Repair, Reuse and not Landfill!

As an “Outdoor Professional” I have a high expectation on my gear to perform, to keep me comfortable in all UK weather conditions. On this basis I invest a lot of money on quality kit and like others I get annoyed when something happens that could potentially end its useful life prematurely!

Small Rips and tears

Only recently I was out and about wearing waterproof over trousers and ended up tearing them – potentially leaving them useless. However, after a wash and dry and about half an hour with a pack of Tenacious Tape the tears have been sealed up and are waterproof again!

Tenacious Tape is available from most Outdoor Shops, it is waterproof, has a matt finish and stays in place even after going through the washing machine!

The tape comes on a small roll which you just cut to size and apply, I normally create a “rounded” patch and apply to both inside and outside over the tear (if possible). Also available and work equally as well are Gortex patches. The tape cost under £10 and has been used to successfully repair waterproof jackets costing over £300!

Ask the manufacturer

Broken zips, hood wire replacement, big rips and tears does not mean the end of life for your kit. First of all contact the manufacturer with the problem and ask them what can be done. A number of outdoor gear manufacturers have in-house repair centres and are happy to repair or replace which means your old gear gets correctly recycled.

Whilst out in Scotland recently my chest strap on my rucksack broke, on my return I emailed the manufacturer and asked the possibility of getting a replacement, within a week a new one dropped through my letter box, free of charge! Another time I ripped my trousers and the manufacturer sent me cloth swatches so I could patch the rips.

Sometimes they don’t offer a repair service but can often recommend another company to do the repairs for a small fee. I have used in the past to repair the zips and hood wires on my waterproof jackets again giving me a few more years use for a relatively small fee.


The most common failure with boots is that they start to leak, first of all if they are within the manufacturers guarantee send them back either via the shop you purchased them or direct. The manufacturer will often inspect them to understand the cause of the leak and if it is a manufacturer defect they will repair/replace free of charge.

If they are outside of the manufacturers guarantee but still have some life left in them then there are still some options left to keep your feet dry. If the boots are leather then treat them with a good layer of wax before every trip out concentrating on the seams, this will slow water ingress and may even completely solve the problem! Fabric/synthetic boots unfortunately rely on the Gortex liner to keep water out, if this becomes compromised then reproofing will only have a limited effect as ultimately water will find its way in. For these boots I often revert to waterproof socks like SealSkinz to keep my feet dry.

If the uppers are in good condition but the sole units have warn down these can be easily replaced even with the same Vibrum sole unit if required. Most boots have a replaceable sole unit which can be replaced either by your local cobbler or through a specialist repairer like Lancashire Sports Repair.

To Conclude

We all want do our bit to improve our green credentials, an easy way is to reduce waste and recycle. On that basis damage to your favourite outdoor gear does not necessary mean end of life. There are many options out there to repair your gear and breathe more life back into them.

If that is not the case and your gear is well past its useful life then why not recycle it instead offered by Cotswold Outdoor –

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