10 genius ways you can recycle old camping equipment

Camping equipment sitting on the wall against mountain background

As lovers of the great outdoors will testify, camping equipment can become worn and tattered with each passing year. After a while, your once sturdy climbing rope or hiking boots may not be so safe for use on camping trips, but this doesn’t mean your old items aren’t fit for any purpose.

Thanks to many online camping groups and charities, recycling camping equipment is easy, fun, and quite inspiring. Here are our top 10 favourite uses for old camping gear.

Turn ropes into rugs

Set up by the British Mountaineering Council, the fabulously inventive site GreenPeakGear.org can do wondrous things with old camping gear. One creation is a rope rug.

Using old climbing rope, GPG can create a stunning and sturdy item that can serve a purpose once again. Buyers could use the rug as a novelty door mat or simply keep it on display as a memento of a cherished camping trip.

Make jewellery from harness nuts

The same company also had the bright idea of making unique jewellery from old harness nuts! If your climbing gear is looking a little worse for wear, Green Peak Gear can work their eco magic on it. They sell these unique jewellery pieces on their site so could do your bit (and give someone a quirky gift) with these cool creations.

Dog leads from climbing rope

Give your old climbing rope a new lease of life - quite literally - by letting Green Peak Gear transform them into dog leads. Again, this could make a fantastic and thoughtful gift for dog lovers and for fellow outdoor-loving friends.

Dog leads on a white background

Take your old gear back into the wild

By putting up an online ad with ROG (Recycle Outdoor Gear), your old gear really can give back to the community. You can reply to ads from schools, youth groups and outdoor charities seeking a specific item - tents, fleeces, jackets, you name it - they’ll need it. You can also buy and swap items on ROG, helping to reduce environmental impact with each item that’s given a new home.

Old rope to skipping rope

Your old climbing rope may have the potential for a unique and colourful new skipping rope. Used climbing rope may not be safe for serious expeditions, but it’s certainly sturdy enough to make a great skipping rope. Donate your old rope to the innovative guys at GreenPeakGear.org.

Reunite lost gloves

If you have ever returned from a camping trip one glove short, don’t chuck it away - the charity Glove Love can help out. Glove Love pair up single gloves and give them a little makeover before selling them on to new owners - making it their mission to save every solitary glove abandoned in the hills and woodlands across the UK. Genius.

Shop our walking gloves here.

Lost purple glove hanging in tree

Tents and wetsuits turned backpacks

The innovative guys at GreenGuruGear.com make fantastically high-quality products from your old camping materials. They use the special waterproof material used in wetsuits and tents to make attractive outdoor bags and accessories. From messenger bags to tablet cases, the Green Guru’s can make stunning work of your unwanted gear.

Climbing rope key chains

The folks at Green Guru Gear also make stunning bracelets and key chains from old climbing rope. Since climbing rope comes in such a wide variety of colours, these can make for very eye-catching accessories.

Swap used outdoor gear free of charge

The Canadian chain of outdoor stores known as MEC Gear Swap allow you to sell or swap your wares for free. From clothing and shoes to harness equipment, you can trade in much-needed gear the easy way - and possibly find your coveted item in the process.

Fund community-based campaigns by donating clothing and footwear

Last but not least, one of the smartest things you can do with your old camping gear is to simply give back to the outdoors community. By donating your old gear to the US-based charity 'Clothes the Loop', the proceeds from each sale go to the Conservation Alliance, which in turn helps to fund all manner of community projects that help preserve many wilderness and recreation areas.

If you want to show some more love for the environment, take a look at these blog posts...

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