One of my favorite things about living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the accessibility to an endless supply of fun: the beach, the city (Boston), and my favorite... the Whites!

I love to hike, camp, disconnect, and simply spend time in the woods. I often say the White Mountains are my playground, gym, and therapist!

Like many of my Seacoast friends, living near a variety of options is critical. We New Englanders wear many hats. We often like to spend time on the beach and relax. We oftenq love grabbing a Fenway Frank while catching a Red Sox game in July.

We also love to try new things and be adventurous.

For those looking to explore the White Mountains through a new venture such as winter hiking, show shoeing, and sledding, the Gear Library has your equipment needs.

The Gear Library is a nonprofit organization in Bethlehem, NH that rents outdoor gear to people looking to try new hobbies. This gear includes snowshoes, winter spikes, sleds, hiking poles, and more. They have a variety of sizes for adults and children to participate in something new!

The Gear Library offers rentals for little to no money and operates by donation. It is the only public gear library in the White Mountain National Forest.

“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," said Bethlehem Trail Association member Jim McCann in a WCAX article. "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.”

Although currently stocked up for winter gear, the Bethlehem Trail Association and the Gear Library is hopeful to continue the donations with summer gear.

Seacoast friends, the White Mountains just got a little easier to explore. Not having the appropriate gear is no longer an excuse to stop you from trying something new and exploring the magnificent national forest that is in our backyard.

This is why people, including myself, choose to live in New Hampshire. Organizations like the Bethlehem Trails Association and the Gear Library make new adventures and explorations accessible and inexpensive.

To start the rental process, donate used gear, or to plan your next adventure in the Whites, check out the Gear Library website!

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