If you spend more than a couple weekends a year enjoying the great outdoors, then you’ve probably invested time and money to get the best equipment out there. That is why, upon the arrival of the warm camping season, we want to remind you of the essential steps that will help you extend the life of your gear.
1. Air out your tent before storage
Sleeping in a moldy tent will not only smell bad, but can also be unhealthy, as you’re constantly breathing in mold spores. Apart from this, molds can damage the fabric and end up deteriorating the whole tent. The good part? It’s really easy to prevent this! Simply dry out your tent before rolling it up. Once you get home from camping, set up your tent and remove any dirt, mud and grime. Then, let it air out for a few hours before storing it for your next trip. Also, a good idea to increase the fabric’s strength and protect it against UV deterioration is to use the Nikwax tent and gear solar proof spray. Simply erect your tent, wet it, and spray the Nikwax spray evenly to the outside of the fabric. Wait for a couple of minutes and remove surplus product with a damp cloth.
2. Give some TLC to your hiking boots
Keeping your feet safe and protected is key to a happy adventure. After each hike, especially after muddy trips, take the time to clean, air-dry and condition your hiking boots. You can start by brushing off any mud or dust using water or a gentle soap. Then, continue by taking out the insoles and placing your boots upside down on the floor to air dry, keeping them away from heat sources; just let the air do it’s job. Finally, if your boots appear dry or cracked, use a leather conditioner to moisturize the material.
3. Wash outdoor clothing according to the labels
The technical fabrics used in outdoor clothing should receive the care intended for it.
We know it might be tempting to wash your camping clothes just like you would any of your day to day clothes, but doing so could mean wearing down the material. That’s why it’s crucial to pay special attention to the type of detergent and the method of drying recommended for the item. Be especially careful with down-filled garments such as jackets and sleeping bags. The Nikwax Down Wash Direct is an easy to use, safe and high performance cleaner for down filled clothing, which revitalizes insulation and restores durable water repellency (DWR).
4. Thoroughly clean cookware after camping
Just like the rest of your gear, the type of equipment that is prone to getting dirt and grease also needs proper cleaning. Whatever the type of stove you have, make sure to take time and wipe down the inside and outside of it. For cooking containers, utensils and knives, clean them thoroughly and store them in a plastic bag to keep out dust and bugs. Doing this will not only keep your equipment in good condition but will also keep it free from dust and bacteria.
5. Remove batteries from electronics before storage
Even if you’re only storing something for a week or two in between trips, taking out the batteries ensures a longer life for both the device and the batteries themselves. This way, you will avoid that disappointing moment of opening your camping box only to find out your lantern, headlamp and GPS don’t work anymore. So, simple solution? Just take out the batteries of your electronics before storing them!