Camping, backpacking and hiking season is just around the corner, making the next few weeks the perfect time for you to do some deep spring cleaning to get ready for your next outdoor adventure.
You may already give your camping gear and hiking gear a quick once-over each season, but here are a few other things to consider when you’re pulling equipment out of storage this year.
Boots are an essential tool for any avid outdoorsman, but they require regular cleaning just like any other piece of gear or clothing. Many popular hiking boots are made with leather, which can be cleaned with dish soap and water.
As for the rest of your clothes, like cold-weather pants or down jackets, there are specific cleaners that can keep your items fresh without wearing on the fabric. You can wash standard outdoor clothes, like shirts and pants, in a washer with regular detergent. Read the washing instructions on the label before you put anything in the dryer, though, because some outdoor adventure clothes are made with fabrics that are best air-dried. For more tips on washing your outdoor clothes properly, check out this article.
If you love camping and backpacking, don’t forget to evaluate the condition of your tent before the season’s first trip. Though it may sound like a lot of work, with the right tent cleaner, some dish soap and a sponge, you can get your tent back into great condition without much difficulty.
Your backpack is another essential piece off gear that could use some spring cleaning TLC. Once you make sure the pockets are all empty, you can use hand soap to clean a backpack inside and out and then hang it to dry. Alternatively, if your washing machine is big enough, you can put your backpack in a pillowcase (so the zippers and buckles don’t catch) and wash it that way.
As you go through your equipment, check your first aid kit, too. If it’s damaged or falling apart, replace the kit itself. Go through the contents and verify that none of the items are past an expiration date. Make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked and replace any missing items prior to setting out on your first camping trip of the season.
Sleeping bags can usually be washed in a large washing machine, but if your sleeping bag is made with a special synthetic fabric, it may require a certain type of cleaner. When in doubt, check the instructions on the label.
The final touch to a successful spring clean is giving your car a thorough cleaning at the start of the season.
After your usual car wash and vacuum, clean your wiper blades, headlights and windows as well. Consider keeping some cleaning supplies in your car as well, so that you can quickly wipe things down after your adventures.
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