As the season comes to an end, it's easy to toss your outdoor gear aside and forget about it until next year, only to discover that it has started to rust and deteriorate. While high-quality outdoor equipment often comes with rust and mold-resistant features, nothing can remain sturdy and durable forever. If you've invested in relatively expensive outdoor items, taking some care not only extends their lifespan and saves you money on replacements but also contributes to reducing resource waste. Therefore, proper care is essential.
Care can be divided into two simple parts: cleaning and proper storage. Then we will explain one by one with main outdoor products.
Part 1: Keep it Clean
1. Cleaning a Hammock:
Hammock bed: Because of the different materials, begin by separating the hammock bed and hammock standfor cleaning and maintenance. Depending on the material, either machine wash or hand wash it following the manufacturer's instructions. Stubborn stains can be tackled with a small brush and suitable cleaning agent. Ensure the fabric is completely dry after washing by exposing it to sunlight.
Hammock stand: Wipe down the standwith a damp cloth,and then use a dry towel to ensure it's completely dry. Allow it to air-dry thoroughly.
2. Cleaning a Hammock Chair:
Cotton hammock chairs can be taken apart and cleaned either by machine or by hand, and then left out to dry. For the remaining metal support rods and such, you can wipe them with a damp cloth and then dry them with a dry one. If you have a hammock chair that can't be disassembled due to its structure, you'll have to settle for spot cleaning and then letting it air-dry.
3. Cleaning a Fire Pit:
Cleaning a fire pit is a straightforward process, just follow the following steps:
(1) Ensure the fire pit is cool and safe.
(2) Remove ashes and debris with a shovel or scoop.
(3) Rinse the interior with a water hose or bucket.
(4) Optionally, scrub stubborn stains with mild detergent.
(5) Wipe the interior dry with towels.
(6) Optionally, clean and dry the exterior.
(7) Let the fire pit air-dry completely.
4. Cleaning a Tent:
Cleaning a tent is essential for preserving its lifespan and ensuring a comfortable camping experience. Here's a brief guide on how to clean a tent:
Begin by shaking the tent to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Alternatively, you can use a brush or a soft cloth to gently wipe away any surface dirt. For a more thorough cleaning, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dirt and dust from both the interior and exterior of the tent.
Then, for stubborn stains or areas with residue, use a mild detergent or specialized tent cleaner. Dilute the detergent in water and apply it sparingly to the affected areas. Gently scrub the stains with a soft brush or cloth. After spot cleaning, rinse the tent with clean water to remove any detergent residue. Ensure that the tent is completely free of soap.
Finally, hang the tent in a shaded, well-ventilated area, or set it up outside to air dry completely. Make sure the tent is dry both inside and out before packing it away.
5. Washing a Sleeping Bag:
Most sleeping bags can be machine or hand washed and then air-dried. If you have a sleeping pad, clean it and let it air-dry before reducing moisture inside by inflating and deflating it several times. (Pro tip: Set the hairdryer to low and blow air directly into the valve or above it.)
Part 2: Proper Storage
It's crucial to store all outdoor gear in a completely dry condition, as moisture can promote mold growth and compromise waterproof coatings over time. Here's how to store different outdoor items:
Tents and Hammocks: After folding them down, store them in dedicated storage bags in a dry environment. Ensure they are completely dry before packing them away.
Freestanding Hammocks: Highly recommend to buy a hammock cover! No need to remove your hammock, just cover it completely to preserve the hammock well.
Sleeping Bags and Hammock Chairs: Place them directly in storage bags, ensuring they are clean and dry before storage.
Fire Pits: Cover them with a suitable protective cover to prevent ash and moisture from accumulating.
Taking the time to clean and store the outdoor items properly is an investment in their longevity and performance. These simple care practices not only preserve your equipment but also reduce waste and environmental impact. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your outdoor gear remains in top-notch condition, ready for your next outdoor adventure.