MITOC provides members at-cost rentals of gear for hiking, camping, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and boating.
Please read this whole page before coming in to rent gear for the first time. There is some administrativia involved, and planning ahead will help your rental go smoothly.
How to Rent Gear
Before You Rent
- Make sure you are a current MITOC member. Membership dues are good for one year.
- Make sure your liability waiver is up to date. To rent gear or go on official MITOC trips, you must electronically sign a liability waiver, which is valid for one year.
Get approval if renting restricted gear.
Certain climbing and watersports items require a safety review and permission from the appropriate MITOC officer before you can rent them. These items are highlighted red in the price list.
You can get approval by emailing the address listed next to the gear 24 hours ahead of time. Be sure to include exactly what restricted gear you want to check out, what dates you’ll have it, how and where it will be used, and your level of experience with the activity.
Bring your checkbook. We will ask for a check as collateral for your rental. It will not be cashed unless you fail to return gear after 10 weeks and we can’t contact you after three attempts. You have two options:
- One-time deposit check: You write one check for the value of the gear you rent. It is destroyed when you return the gear.
- Frequent flyer check: You write two checks for $700 and $300. They are kept on file for one year, and you can rent as often as you like without writing more checks.
Deposit checks are mandatory and must be personal checks. NO EXCEPTIONS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. We will not accept money orders, cashier’s checks, cash, credit cards, IDs, valuables, or anything else as collateral for rentals. Do not try to pressure deskworkers to bend this rule.
- Come by the MITOC office (W20-461) during office hours. Office hours can be found on our calendar and are usually Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Fridays from noon - 1 pm. Check the calendar to make sure a volunteer desk worker has signed up before coming in to the office. An event titled “Office Hours” without names appended to it means that nobody has signed up for that shift yet (note that shifts are usually staffed a few days beforehand, it’s perfectly normal for future shifts to not have a name alongside them).
- Go outside and have fun! Yay!
- Make sure everything is clean and dry. We will not accept returns of wet tents, boots, sleeping bags, etc.
- Come to office hours and return gear.
Pay for your rental.
We accept two modes of payment: credit/debit card (preferred) or check. When paying by credit card, make sure to bring a laptop or smartphone with you to office hours.
We charge per day that you use the gear. For example, if you rent a tent during Thursday office hours, use it on Friday and Saturday, and return it the following Wednesday, we will charge for two days of use. There is a minimum charge of one day’s use per weekend that you have gear checked out.
Winter School Rental Policy
During MITOC Winter School (during MIT’s IAP term), there are a few additional policies in effect for renting gear from MITOC:
- Gear rental office hours are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
- Tuesdays are for RETURNS ONLY. All gear checked out the previous week MUST be returned on Tuesday. No exceptions.
- Thursdays are for checking out gear for Winter School participants only. If you are not participating in Winter School, you will be turned away from office hours.
- Fridays are the only days that non-Winter School participants can rent out gear. You must return the gear the following Tuesday, no exceptions.
Other Rules/Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have X type of gear for rent?
Check the price list.
I don’t have a checkbook. Can a friend/relative write a deposit check for me?
Yes. Please write the name of the renter in the memo line of the check. Frequent flyer checks must be in the actual renter’s name.
Can I reserve gear ahead of time?
No. Aside from official MITOC-run trips, all gear is first come, first served.
When are you open?
Check the calendar for office hours.
Can I rent gear for a group?
Each MITOC member may rent up to two of the same item. If you are renting for a group of N people, at least N/2 MITOC members must come to office hours.
I can’t make it to office hours. Can a friend come rent gear in my name?
Yes, but only if the following conditions are strictly met:
- The person picking up the gear must sign a liability waiver.
- You must send an email in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org authorizing your friend to pick up the items on your behalf, and promising that you will be the person using the gear.
We provide this service as a convenience to MITOCers whose schedule may not permit them to come to office hours. Authorizing others to rent under your name with the express purpose of skirting membership dues is a violation of MITOC policy and jeopardizes our ability to extend this courtesy to all MITOCers.
Is there a time limit on rentals?
During the month of January (Winter School), all gear must be returned by Wednesday of the next week after it is checked out. The rest of the year, rentals are limited to 10 weeks. Cabin keys, restricted gear, and boats have different rules.
If we need gear for club trips, we will announce a gear recall by email. If there is a gear recall, you must return any gear you have checked out.
Do I have to be an MIT student/affiliate to rent gear?
No. MITOC is open to all.
Do you rent downhill/alpine ski gear?
No. We have cross-country, touring, telemark, and AT ski equipment, but not resort alpine skis.
Are you making a profit off this?
No. MITOC is a student-run organization. Our officers, desk workers, and trip leaders are all volunteers. Our rental prices are designed to break even on the purchase cost over the lifetime of the equipment.
If the answer to your question isn’t on this page, contact email@example.com.