The thing about outdoor sports gear is that you really should never pay full price. Unless what you're buying is the newest, most popular sell-out of the season, there's a good chance that you'll be able to get that tent, snowboard or soft shell at a drastic discount either from a holiday sale, an off-season close-out or a discount outlet site.
The problem is finding your gear at exactly the right time. If you're standing on a mountain in January trying to slide down in your hard boots, you probably don't want to wait until April to buy a pair of skis. And with so many different gear sites out there, each running its own sales and promotions, it can be difficult to find what you need at that exact moment it's at its lowest price.
GearBurger has officially stepped in to help you out. It's a pretty stupid name for a site, if you ask me, but it's an awesome service. You build a simple account, put in what types of gear you're interested in--you can also select specific brands--and the site monitors about 30 of the top gear sites including REI, Altrec, Backcountry and Moosejaw and lets you know when there's a sale on what you need. You can even set paramaters like maximum price.
So now instead of spending hours searching for a good deal on what you need, you can get outside, get after it (temporarily using your old, lackluster gear) and still know exactly the right time to buy.
This is a great service, but you might want to start off with a very narrow selection of gear. I know from experience that gear sales can be positively addicting and can lead one to buy all kinds of fun but unnecessary stuff just because it's a "great deal." The torture from the wife or husband may not be worth it in the long run.
You can check it out here.