Ropes into Rugs and Other Ways to Recycle and Reuse Outdoor Gear

Old gear pile_1Lurking under my bed, buried in a drawer, shut in a box or in the dark in my wardrobe.  These are the places where my unused outdoor gear lives.   These are the bits of hiking and climbing gear, clothing and equipment that have been superseded when I upgraded to new, better kit, no longer work as well as they should, never really fitted me that well or were retired because they too old to be safe any more.  Now they take up space in my small London flat and provide a home for dust bunnies.  I’ve decided that they need to go.  I’ve also decided when they do go I want them to be put to good use rather than rotting or rusting away in a landfill.

A few of my unused bits of gear are still perfectly functional and someone could use them if I can get them to a new owner by selling or donating them.  However, there are some things that couldn’t have this second life with someone else.   For example, climbing ropes, slings and harnesses all degrade over time and past a certain age they have to be permanently retired because there is a risk that they will break in a fall.  However, this doesn’t mean I couldn’t reuse my old climbing rope by turning it into a rug (see SummitPost for some instructions on how to do this yourself).   The plastics and metal in my old gear could also be recycled and made into something else. Read more