AirBnB for outdoor equipment could be the future for adventure sports

A former soldier has created an AirBnB for outdoor equipment and said it could revolutionise the adventure sports industry.

The brainchild of Bruce Leishman, and his childhood best friend Ewan Black, KitUp gives people the chance to hire outdoor equipment from surfing and skiing to biking and camping.

Bruce, 32, hopes the idea will help encourage more people to get active outside without having to worry about buying expensive equipment.

Users on KitUp can list equipment they own on the platform with a price and location for other people to rent for their own adventures.

KitUp also includes suggestions on location and activities to help plan an outing.

Bruce said he sees the site as more than just a rental place, he sees it as a community of outdoor enthusiasts and a call to arms to experience the natural world.

‘Our mission with KitUp is to make adventure more accessible and more sustainable,’ Bruce said.

‘Equipment is a large part of both, it is often prohibitively expensive and difficult to store and most of it then receives little use over its lifetime. 

‘We thought “why should everyone have to buy this?”

‘So now we have a solution that makes it far cheaper to use, and it gets used more frequently meaning a more sustainable outdoor industry.

‘Adventures can be made a little more spontaneous with KitUp. 

‘With local equipment, you can rent it directly from the owners. 

‘KitUp also makes trying new sports and activities so much cheaper as we do not have to buy everything first. 

‘For us, it’s all about making things easier for people.’

Bruce said peer-to-peer borrowing in industries such as AirBnB has trailblazed the path for KitUp.

‘We thought that using the same model to use kayaks, mountain bikes, paddle boards, crampons, skis and many more would make it so much easier for everyone,’ he added.

Bruce, who grew up in East Lothian, studied marine biology at the University of Aberdeen before joining the Army as an officer in The Household Cavalry.

As a military qualified ski instructor, he had the chance to teach large numbers of young military men and women how to ski.

But he said he often came across the attitude from his soldiers that pursuits like skiing were ‘only for rich people’.

‘I have spent a lot of time thinking about this, and upsettingly find it far too true,’ Bruce said.

‘I was adamant that when I left the military, I wanted to do something about it. 

‘With that, the idea for KitUp was born.’

In the next few years Bruce hopes to see KitUp being used across the UK, Europe and North America.

‘There is so much scope for what we can do and so many people that we can help with their adventures,’ Bruce said.

‘Every time I see a positive comment on social media, I get a buzz.

‘With our values around sustainability and accessibility, every single rental is another little win for the planet’

Plan your next adventure at KitUp

Read more on Scottish Field’s Outdoors pages. 

Plus, don’t miss the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.