Leave No Trace: Gear Guide
by Patrycja Witt, Girls Who Hike Utah Ambassador
Leave no trace.
That old camping motto we are taught from our very first experience and often reminded by our friends. Seven principles to plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, be considerate of other visitors and most importantly dispose of waste properly.
So what about once we get home from our adventures?
Do we practice leave no trace in our daily lives? What happens to our gear once it becomes too worn or if we simply just want to upgrade to the latest technology? Do we try to dispose of our waste properly?
There are many different ways to help to keep our goods out of our landfills. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
If your beloved gear is still in good condition you can drop it off at your local nonprofit. There are a variety of options from the Goodwill and Salvation Army down the street to a more sport focused organization. There are many around the country such as New York’s Recycle A Bicycle Program, Portland’s Gear Hub, Boston’s Bikes Not Bombs, Denver’s City Wild, Seattle’s Outdoors For All, and San Francisco’s Bay Area Wilderness Training. Why not give back to your local community?
If your community does not have a sport specific charity, there is a nationwide initiative called Gear Forward. They provide youth in need with gear so they may have the ability to participate in outdoor themed activities such as hiking, camping and backpacking. They firmly believe no child should be denied access to all the outdoors has to offer because they don't have the necessary equipment. They work with youth and outdoor focused organizations to get donated gear into the hands that need it such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. If you know of a need in your town please don’t hesitate to reach out to them directly at Gearforward@gmail.com.
Why not get a little cash back from your gear? If you are feeling entrepreneurial why not list your item on eBay, Craigslist or even Facebook Market Place? Check your local community boards for local gear swaps. Or let someone else do all the work for you just drop off your item at a consignment store like Salt Lake City’s The Gear Room.
Too worn for anyone else to love? Don’t dump it in the trash! There are countless of places to send your duck taped and too frayed gear.
Where to recycle clothing:
North Face - Close The Loop
Where to Recycle Shoes:
Nike - Reuse-A-Shoe Program
Where to Recycle Other Gear:
Green Guru - Recycling Program For Bike Tubes, Wetsuits, Climbing Ropes, Tents and Banners
Terracycle - Collect and recycle almost any form of waste