Outdoor gear maintenance and repair need to happen before, during, and after every trip. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to solve problems rather than enjoying the scenery. Check out these tips to properly maintain your camping equipment.
Before you load up, you need to take inventory of your gear. Auditing your camping gear is crucial. While you’re in the moment, you won’t notice the minor wear and tear your gear endures. Set aside some time before your trip to check through everything.
Leave no stone unturned. Lay all your gear out on an old blanket and make three piles: one for items that don’t need repair, another for items you need to fix and clean, and the last for items you need to replace. Pay special attention to the tent and chairs.
Wash & Disinfect
Now that you’ve gotten organized and set everything aside, you need to wash and disinfect all the items. For most of your gear, all you need is soap and water, so fill up a bucket with water and antibacterial soap. Dish soap is also a good option.
Some of your camping gear might be high-tech and come with cleaning instructions. Try not to deviate from those instructions. For example, there are specifics for certain tents. Some campers may think they can go through the carwash to clean rooftop tents, but it’s not the best idea. After washing your gear, leave it out to dry, and then go over it with disinfectant wipes.
Check Your Protection
Double- and triple-check the protection amenities that come with your equipment. Most tents have an extra shield or barrier used to block rain and snow. Make sure all those things are still in place. If you noticed on the last trip that they weren’t 100 percent effective, it might be time for some new gear.
Or you could take this opportunity to double up. You can always add another layer of lining inside your tent to keep the cold out. While you’re at it, run inventory on hiking gear and first aid equipment. These items are meant to protect you too.
Remove & Replace the Batteries
Forgetting to check the batteries happens more often than you think. It can easily slip your mind. Check the batteries on all your electronic devices and flashlights. You may need to replace some.
If you want to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to replace them all. Even if you only used the device for three hours during your last trip, the battery could have worn down in storage. Replace everything and bring an extra supply of batteries.
Don’t start planning your next trip without running a maintenance check to make sure all your camping equipment can hold up.