offered a deep discount in stores at $199.99 for the GoPro Hero3+ Silver (membership required). Best Buy, Bass Pro Shops and Sports Authority also had Black Friday deals on the GoPro.
Most people think they’ll get the best deals by hitting the pavement the day after Thanksgiving, but there are also some amazing deals to be found online. Now is the time to book that vacation you’ve been daydreaming about. Last year, Orbitz offered 20% off hotels, and Marriott, Cheap Tickets and Expedia all had Black Friday deals. We’re expecting to see even more this year. And while you may not need a hotel for that backpacking trip, it’s safe to assume you’ll find a deal that’s right for you.
Last year, Fitbit was a hot commodity, and the deals were everywhere. Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s were all offering $20 off. This year, things may have cooled down a bit (no pun intended), but that just means it’s the perfect time to buy. This year, there’s no pressure and fewer people to fight for the last discounted model. There have been a few copycats since the Fitbit was introduced, but this fitness tracker remains reliable. And it makes a great gift for the outdoor enthusiast who seems to have everything else.
Some may warn that Black Friday isn’t the right time to buy a drone. And if you haven’t done your homework in advance, they would be right. You’ll find that many of the sale drones are last-year’s model or cheaply-made toys meant for under the tree. If you’re in the market for one this year, decide on a few models before the sales come out. Then, look for sales at sporting goods or specialty stores. Last year, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and Best Buy had good deals on higher-end drones. If you’re buying a drone as a gift, try to find out which features are important to the recipient before you embark on your quest. It’ll make your life a lot easier.
Clothing is a very personal choice, but that doesn’t mean your friends won’t welcome some high-quality performance gear as a gift. Who couldn’t use a good pair of thermals? When you’re shopping for activewear, it’s usually best to buy from a company that specializes in clothing and/or outdoor gear. Expect Black Friday deals from most specialty retailers, including prAna and Patagonia. Just don’t bother visiting REI. They will be closed on the day after Thanksgiving.
- Bass Pro Shops
If you have a Bass Pro Shops near your home, you already know they are more than just tackle boxes. This retailer sells everything from outerwear to ammo, and we can expect Black Friday deals on it all. The most notable deals from last year included clothing, ammo, guns and a drone.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Cabela’s had some of the best deals on hunting gear and equipment last year. And it’ll likely be the same again for 2016. Although, they also had deals on other things like clothing and an outdoor smoker.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
In 2015, Dick’s Sporting Goods deals included a few pieces of camping equipment, including tents and other shelters, so it may be a good place to start your Black Friday shopping. There were also great deals on Ugg and Timberland boots in addition to 3% back on Yeti coolers.
- Academy Sports and Outdoors
Although Academy’s Black Friday sale included many categories, the big door-buster last year was on their grillers and smokers. They will likely switch it up this year, but we can hope that it’ll be somehow related to camping, kayaking or canoeing.
- Gander Mountain
You may expect Bass Pro Shops to offer the deepest discounts on fishing rods, but Gander Mountain gave them a run for their money last year. It’ll be interesting to see how the deals stack up in 2016. Clothing, crossbows and guns were also deeply discounted in their post-Thanksgiving-Day sale.
The season of gift giving and receiving is almost here, and it’s starting to get exciting. Amazon has already announced that it will offer tens of thousands of deals this year. And while no one wants to get carried