You can’t always control the forces that damage your gear, but you can take the reigns of what happens afterward.
Look in your closet and you’ll find at least one pair of pants, shorts, or a jacket that went with you on a damned adventure and came home torn or dismantled.
You might leave this damaged item in the closet until spring cleaning, or maybe you don’t have the heart to throw it out because you landed your first 360 or biggest fish with it.
Either way, the gear is collecting dust and feeling more left out than Woody in Toy Story 2.
Aside from hurting your wallet (and your jacket’s feelings), throwing away your gear wreaks havoc on our environment. In 2013, 12 million tons of clothing and textiles reached American landfills according to the EPA. While decomposing, our fabric releases methane and carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, pressing the gas on global warming.
So what should you do with that damaged jacket?! Allow me to introduce you to the 4th R.
Repairing your gear saves you money, saves the planet, and makes your equipment unique
Gearaid is a site committed to repair kits, patches, and waterproofing goods. Here you’ll find products like Tenacious Tape, used to patch and waterproof tears on jackets, pants, tents, backpacks, you name it.
Tenacious Tape is an affordable ($9) and quick (peal/stick) answer to your gear’s repair needs.
ifixit is a crowdsourced site with helpful DIY guides on fixing gear and gadgets. This community will provide you with information on repairing gear with common household tools and materials.
If your broken gear happens to be Patagonia, you’re in luck. Worn Wear is dedicated to keeping Patagonia products out of landfills through repair and trading. Here you’ll find repair instructions from outerwear to travel luggage.
Neighborhood seamstresses are a way to get gear fixed and support your local community. I have an example of this from a few weeks back.
I took a spill on my scooter that sent me skidding across the pavement at 20 mph. My shoes were shredded, my jeans had huge lacerations, and my Patagonia Nano Puff jacket suffered tears.
Determined to repair the puff, I showed my seamstress a WornWear guide on repairing Nano Puff jackets and chose a fabric to use for the patch job.
The Nano Puff was repaired a day later for a grand total of $15. My new aloha print patches give the jacket a personalized look and fresh conversation starter.
If by chance you partook in an adventure that left your gear beyond repair, please do yourself and the planet a favor by purchasing used or sustainable gear.
From snowboards to surf shorts, head into your next adventure with confidence that your outdoor gear will handle every obstacle you throw at it (or gets thrown at you) by reading our Gear Reviews .
We battle-test and review all posted products so you can purchase gear that keeps both you and nature, STOKED.
Now go show your broken jacket, wallet, and our planet some love.