Camping, hiking and most other outdoor activities are not just fun, but great for your health. Plus, everyone loves an opportunity to use cool camping gear and equipment, right? Usually, the equipment we use takes severe abuse, as the conditions where it was used were commonly tough. Whether you bought it or rented your camping stuff, it’s important to know how to take care of it to help it last longer and stay in the best condition.
There’ s an old saying: “Do not put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today…” It is a pretty accurate statement. However, when it comes to camping gear it just seems we forget all about it. Like many campers, you probably came in the door, threw down your tent, and vowed to take care of it tomorrow. Usually tomorrow doesn’t come until your next camping trip.
Dirty, stored camping gear will not only reduce its service life, but it could easily become the perfect motel for mice and other rodents. Therefore, in order to avoid throwing your investment to the garbage and enjoy your camping gear for many years, follow these tips.
Best care tips for your camping gear
Keep your camping gear organized
Before any camping tour, rule number one is to organize all your equipment. Make an inventory list of all your gear. This way when your trip is over and you get back home, you can check off the list as you unpack. Bundle stakes and pegs into a separate bag and replace any lost or broken ones. Don’t forget to remove all the batteries from your flashlight, headlamp, GPS, weather radio and other outdoor gadgets. Make a list of any materials or stuff that need to be replaced, such as soap, batteries or fuel. In the same way, check your first aid kit for outdated medicine and prescriptions, and then restock before it’s time for your next trip.
Store your camping gear clean and dry
Begin your cleaning ritual with your mats and sleeping bags. If you need to clean your sleeping bag read the manufacturer’s directions. In case you lost the instructions, you can check the manufacturer’s website. You might find care instructions online. Once cleaned, make sure your sleeping bag is dry, fluff it up and store it in a large breathable sack, hang it from a hook, or store it under your bed. Never fold it. Compressing a sleeping bag crushes down feathers and breaks synthetic fibers, reducing the sleeping bag’s ability to trap air, maintain loft, and keep you warm.
Clean water bottles and hydration packs with warm water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Rinse again with warm water, allow to air dry and store with the caps open.
Your camping tent usually takes the most abuse of all the gear. Rain, sun and dirt can weaken the material and seams. First, set it up and turn it inside out, shake out all the excess of dirt and debris. If it is too dirty and you need to clean it, use a sponge and mild soap to wash the insides. Do not use any brushes, they could hurt the waterproof nylon coating. Leave the zippers open so they don’t have to burrow through the material. If necessary, re-apply seam sealer. Once clean, let it air out to dry, and then store it in its original or a larger stuff sack.
Following these easy steps, will ensure you that next time you need your camping gear, it will be ready to use, avoiding nasty surprises, headaches and struggling against time to get your equipment ready for your trip. On the other hand, you will be confident that all your equipment will stay in shape and last a long time. If you need new gear, we carry everything you can think about, and we rent stuff too, so you can try it before you buy it!