You depend on your camping gear to keep you safe, warm and comfortable when in the great outdoors and chances are you have invested plenty of time and money in getting equipped properly. But if you don’t tend to your gear properly, it is easy to lose equipment after just a couple of usages to things like wear and tear or even mold and mildew. To keep your camping gear in tip-top shape so that it serves for 10, 20 or even many more years, there are three key things you must do: clean, store and maintain properly.
1. Cleaning Your Gear
The last thing you might be thinking about after a three-day summit camping trek or a long weekend with the family on the riverside is spending an hour or two on some deep cleaning. But when it comes to prolonging the life of everything from your hiking boots to your cooking equipment and even your tent, nothing is as important and getting them bone clean as soon as your adventure has come to an end. Caked up dirt and grime are the prime residences of bacteria and other organisms including mold, which can do serious damage to your equipment if left to fester without a real cleaning. While a cursory cleaning can do wonders as you are packing up the campsite, in most cases, it is also a good idea to clean again when you arrive back at home.
2. Storing To Last
Now that your camping gear is cleaned up and free of dirt and other organic materials that can breed damage, the next best thing you can do to prolong its lifespan is store it in a clean, dry and cool place. Use large, sealable plastic bins to further seal off gear from outside contaminants and influences and to create stackable and organizable gear storage solutions that you can label on the outside. Only open these storage bins when you are going to use the specific equipment inside and you will enjoy a long lifespan from all your camping equipment.
3. Maintenance Makes Perfect
Investing a small bit of money in small repairs to your tent, sleeping bag or tent cot as soon as a small rip or problem occurs can dramatically extend the life of your equipment. The same goes for periodically cleaning and polishing metal items like lamps and cooking equipment to protect them from rust. Boots, shoes and other leather goods also benefit greatly from a treatment and a polish that nourishes the material and gives it an extra layer of protection.