What do you do with the outdoor gear you no longer need? Chuck it? Stuff it in a dusty box or cupboard somewhere for years? Or use it to help someone else get outdoors? There are loads of good ways to give old gear new life. That’s a good thing, since a lot of outdoor clothing and equipment is made up of synthetic material which can be hard to recycle and might take hundreds of years to decompose.
To stop outdoor kit ending up in landfill, here’s our guide on what to do with outdated, worn out or simply unwanted outdoor kit.
Give It Away
One of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to give old new life is simply donate it to someone else. Gift Your Gear collect all sorts of outdoor kit, as long as it’s in usable condition. Clothing, camping equipment, backpacks, sunglasses and maps and guidebooks are all accepted. These items are then redistributed to UK community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. Donations can be posted or collected by a local group, making it pretty straightforward for you too. This is perfect if you have an accumulated pile of unused kit.
Alpkit run a similar scheme with their Continuum Project. Good, clean, functional kit is passed on to charities working with groups at home and abroad. They’ll accept a wide range of kit including clothing, camping gear and rucksacks. These items go straight to projects working with the homeless, to porters on Kilimanjaro and many others.
Some outdoor groups such as Girl Guides, Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh will accept functional, clean kit too. Get in touch with your local group to find out. Homeless shelters may also welcome donations of clean, warm clothing and camping equipment. Find places near you at Homeless Link. Sleeping bags are accepted by some animal shelters to be used as bedding for cats and dogs.
And then, of course, there are a variety of sharing websites and apps, the most well-known of which is probably Freecycle. This operates in regional groups, where pretty much anything, in any condition, can be offered for free.