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Make some ‘outdoorsy friends’ — Gearhouse and its Basecamp Cafe are now open on Capitol Hill

Evan Maynard’s Gearhouse commute just got a lot better

Its Basecamp Cafe is established on Capitol Hill’s E Thomas just off Broadway and Gearhouse is now ready to outfit you with the equipment you need for a Pacific Northwest weekend. It is celebrating with a grand opening Thursday night.

Come join us to celebrate as we launch a summer of adventure with Gearhouse. We’ll be making coffee drinks, pouring beers, and serving apps from our new cafe, Basecamp. Gearhouse and Basecamp Cafe is your third place for finding outdoorsy friends.

CHS reported here on Capitol Hill resident Evan Maynard’s plans to bring his growing outdoor gear rental and community company to his home neighborhood as Gearhouse marks its first expansion from its South Lake Union birthplace.

Now a short walk from the former Blue Origin rocket engineer’s Capitol Hill apartment, Maynard and his team hope to help new members turn “a chore into a social experience” with the 2,800-square-foot Gearhouse’s mix of rental equipment, organized hikes and outings, education, and its overhaul of a shuttered cafe/retail experiment from AT&T into the new Basecamp Cafe and hangout with caffeine and beer and plenty of space to bring your laptop. Badger Coffee is ready to serve members — and anybody else who wants to hang out or get some work done in the new cafe.

Its opening joins another in the neighborhood outdoor gear space. Need some outdoor fashion for your trip? Windthrow is newly opened with outdoor apparel and accessories just off 15th Ave E.

At Gearhouse, membership provides access to the gear library which can be rented piecemeal but can also be curated based on what adventure you have planned. Maynard says Gearhouse is set up to provide personalized recommendations and gear packages — describe an adventure you’re about to take, and they’ll recommend a gear set to suit your needs.

He says the model helps members have a better time exploring the outdoors and the sturdier, higher quality gear keeps people from churning through disposable alternatives that end up in the trash.

Next season, Maynard said Gearhouse is planning a major addition to its library with downhill ski and snowboard equipment rentals joining the offerings.

Currently, joining Gearhouse comes in around $95 a month if you sign up for a full year. The company also offers gear rentals for non-members.

As for Maynard, he told CHS earlier this year he’s excited to have a place to work closer to his home as the neighborhood lost some of its laptop-friendly “working cafes” during the pandemic — especially one that has windows. The original Gearhouse down an alley in South Lake Union is now known as the Gearhouse Garage, by the way.

“It might end up being a really expensive office,” Maynard quipped. But it seems unlikely.

For the apartment dwellers of Capitol Hill’s densely packed blocks, services like Gearhouse — or the free Capitol Hill Tool Library.– open up opportunities to be part of the rivers, trails, and mountains of the region without renting a storage unit or trying to stow your pack frame under your bed. You don’t even need a car thanks to the seasonal Trailhead Direct bus service from Broadway to Mt. Si.

Gearhouse is located at 800 E Thomas. Learn more at


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Mike White
Mike White
20 days ago

Check out for transportation from GearHouse to trailheads at Snoqualmie Pass. This is a new woman-owned start-up providing shuttle service from Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass and other destinations. After a successful winter operation, they are flexible and trying to identify what outdoor enthusiasts might want for summer outdoor activites. Get your gear at GearHouse and take 2TMS to the trailhead.