I would love to be a pack rat and save old ski gear. Just gearing-up my family of 6 involves maintaining about 8 active pairs of skis, boots, and poles and one snowboard to cover various contingencies. I have a total of about 15 pairs of skis and boots in the house now, including several sets of x-country gear. The number would be greater, but my wife is constantly after me to practice stock rotation and throw out the oldest stuff to minimize our high household clutter factor.
Besides sentimental, is there any monetary value to old gear? Here's a "fish that got away" story from just last weekend.
I saw a neat "find" at a large school/community yard sale in Virginia on the evening of Friday, Oct 29, 2004. It was a dark, damp night when I spotted an OLD canvas ski bag leaning against the school yard wall. No one was around and I couldn't resist indulging in some guilty junk collectin' pleasure. It took me a minute to realize it had no zipper, but as I began to untie a flap on the top of the bag I got a weird vibe, like an archeologist opening a crypt for the first time in thousands of years. This bag looked mid 60s vintage and it looked like it hadn't been opened for 40 years - wow. First I pulled out some old, white canvas straps, I assume for strapping skis to the roof of a car maybe? They almost looked like something you'd tie a boat to a trailer with. Then I pulled out the poles. They had leather straps, a good sign, but rubber/metal baskets. Oops, bad sign, couldn't be early 60s or older vintage if the baskets weren't connected to pole with leather. Then I pulled out the skis - wow, better than I expected. They were a pair of Volkls in pristine condition from the mid '60s. They had cable bindings with no rust and practically zero scratches. Surface paint job was vibrant and looked almost new. I bet they were used no more than 4 or 5 times. These things would be perfect hanging in some ski town bar.
I saved mention of the frosting on the cake until the end. Strapped to the outside of the ski bag was a pair of leather Henke ski boots, like the skis, they were in pristine condition. They had metal buckles so I don't think they could have been older than mid to late 60s timeframe, but very nice nonetheless, no dry rot, no discoloration and very little wear. I think the skis were about 185 cms and the boots looked small, maybe size 6 or 7. I'm guessing that this set of gear belonged to a women, probably somebody's Grandma by now. I knew my wife would have a fit if I picked them up for collectors items, even though I probably could have got all for 5-10 bucks. So I gently and respectfully wrapped them back up in their canvas casket, knowing full well that by Saturday afternoon they would take their place among tons of other left over yard sale junk in the giant dumpster in the school parking lot.