BYU Outdoors Unlimited is a year-round rental facility and sees its biggest surge of customers during winter semesters for ski rentals, but also offers a variety of rentals for summer activities, as well as a year-round full-service bike shop. The shop is located on the north side of campus at 2201 N. Canyon Road.
Gardner Kearsley is the manager and has been working at Outdoors Unlimited full-time for 23 years. Kearsley explained the shop rents out gear for several different categories of warm weather activities, including biking, camping, rock climbing and rafting. Students can also rent lawn games like giant Twister, tug of war, 9 Square, croquet and volleyball.
“Close by, there really aren’t any other places that do what we do,” Kearsley said. “There are a lot of places that do parts and pieces, but not too many that do exactly what we do.”
“We rent out climbing equipment and a lot of mountain bikes,” Caden Keate, the shop’s head bike mechanic, said. “There’s a lot of people I know who like to do those activities but they don’t have equipment just cuz they’re not near home. So they forego doing some of that stuff or they go pay a lot higher prices at other shops to maybe rent a bike, or they just don’t even go ride bikes cuz they just don’t know we have really good bikes at affordable prices.”
Caden Keate is a senior in the finance program at BYU and has been working at Outdoors Unlimited for three and a half years. He shared that some of the most popular rentals for BYU students in the spring and summer are tandem bikes and river tubes.
“Once it warms up a little bit people love to go tube down the Provo,” Keate said. “Our river tubes are really popular with BYU students because it’s $8 to rent a tube, so it’s pretty cheap and you can go ride the river all day.”
Aaron Starkweather is a junior at BYU studying computer science and recently began working at Outdoors Unlimited. He grew up mountain biking and road biking with his dad, and jumped at the opportunity to start working at the shop when a position opened up.
“The prices are super good, and the quality of the rentals are super good,” Starkweather said of Outdoors Unlimited. “And so if you have stuff that you’ve wanted to try, you should come try it because it’s great.”
Kearsley mentioned that Outdoors Unlimited is working on building a trips and clinics program. These opportunities would provide students with instruction and guidance when navigating new activities, like hiking or mountain biking.
Kearsley’s biggest piece of advice for BYU students who are considering renting something from Outdoors Unlimited is to just do it.
“That’s why we’re here, so that students have the opportunity to do these activities that either they’ve never done before, or activities that they’ve done back home with their parents but don’t have the equipment here,” Kearsley said.
Keate encouraged students to find a group to take part in these summer activities and to think ahead when planning their rentals.
“Call in and reserve stuff ahead of time if you know you want to use it,” Keate said. “Some of our items get booked out, like mountain bikes are a big one where they’ll be booked out on weekends like a month ahead during the summer.”
Keate also expressed his appreciation for the community that Outdoors Unlimited creates.
“It attracts a lot of really fun people who work here who like the outdoors, so it’s really easy to find groups of people who are interested in doing the same activities as me and want to go ski and go ride bikes,” Keate said.
Although Outdoors Unlimited is located on BYU campus, rentals are available for anyone to check out. The shop is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. during the summer and customers can make reservations online to secure rentals in advance.