Outdoor gear is an investment that can last a lifetime with proper care. Whether you’re an occasional hiker or a seasoned camper, taking care of your outdoor gear is essential to keep it functional and in good condition. From understanding how to clean and store your items to conducting routine maintenance and repairs, you can do several things to ensure your outdoor gear remains ready for your next adventure. Here are several handy tips and tricks for taking care of your outdoor gear so that you can enjoy it for years to come.
Clean Your Gear as Promptly as Possible
It’s essential to clean your gear as soon as possible after returning from an outdoor trip. Leaving gear dirty for too long can lead to stains, mildew, or rust, depending on the equipment and mess in question. For instance, a muddy tent in a damp garage can develop mold, which can be challenging to remove and hazardous to your health. To clean your tent, you can use a mild detergent, sponge, and water. Gently scrub and wipe down all surfaces, and let it dry completely before storing it.
You should clean certain pieces of gear even before you return from your trip. For example, you may have used a pocketknife to clean the muck off your boots, open canned goods, or skin the game you caught while on your trip. You don’t want any of these messes to linger on your knife, as they can spread bacteria and deteriorate the condition of the gear. Instead, follow the proper steps for cleaning your pocketknife immediately after you finish using it.
Waterproof Clothing and Other Appropriate Items
When preparing for an outdoor trip, check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. If you see predicted rain, take the time to waterproof clothing and other items, such as backpacks and tents. You can use a spray-on waterproofing agent for clothing and a waterproof coating for tents and backpacks. Applying this layer will keep your gear dry, comfortable, and functional in wet conditions. It’ll also extend its usable life so that you can enjoy more adventures in the future.
Store Gear Safely and Effectively
Storing your gear properly is essential to ensure its longevity. Keep equipment away from direct sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures. You can store your gear in a cool, dry place, such as a closet or garage. Always ensure you loosely pack items like sleeping bags and tents to prevent excessive compression and damage. Overcompressed gear can lose its effectiveness, deteriorate quickly, and become less durable as time passes.
Don’t Share Gear Unless Necessary
Sharing camping and outdoor gear may seem like a great idea to save money and resources, but it does come with certain risks. While you may trust your friends and family members, there’s always a chance that they may not know how to take care of outdoor gear. For instance, they may not know how to set up tents correctly, handle cooking equipment safely, or clean gear adequately.
Sharing gear also increases the risk of damage or loss, which can lead to costly replacements. Therefore, it’s always best to have your own gear tailored to your needs and preferences. If you must share gear, make sure that you trust the person, communicate guidelines and expectations clearly, and clean and maintain the equipment thoroughly before and after use.