What to do with your used outdoor gear!

With lighter weight gear and new technology changing gear all the time, what do we do with our old gear? We have used and abused our favorite gear but some of it just does not measure up. We spent the time researching it, finally purchased it, and it was not what we liked.

More and more people are trying to go green and downsize their lives to focus less on stuff and more on the experience.  The up-cycling and recycling movement is growing stronger every day. Even big gear companies have joined and are now buying back used gear and reselling it or recycling it into new gear.

It seems silly to just throw it in the trash and move on. Someone else out there could use that right? So what do you do? Where do you offload a bunch of gear that will not just end up in a dumpster a few days later?

Have you ever thought about recycling, up-cycleing, repurposing, donating, or selling? We have put together a list of places or ways you can do all of this.


There are lots of places where you can sell your slightly used gear.


  • Donate your gear to Gear Forward who works with the Boy Scouts and other service organizations to help get gear into the hands of youth.
  • Pass down to your younger siblings, your children, or friends children as they grow.
  • Freecycle.org
  • Many companies have or are starting a recycling program. Many of the local outfitters and gear stores have donations boxes.
  • Give the gear to programs like Boy Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and other youth oriented organizations. Make sure you contact them about their policies and what products they accept before showing up with a box full of stuff.
  • Give the gear  to local Sierra Cubs, Hiking or Climbing Clubs.
  • Give the gear to local non profits that sell products and then use the money to help others.

Recycling, Up-cycleing, Repurposing

The opportunities for these are only limited by your imagination. How many of you are already thinking of things or headed to Pinterest for ideas?  What can you reuse from the tents the packs, etc. Can you create your own gear or simply create something useful for around the house?

How would you reuse your gear?


Adam Nutting relishes being an avid backpacker, hiker, and all-around adventure junkie. While he currently spends his time hiking in the backcountry of southern Arizona, he grew up in Missouri, where he was naturally inclined to spend as much time as he could outdoors. Adam’s passion for the outdoors grew as he climbed the ranks of the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts, eventually attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.