It is almost inevitable. No matter how hard I try to convince myself it is going to be different this time, as soon as I get back home from a camping trip, I throw away my gear, and it takes me forever to clean it and store it in a proper way. The problem is, I am pretty aware of my actions and how harmful it could be for my camping gear. In fact, it is a terrible and destructive habit no camping expert, novice or enthusiast should have.
I can remember as a kid hearing my mother “Do not put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today…” Man was she right. The only way you can ensure not to waste your entire camping gear investment is by taking proper care of it. This means: Cleaning it and storing it properly! Otherwise, it could not only reduce its lifespan but also become the perfect home for mice and rodents.
Camping Gear Care Tips
First of all, make an inventory list of all your gear. This way you can check off the list as you unpack and find out right away if there is any missing or lost gear. There is nothing worse than to start setting up your tent in the middle of the woods just to realize you are missing half of your stakes and pegs. Replace any lost or broken ones, as soon as possible, before your next adventure!
Remove all the batteries from your outdoor gadgets, such as headlamp and GPS. Check your first aid kit for outdated medicines and prescriptions. Then, make a list of any materials or stuff that need to be replaced and proceed to restock. 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 cleaning ritual continues with your mats and sleeping bags. First, read the manufacturer’s directions and follow its instructions. You might also find a list of care instructions on the manufacturer’s website. Once cleaned, make sure it is dry, fluff it up and never fold it. It is better to store it in a large breathable sack, hang it from a hook, or store it under your bed. Otherwise, it could reduce the sleeping bag’s ability to trap air, maintain loft, and keep you warm.
Your camping tent usually takes the most abuse of all the gear. Weather conditions 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. To clean it, use a sponge and mild soap to wash the insides. Avoid using any brushes; they could hurt the waterproof nylon coating. Leave the zippers open so they don’t have to burrow through the material. Once clean, let it air out to dry, and then store it in its original or a larger stuff sack.
Camping In Colorado
Colorado offers a wide range of amazing camping sites to enjoy the outdoors. At Mile Hi Rafting you can add camping to any of our fun and exciting adventures. Make the most of this winter and take one of our ATV tours or take advantage of our early booking discounts and reserve your whitewater rafting adventure at the Clear Creek or Arkansas River.
Just remember to clean and store your gear as soon as your trip is over. This way you will ensure that next time you need your camping gear, it will be ready and lasting for a long time.