Rent Free Hiking Gear in Seoul

Hiking Bukhansan should be on any nature lovers’ list while visiting Seoul. However, as soon as you get to the mountain, you will find that there is a bit of an unspoken dress code. Luckily you can rent hiking gear for free thanks to Visit Seoul.

Hiking in Seoul

Korea is an extremely mountainous country. If you like hiking, climbing Mount Bukhan should not be missed. Especially this summer, it is the best season for you to hike the mountain without feeling cold and having to bring extra clothes.

With the highest peak being Baegundae, which is 836 meters high, you can climb it in just two to three hours! A perfect getaway from the bustling city of Seoul. Bukhansan National Park is located not far from Seoul and easy to reach by subway. You also don’t miss the chance because you can also rent the climbing equipment for free. 

Where to Rent Hiking Gear for Free

So, here is the way to get there. First, take a subway UI-Sinseol line then get off at Bukhansan Ui station, which is also the last station. After that, walk for about six minutes and go to the Seoul Hiking Tourism Center building on the fifth floor (I will put the complete address down below).

The Seoul Hiking Tourism Center is an organization under Seoul Tourism Organization that provides free rentals for essentials such as hiking gear, hiking boots, and hiking clothes. They also have lockers and shower rooms that you can use for free. So, you don’t have to carry your belongings while hiking. Interesting, right? 

About Seoul Hiking Tourism Center 

The Seoul Tourism Organization wants to attract more foreign tourists to come and visit Mount Bukhan, so that’s why they opened a new branch of the Seoul Hiking Tourism Center.

It is special because only foreigners can rent hiking gear at this location and Koreans will guide them. The staff speak good English, so you don’t have to worry about any language barriers. They also provide some services in Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Malay.

I had a good experience while visiting this place. This place just opened in June this year, so all the equipment is brand new. I got invited by the Seoul Tourism Organization before they opened to the public along with other foreigners from many other countries. We were also covered by the Korean national news channel, KBS.

How to Rent Hiking Gear

If you want to rent hiking gear, you can make the reservation through their website or in person. I recommend you to do the reservation first, because the items may be out of stock, especially on weekends. The reservation is very easy. Just put your name, contact information, and your size, and after you receive the confirmation email, you’re all set up. Just come on the day of your reservation and they will have prepared the stuff for you.

You can also have some relaxation before you start hiking. The lounge is very comfortable. There are photo spots, rooftops, and comfortable chairs. They also provide tourism posters and booklets that you can take freely and bring home. It is very helpful because they provide all the information about tourism in Seoul in several languages. If you want to use the shower room, don’t forget to bring your own towel and toiletries. 

However, there is one downside to their hiking gear rental services. The sizes are limited.

Men’s Size Limitations

  • Shoes: 250 – 310
  • Shirts: 95 (chest 99, length 67, shoulders 43, sleeves 20.8) – 110 (chest 114, length 72, shoulders 49, sleeves 22.9)
  • Pants: 76 (waist 77, hips 100, length 104) – 91 (waist 92, hips 115, length 109)

Women’s Size Limitations

  • Shoes: 230 – 270
  • Shirts: 90 (bust 92, length 60, shoulders 36, sleeves 18) – 100 (bust 102, length 63, shoulders 40, sleeves 19.4)
  • Pants: 66 (waist 68.5, hips 90.5, length 97) – 71 (waist 73.5, hips 95.5, length 99)

*If you are a plus-size woman and cannot buy items online, I recommend visiting Romistory, between Hongik University and Sangsu stations. On the second floor, you will find sports basics that can be worn for hiking. Another option is Richmood, near Hongik University Station exit 3*

*For plus-size men, international brands such as Adidas, Columbia, and The North Face can be found selling men’s plus sizes in Korea. If they do not have the size in store, you can request larger items and pick them up after a few days.*

My Experience Hiking Bukhansan

This was also my first experience hiking in South Korea. Before I came, I registered through the application form with my shirt, trousers, and shoe sizes. On the next day, they had already prepared all of my stuff to go and pick up. The changing room next to the receptionist was very convenient.

I feel the weather was great during our hiking time. You could feel the sound of nature. It was pretty hot and you get sweaty, but your body will feel good after climbing. I slept so well that night!

I recommend you to hike with your friends or in a group. The peak of Mount Bukhan is not really high, so it’s also good for beginners. The trekking road is also a good option, you will not get lost. Also, there are public toilets at several spots along the way to the peak.

Conclusion

If you are traveling overseas, you may have a luggage limit. Don’t need to bring your hiking equipment, just come to the Seoul Tourism Hiking Center and they will provide everything that you need to climb Mount Bukhan for free, safety, and comfort. I hope you have a great experience. 

Seoul Hiking Tourism Center (도심등산관광센터)

Address:    Seoul, Gangbuk-gu, Samyang-ro 173-gil, 52
Korean Address: 도심등산관광센터
Opening Hours: 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Closed: Mondays
Website: https://english.visitseoul.net/seoul-hiking

Seoul isn’t the only place in Korea with great hiking trails. Click Here to read about 6 mountains surrounding Daegu that are great hiking spots!