Re-Use of Camping Equipment & Outdoor Gear

It is fast becoming apparent that unless we want to exhaust all the resources on our shared planet, sustainability is the way forward. With an emphasis on re-use and recycling we thought it would be fun to come up with some ideas for re-using old camping equipment. Here are some ideas that we had…


Tent Flysheet or Groundsheet protector

– sail for a sailing boat
– curtains

Tent Poles

– wind chimes

Tent pegs

– cooking / kebab skewers

Tent mesh inner

– bee keeping hat
– light boxes for photography



– flowerpot, as illustrated by BestHike editor Rick McCharles in the photo below:

Re-use of camping equipment. This rucksack is now a flower pot.
Outdoor gear can be re-used for many purposes. Source: Flickr by Rick McCharles.

Rucksack Cover

– emergency parachute

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bag

– elephant’s trunk warmer
– enormous Christmas stocking
– thief’s swag bag

Outdoor Clothing

Waterproof Jackets and Trousers, Fleeces, Softshells…

– cut them up and use them as rags
– make a (waterproof) patchwork quilt
– take them to Oxfam where they can be recycled as part of the Fabric4Life Campaign.


– sock puppets
– put a tennis ball, cricket ball or baseball in the sock and peg the sock to the washing line, ideal for practising your swing


– cut off the fingers to make egg cosies for Quail’s eggs

Climbing Gear

Climbing Helmet

– when held by the chin strap they can be used as a basket


– rucksack decoration

Rocks On Wire

– Christmas Tree Decorations

Walking Boots

Walking Boots

– pen holder
– door stops, you may need to fill them with something heavy
– plant pots
– cut the leather into little squares to make a decorative bed head (as seen on The Discovery Channel’s “The Salvager”

Walking and Camping Accessories

Trekking / Walking Poles

– cleaning gutters and drains, by leaning out of the window (yes I do actually do this)
– growing runner beans (in place of garden canes)


– turned upside down they would be ideal for serving olives or even cheese and pineapple squares at dinner parties

Ice Axe

– assassinating Bolshevik revolutionaries
– back scratcher

Camping / Sleeping Mattress

– kneeling mat for gardening, praying or any other activities that require kneeling

Orange Survival Bag

– sledge
– cut side and bottom edges, open it out and use it as a tarpaulin

Dry Bag

– bucket, water carrier or water butt

Platypus Hoser

– a distillation still for making liqueur

Trangia Bowl / Cookset Bowl

– World War One soldier’s tin hat
– hairdresser’s basin for basin haircuts
– plant pot
– dog’s bowl

Ordnance Survey Map

– wallpaper, you can plan future hikes next time you find yourself staring at the wall

Camping Stove

– attach them to the back of your car to make people think you have jet fighter plane style afterburners

Your Ideas for Re-Using Outdoor Gear

Think you can do better or worse? Let’s us know your ideas for re-using outdoor gear, just click on “comments” below…


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