Bethlehem ‘Gear Library’ helping make outdoors accessible to all

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 5:05 PM EST
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BETHLEHEM, N.H. (WCAX) - Winter can be long, but sometimes getting outside is just the thing to cure that cabin fever. One organization in Bethlehem, New Hampshire is making it easier to enjoy the great outdoors.

The Gear Library is one of the first and only nonprofits of its kind in the White Mountains. The Bethlehem Trails Association opened last month to help people access the outdoors

It’s stocked full of winter gear that costs a pretty penny to buy outright, like microspikes, and snowshoes. But thanks to the library, all the public has to do is go online, book some gear, pick it up, and hit the trails. While there is a paid membership option, there’s a free one as well. That’s because BTA says increasing access to outdoor recreation is a huge part of what they do.

“There’s a lot of winter here in the Northeast, so we want to make sure that people can get out and enjoy it. And also it’s just really good for your health and wellbeing in general, so it’s nice. The more we get people outside, the more they’ll enjoy it, the more they’ll appreciate it and help keep the outdoors nice and strong in this area,” said the BTA’s Jim McCann.

The gear was paid for by grant money obtained by the association. They say they’re planning to expand for summer recreation opportunities, too.

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