Gear only really breaks down if you run into certain enemies. I had all my gear almost break one time and i had no idea why until i realized the Chaos Eater can do that. Think the Gaping Dragons vomit does it too? I don't think ive ever used a repair powder in all my playthroughs.
Last night Solaire summoned Soupbro for help for once which was fun. Ive never been in the Garden while human, was invaded but guess the dude didnt know i was standing in front of the boss fog the whole time. He was probably running all over Darkroot looking for me