At the end of a long day you'll want your tent to be clean, comfortable and able to adequately protect you from the elements. Follow the Tent Care suggestions below and you'll have a tent that will give you years of service because you take care of it.
When you get a new tent, always open it and set it up before you take it out in the wild. This accomplishes two things; you get to practice setting up your tent at a leisurely pace, without the pressure of an approaching storm or darkness causing you to rush and possibly damage your tent or set it up improperly, and it gives you the opportunity to apply sealer to all the seams.
Yes, manufacturer's seal the seams but you'll appreciate the extra peace of mind you'll gain knowing you sealed them as well, and you'll appreciate not getting wet inside your tent during a storm. It's a small investment of time that will yield a large return for you.
Let's face it, unless you're camping every weekend or hiking around the country, your tent will spend the majority of its life in storage. Proper storage will help extend the life of your tent.
1. Make sure it's dry - nothing will start the downward trend of degradation in your tent like the mold and mildew caused by storing it when it's not completely dry. If circumstances force you to break camp in the rain or when the tent is still damp, take it out and set it up to dry and air out as soon as you can. 2. Fold or roll it differently - Folding your tent or even rolling it, the same way every time you store it will cause creases to develop. Over time, those creases can and will result in damages to the material.
Tents can last 5-20 years with regular use and proper care. You may need to replace the poles or even change out a zipper, but your tent fabric structure can last several years without deteriorating
Wash your tents to lengthen their lifespan.
Heavy Use (10-20 camp trips/ year) - wash once a year, at the end of the season. Occasional Use (5-12 camp trips/ year) - wash once every other year. Mild use (2-6 camp trips/ year) - wash once every few years.
Set up your tent outside at home on a nice sunny day. Use the hose, mild detergents, sponges, terry cloth rags. Use a scouring pad only on hard to clean spots. The thin tent screens are very fragile, so be careful when cleaning them.
This separate piece can be washed in a large commercial front loading washing machine with a mild non-bleach detergent. It is best to wash it with a blanket and choose the cold water 'gentle' setting on the washer. Don't even think of putting it in the hot drier.
Backpack Care Good backpacks are constructed with tough fabrics and heavy thread, and should last you through many adventures. These simple tips will help you ensure that your backpack continues to shoulder your load for the long haul.
Don't put your backpack away while it is still damp, and don't store it in a damp place. Dampness can cause mildew, and over time, mildew destroys nylon coatings and weakens threads.
Store your pack away from extreme heat, acids, alkalis, oxidizing agents (found in concrete), bleaches, and direct sunlight.
If it's really dirty, wash your pack by hand with a mild soap. Rinse it well, and leave it to air dry.
Never machine wash or machines dry a pack. The straps can get caught and damage either the appliance or your pack. Exposure to high temperatures can also damage fabric coatings.
A properly cared for backpack will give you years of service, so take care of your backpack and it will take care of you.
You should only wash a sleeping bag when absolutely necessary; just a couple of times over the life of the bag. Bag insulations are fragile and their performance can be adversely affected if not washed correctly.
Down fill bags
Home Cleaning: All bags should be washed and dried in an oversized, commercial washer and dryer. Use a front load, tumble washer, NOT a top loading, agitator machine. Agitator washers can eat your bag!
Wash all insulations in cold or warm water. Dishwashing liquid is good for washing bags with down or Polarguard insulation. Just be careful not to use too much dish soap
Do not "Dry Clean" bags. Dry Cleaning solution is a petroleum-based solvent that will "coat" the insulation and prevent it from re-lofting.
Down bags should be dried thoroughly at a MEDIUM heat setting. Pull the bag out during the drying process and "break up" the wet clumps of down so that they can dry completely. Be careful when pulling the clumps apart so you don't damage the down. Make sure the bag is completely dry to avoid mildew. This could take 2-3 hours.
Synthetic fill bags
Synthetic fibers won't clump together during washing like down so there aren't any clumps to break apart while drying. We recommend adding a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle to retain the aesthetics of synthetic fibers. Dry at a LOW heat setting and make sure the bag is completely dry.
Sleeping bags should be aired out and dry before storing.
Store the bag by hanging or loosely rolling.
Keep in a cool, dry place.
Never store a sleeping bag in its stuff sack or tightly compressed
All your outdoor gear is as good as you take care of the gear and the camping stove is no exception.
Read The Directions
A very simple piece of information, but very few people read the directions on how to use or maintain a camping stove correctly. Make sure you know how to use the camping stove correctly.
Ask The Salesperson
If you are purchasing the camping stove from a retailer, ask the salesperson if there are any special hints on how to use and maintain the camping stove correctly.
Try It Out At Home and Maintain It At Home
Learn how to maintain the camping stove at home and in advance, not on the trail.
Use Fresh Fuel
Never use old fuel as it might be contaminated. Never take the chance if you smell an odor when the camping stove is lit.
Use the Recommended Fuel From The Manufacturer
Always find out why the manufacturer suggests to use a certain type of fuel. It might be that other types of fuel can shorten the life of the camping stove or could possibly clog the burner of the stove.
Clean the Camping Stove
Clean the camping stove properly after every use.
Bring Spare Parts and Maintenance Kit
Bring along any spare parts that might be needed as well as a maintenance kit to fix the camping stove. The manufacturer will possibly suggest any tools that might be needed to repair the camping stove.
Taking care of the camping stove in advance will add to your camping enjoyment. Don't forget to learn how to maintain your camping stove correctly because incorrect methods might damage your camping stove.
Please follow washing and product care instructions that come with the product. Here are a few general instructions:
Machine wash in lukewarm water and tumble dry at a low temperature.
Do not bleach; avoid use of fabric softeners, do not iron or dry clean.
For best results, cleanse with mild soap and water and wash the garment with like colours.