What do you do once your climbing gear is past its best? The first option for getting rid of old gear would be to donate it to a charity or organisation that could still make good use of it. Old shoes can be resoled or given to climbing walls or clubs for use as hire shoes and old ropes can be donated to dog shelters, zoos, shipyards and even art students in need.
If you've got some time on your hands and a growing hoard of old gear gathering dust, why not see what you can come up with? This article describes some creative ideas to reuse your climbing equipment in a fun and quirky way. A couple of these ideas verge on the ridiculous, but you can't say I didn't try...
1. Weave a Rope Mat
Grab an old rope and weave an intricate rope mat! Don't be fooled - it's trickier than it looks, but this article sets out the steps clearly.
Or if you're feeling particularly creative, take some inspiration from one of Micky Tresemer's more intricate designs:
Edelrid have also shared a handy video:
2. Knit with rope or accessory cord
For knitting fanatics, knit with accessory cord or get some jumbo needles and knit with rope! Thinner rope is easier to use - wash any chalk and grime out beforehand otherwise your hands will get filthy! A jumper might not be especially practical or comfotable, but a mat or some form of furniture like a hammock might be achieveable for a skilled and imaginative knitter.
3. Make a dog lead
An easy but popular option. If you don't have a dog, get one or borrow one. Use an appropriate knot of your choice and an old karabiner and hey presto! A dog toy is also easily fashioned out of old rope.
4. Brighten up a dull chair
Make an ugly chair more beautiful and comfy by wrapping old rope round the base and back of the chair. It's easier than it looks!
5. Make coasters and pot stands
These are ridiculously simple to make. Bend the end of the rope in on itself and simply wind the rope around itself into a coil on a flat surface, keeping the tension. Use glue to keep it all held together.
6. Use old chalkbags as wine/beer/beverage holders
Sack the wine rack and jazz-up the kitchen with some pre-loved chalkbags and old karabiners. Be sure to wash them beforehand. Nobody likes a chalky "bottoms up."
7. Make a hanging helmet flower basket
A popular option for old cycling helmets, why not make use of your unwanted climbing helmets as hanging baskets? This example uses fake flowers, but the more green-fingered amongst you should have no problem covering the inside and filling it with soil, stones and flowers.
8. Use an old harness waistband as a rack-tidy or bandolier
Once your harness is past its best, cut the belay loop and use the waistband to organise your gear. If you're not too broad-backed with a narrow waist, it may even fit across you diagonally like a bandolier.
9. Create a spare loo-roll holder using old leg loops
A bit silly, perhaps, but the tongue-twister 'leg-loop loo-roll holder' just had to be coined. Use the leg-loops from the aforementioned old harness to store your bog-roll.
10. Use an ice axe as a loo roll holder
For extreme moments of need... just mind your hand on the pick!
- Got some old climbing shoes or newer harnesses with some life left in them? Why not donate to Urban Uprising?
- Want to do more for the environment? Pick up any litter that you spot at the crag, and use a flask or Nalgene-type water bottle rather than buying plastic-bottled water.
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