Learn Gear Four easy ways to make outdoor gear last longer, saving you money and helping to protect the environment

Four easy ways to make outdoor gear last longer, saving you money and helping to protect the environment


It can often seem like choosing the eco-friendly route in life can involve higher costs - from the basics like ethically-sourced food and household refills, all the way to the latest tech in solar panels and electric cars. But with outdoor gear, it can be the exact opposite if you know how! Keeping the same climbing, hiking or mountaineering kit going for generations is great both for the environment AND your wallet. So, here are our top four tips for how to make your outdoor kit last even longer, from the highly skilled staff at Cotswold Outdoor, the BMC’s premium partner (remember to use your membership 15% discount) and in conjunction with Grangers cleaning and reproofing products, now on sale in the BMC Shop, also with a discount for members.

1 Buy quality kit

It’s better to invest in quality kit that lasts. It may be a more expensive outlay initially, but the adage, ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is even more true when it comes to outdoor gear. Buy high quality kit and it will look after you in the most extreme conditions, year after year, and you can even hand it down from generation to generation. How many of you have still got an old Karrimor rucksack from the 1970’s in perfect working order? Exactly.

2 Buy the right kit

Quality kit is only worth having if you’re actually using it. If it’s not right for the activities you need it for, you’ll end up not wearing it and having to buy something else instead. The staff at Cotswold Outdoor will help you get exactly what you need, first time around. So you’ll have less of what you don’t need hanging around in your wardrobe or ending up in landfill.

3 Make it last

Even quality kit doesn’t remain perfect forever. It needs care and attention to keep it performing at its best. Make sure you extend the life of your kit by cleaning it regularly and using the right aftercare treatments so it spends more time adventuring with you and less time in landfill. Read the care instructions on the labels and use Grangers cleaning and reproofing products to revitalise and prolong the life of your hiking boots, baselayers, waterproof outer layers and key equipment like tents and sleeping bags.

4 Repair it

Accidents happen, wear points wear out; it’s tough out there after all. But damaged or worn out kit doesn’t necessarily spell the end. If you’re not handy with a needle and thread yourself or know a willing friend or relative to give you a hand, get your jacket or sleeping bag professionally mended and washed and restored it to its old self using Cotswold Outdoor’s Repair & Care service. This saves you forking out for replacements, so you can spend the spare cash on making more memories on more adventures.

Quick gear care guides

Clean & reproof jackets

Clean the washing machine detergent draw, pour in 100ml (2 x 50ml capfuls) of Grangers Wash + Repel Clothing 2 in 1 liquid per item. For best results wash each jacket separately, on 30 degrees or according to the care label instructions. You can also wash by hand instead. Air dry in an airing cupboard or tumble dry if care label allows.

Clean down jackets and sleeping bags

Grangers Down Care Kit includes Wash + Repel Down 2 in 1 and three dryer balls to keep the feathers fluffy (tennis balls can leach colour and crush the down). It’s also suitable for synthetic down too. Pour 100ml (2 x 50ml capfuls) of Grangers Wash + Repel Down 2 in 1 into the detergent drawer. Add 50ml per additional item. Wash at 30 degrees C or according to the care label instructions. Once washed, check the down is evenly distributed, then add the dryer balls and keep checking it throughout the tumble drying cycle.

Eliminate odours

Quickly eliminate the source of odours that linger on non-washable items with Grangers spray-on, easy-to-use Odour Eliminator. Whether you commute, want to refresh your kit or sleeping bag between washes, are fed up of smelly trainers or need to freshen up your climbing shoes, this is for you. Simply spray directly onto the fabric you wish to refresh and allow to dry before use.

Clean & reproof boots

Scrub excess mud off with a bristly brush, then spray on Grangers Footwear + Gear Cleaner, then wipe off the excess with a clean, wet cloth. If reproofing, spray with Grangers Footwear Repel Plus and wipe off the excess in the same way. Always allow to dry naturally. Apply a second coat once dry if needed.