There is no way around it: high quality backpacking gear is expensive. Learning how to take care of it is the best way to get the most out of your investment. Here are four simple things you need to do to make your gear last longer as soon as you get home from your backpacking trip. I guarantee they will make your next adventure even better.
Whether it’s rain, dew, sweat, or condensation, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping bags, and clothing will come home moist. Even if your trip is dry, you need to completely deflate your gear as soon as possible. Otherwise, there is a risk of mold and mold, which can ruin everything that is expensive.
I basically like to do this by setting up a camp on my back porch. If you live in an apartment, you can do the same in your living room. I’ve seen people especially in need of space do this in their parking spaces in their building garages. Avoid the yard in case of dampness the night before or hanging from dog droppings.
Build a tent. Finding a way to fully spread the rainfly can be difficult. Especially in a way to prevent it from being blown away. Fortunately, the body of your tent is designed for that very purpose. The tent and rainfly can dry completely when attached to each other.
Spread the sleeping bag and pad inside the tent and close the door to keep the dog away. One of the things you shouldn’t do is inflate the pad. Every time you breathe in, the moisture in your breath comes in, and what you’re trying to do here is to dry the inside of the pad. Spread it on the floor of the tent and open all the valves.
Don’t forget your backpack, clothing, water purifier, etc. Open all the valves or caps of the latter, circulate the pump until there is no water left, and then place it in the sun until no signs of condensation disappear.
Dirt, sweat, and other debris picked up outdoors can gradually reduce performance such as waterproof membranes and down insulation, wear or penetrate the fabric, and generally make the gear coarse.
All gear is designed to be cleaned in some way. However, saturation, heat, agitation, and tumbling will eventually degrade most materials, so clean only when really needed. Fortunately, most of the dirt that the gear brings back can be easily removed after it has dried. Start from there and wipe it with a damp cloth (and dry it completely again) if it is still dirty. Otherwise, refer to the item’s instruction manual.
Clothing and sleeping bags made of down will benefit from semi-regular washing (once a year or as needed). This is because sweat and body oils gradually reduce the loft’s ability to provide thermal insulation.
Synthetic soft and hard shell pants and jackets also benefit from seasonal care. Their durable water repellent (DWR) coating wears and wets the surface fabric. Body oil and sweat slowly clog the pores, allowing these fabrics to breathe. If something that is water repellent or waterproof starts to get caught in water, or looks dirty or greasy, wash it.
All of the above items include a care label with instructions on water and dryer temperatures. Follow them, but generally speaking, a front-loading washing machine will be more friendly to yours than a top loader. You also need to use special detergents designed to meet the unique needs of the various materials used throughout the technical gear. Nikwax We make a variety of cleaners and treatments designed for what you may own. Follow the brand’s instructions. That way, you’ll have gear that works like new for years longer than expected.Some performance-enhancing treatments like Cotton proofGear performance can be further improved over new.
Last tip on down bags and clothing: To restore the loft, it is important to tumble dry. Add 12 tennis balls in a large mesh bag to the dryer to defeat the lumps of down that form during washing. If you don’t have a front-loading machine at home, it’s worth spending a few hours in a laundromat doing this.
All outdoor equipment should be stored in a dark and dry place.UV exposure and humidity Kryptonite for your expensive camping equipment. I dedicate an insulated, sealed crawl space, including a home kamado, to a storage area for camping equipment. The furnace draws moisture from the air, creating a completely dry space.
If you purchased a high quality sleeping bag, it may come with a cotton or mesh storage bag that can be stored uncompressed. If you don’t have it Buy one.. Compressing the down gear and storing it in the stuff bag will quickly destroy the loft.
Sleeping pads should also be stored loosely. If you fold them into a tight package, the seams and creases may fail over time. Remember to keep the valve open so that residual moisture can escape. Regular hangers work well, but you can also loosely roll the pads and store them without weight. Be sure to keep the repair kit in the staff bag and wrap it around the hook of the hanger so that you do not lose anything.
Tent materials can be rolled up and stored in staff bags without worry. Be careful to make sure that the poles, guy lines and stakes remain in the proper tent.
Keep your notebook or note-taking app handy during the drying, cleaning, and storage process. Make a note of any missing or broken components, such as tent stakes. Order a new one immediately and keep it with the corresponding item. The idea is to deal with potential problems while they are fresh in your head. Set up a camp in a thunderstorm Don’t wait until a year from now.
Similarly, be aware of any issues you may have or improvements that may be useful. Trampling for hours and hours along the trail tends to highlight shortcomings and inspire creative solutions. For example, my wife’s new backpack has a slit in the sleeve of the bag that allows a water bottle to be placed horizontally. But she has her bladder and uses her sleeves for small necessities like her hand sanitizer. We plan to sew these slits to reduce the chance of losing the disinfectant. Now, when it’s fresh, we can make better plans for our next trip.
Track consumables such as Stove fuel.. How many meals and how many campers could you make for the entire canister? How much does it cost to use only part of the canister? It is possible to measure the amount of fuel left in one, but it is much easier to track the usage and know not only the amount of fuel left, but how many days the fuel can be used. ..I just switched from the smaller one, so I’m doing this now MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Larger and more efficient Reactor..Learn exactly how many cups Alpine start And how many May go A supper with an isobutane canister passing through me will allow me to carry less fuel with more confidence in the future. Do the same for the flashlight battery.
Also, be aware of what you didn’t use and what you should have had. The most effective way to reduce the weight of the pack and enjoy backpacking more is to take less. Learning what you do and what you don’t need is a process that draws different conclusions for each camper. Make sure you are actively involved in the process with each trip.