Rugged Thread Is Offering Free Gear Repair at PCT Trail Days 8/16 – 8/18

What: FREE repairs to all thru-hikers!
Where: PCT Days, Cascade Locks, Oregon
When: August 16th-18th

No matter how prepared you are, somewhere along the 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, everyone’s gear and clothing suffers casualties. Straps rip, zippers break, and jackets tear. Usually that means getting creative with a makeshift repair until the next stop where you can replace it—and toss the old one “away.” But where is “away?” And after hundreds of miles, mountains, and deserts with the perfect jacket, the wear and tear is a sentimental reminder of where we’ve been with the people we love. 

Repair it, don’t replace it—that’s the motto of Rugged Thread, a technical outdoor clothing and gear repair facility based in Bend, Oregon. This year they are bringing four industrial sewing machines and a small team of repair technicians to PCT Days in Cascade Locks on August 16-18th. Repairs will be completely free to thru-hikers, courtesy of sponsorship from Black Diamond, Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, and Gregory Packs. 

They’ll repair everything and anything from jackets to sleeping bags, tent screens, and zippers of all types. CEO Kim Kinney recalls some creative on-the-trail repairs from past thru-hikers: a sleeping bag that caught on fire and was stitched back together with dental floss, feathers still leaking out; a jacket with a busted zipper safety-pinned all the way up the front; and a backpack held together with duct tape after a chipmunk chewed through it in search of snacks. So if you’re currently on the Pacific Crest Trail and planning on attending PCT Days in Cascade Locks, make sure to find their booth at the Gear Expo on Friday and Saturday. 

Since Black Diamond, Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, and Gregory Packs are sponsoring the booth, repairs on these brands will be prioritized first, with all other brands being repaired next. If you have something that needs fixing and want to be sure it gets done, mail it to Rugged Thread now so they can have it repaired and ready to return to you during PCT Days. Send an email to [email protected] to let them know you’re a current PCT hiker in need of a repair.

Not only is it cheaper to repair rather than replace (especially when it’s free at PCT Days), but it keeps items in use longer, and out of the landfill. Every second, a garbage truck of textiles is incinerated or thrown in the dump. It’s especially concerning for technical outdoor items because they’re primarily comprised of petrochemicals that take upward of 250 years to decompose, and pollute our lands and water supplies in the meantime. 

The good news is that change is already happening—and not just at the grassroots level. Manufacturers like Patagonia, REI, North Face, and Eileen Fisher know that repairs are the “next big thing.”  Consumers are showing a strong preference to buying environmentally friendly products (72% say it’s a priority); and repair facilities like Rugged Thread are scaling in order to grow with the industry needs. Since their inception in 2011, Rugged Thread has already kept over 30,000 pounds of clothing and gear from ending up in the landfill. Moreover, they are paving the way for an entirely new repair economy. Repairing is far more than just sewing a patch here and there—it’s a global movement to design a future without waste. By choosing to fix our stuff rather than buy new, each of us makes a significant difference: simply extending the life of a garment by 90 days reduces its environmental impact by 30%. Plus, our adventure gear is highly personal—it tells the stories of where we’ve been with the people we love.

So whether you’re a thru-hiker or just an attendee at PCT Days, make sure to bring your broken items to their booth at PCT Days this August 16-18th. Learn more here

Text and images courtesy Rugged Thread

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