Category Archives: Tips

How-to: Pack an Ice Axe for traveling

When we packed our belongings to be moved to Colorado, I had to find a solution to pack my ice axe so that it would not get damaged but mainly not damage anything around it. As I don’t have ice axe protector protector caps, I came up with my own solution to cover the sharp parts.

Below is a “cheap trick” you can use when you need your ice axe to travel. It also works when in a checked-in luggage ! To do this, you will need :
– 3 used cans
– Tape



Shoe Afterlife

I have discovered the practices of reusing & recycling the 1st day I visited Portland, back in 2010. I was at the youth hostel using the bathroom when I read a label on the tank mentioning that the water was directly collected from the roof (no shortage of water knowing the typical weather here!).

As I have been living in Portland for the last 4 years, I have learned the reusing & recycling practices and I have been enjoying participating in any way I can. Last year, I discovered that an organization called “TerraCycle” took this concept to a higher level and strived on finding any ways possible to reuse waste! Chances are that many of the package you have at home have a “TerraCycle” label on it.

My efforts range from the basic recycling (At home and at work : separate glass, metal, paper….etc) to finding ways to reduce my overall waste (no use of paper towel, plastic utensils, cardboard plates…). Our landfill being already overflowing, I believe we can all try to reduce our waste by getting less stuff in the first place but also by reusing and recycling as much as possible. While some goods are easy to recycle, some other ones can be challenging. This post takes the example of my attempts to reuse & recycle running shoes.

Since I started running in 2010, I have used around 12 pairs of shoes and I have tried to find ways to recycle each of them. Below is a list of the possible ways I have found and experimented (successes and failures) in order to reuse & recycle my old running shoes:

  • “Walking around” shoes: If they are still in a decent condition, I might use them to walk around, work in the garage, hike…etc.


  • Shoe Charities: Several organizations will give a 2nd life to used shoes so that people who cannot afford to buy shoes can beneficiate from them. You can find a list here.

However, though it is a good idea, not every pair of used shoes is actually recyclable to be used by another person and this is generally the case for my trail/mountain shoes as they usually take a beating on rocky terrain. As a result, I can’t be giving them to such organizations and hence, I have spent some time looking for other recycling alternatives


  • Flower Pots: My further research has resulted into interesting recycling methods such as reusing shoes as flower pot. I briefly tried but was not convinced.


  • Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe: Not giving up on this topic and having not found a solution to recycle my beat-up trail shoes, I soon discovered the Nike “Reuse A Shoe” program.  In a nutshell, this program aims to eliminate waste by grinding up used shoes and create athletic tracks.

Think about it next time you’re pounding on your local track!

To find a store drop off location, you can use their store locator here


For more information :


Do you practice recycling when it comes to athletic gear ? What were your success/failures when trying to recycle used gear ? Any recommendation/suggestions anyone could benefit from ?


UPDATE 09/09/2016 :
Dropping 5 pair of shoes at the Nike Portland Store
Dropping 5 pair of shoes at the Nike Portland Store

Tight Trick

You are ready to go on a bike ride and realize that you don’t have enough space for all your nutrition ?

Here is a tip I learned from a friend several years ago : use your tights as an extra pocket by slipping 1 or 2 gel(s) under them. Not only it will hold your nutrition well but it will also be easy to retrieve it when you need it. It has helped me several times since! I’ve even used this tip to store my maps !