Repairing gear

In today's disposable society, a lot of people never even consider repairing gear, but nearly anything that can be broken can be mended."That's how I was raised - you don't waste, you reuse," said Eric Hunter, education chairman for the Pikes Peak chapter of the Colorado Mountain Club and a man not afraid to sew."A lot of this is tribal knowledge," he said. "One person finds out a trick and they pass it on."Hunter darns his socks, sews up his torn glove liners and assembles his own repair kits to take on the trail .

Outdoors-lovers willing to repair their gear are few and far between, said Matt Chmielarczyk, sales manager at Mountain Chalet. Still, there are enough of them for the downtown Colorado Springs outdoors store to stock a wall of repair items and kits to fix everything from backcountry stoves to telemark bindings.

"We always have a stream of people coming through to repair Fastex buckles or a strap that's been eaten by a pika," Chmielarczyk said. "Why put something in the landfill when it can be repaired?"

Winter gear with hook and loop, such as ski bindings and crampons, tends to require more skill and equipment to repair, but most summer gear can be patched up with a few simple tools.Not to blow your mind or anything, but it may be time to consider following in the footsteps of our thrifty forbearers and pick up a needle and thread, a patch kit, some seam sealer, or just some good old-fashioned duct tape and come up with a repair that will last you through the summer - and probably many summers to come.

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