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Suggestions for tent recycling?

Hello everyone.  I've been happily using a Hobitat 4 tent for many years, but it has finally worn out.  I'd like to do something besides just throw it in the trash.  At this point it as one broken stake, a rip in the rain fly, and some separations in the mesh.  Are there any recycling options?  Should I ask if someone wants the good parts?

Thanks for your ideas.


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3 Replies

Well, the stakes are reusable... I have a collection of salvaged stakes that I use for everything from adding extra stakes in really bad weather to staking newly planted trees.

The pole sections might be reusable, if they're in decent shape. If they're aluminum, they can certainly be recycled. If they're fiberglass and in rough shape, there really isn't much you can do with them.

Unfortunately most nylon or polyester fabrics really aren't recyclable, especially when they have waterproof coatings. If the fabric is in really good shape, it might be reusable for something... the bottom, if it hasn't been abused, might make a good tarp. If the tent has been used much, most of the fabric has probably sun-rotted to some extent.

One of the big challenges in the outdoor industry is "closing the loop", preventing worn-out or damaged products from ending up in the landfill. Some companies are making valiant efforts, some are paying lip service, and unfortunately some are just ignoring the problem. You might try calling the manufacturer and seeing what kind of response you get.

Theoretically it should be possible to recycle synthetic fabrics, but you would have to have a lot of fabric to even begin. Apparently Patagonia tried to recycle Capilene a while back, and couldn't get enough people to give up their old underwear to make the project viable! Collecting old clothing and equipment does seem like something REI is well positioned to do, if they could find someone to take it.



not many options, as with most things

REI Member Since 1979

You may want to select your next tent and then cut a section our of the old one as a ground protector..:) 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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