Preparing Your Camping Gear For Winter
With camping season coming to a close in many parts of the country, it is time to prepare your camping gear for storage in the off season. All camping gear should be cleaned before storing for the winter. I am always amazed at people that decide to throw their expensive camping gear in a corner without cleaning it first. It is much easier to clean before storage than to take it out in the Spring and find that your camping gear is dirty and needs to be cleaned BEFORE you can even use it.
Making sure that your tent is clean and dry before putting it in storage is only the first step in making sure you have a tent in good condition in the Spring. Your tent should be checked for rips or maybe the zipper has been an issue that should be resolved. Then it can be stored in the bag it came in or place it in a box. It is important to note that the container you place your tent in should not be airtight. Find a place inside your house where it won’t be exposed to humidity. Moisture will cause mildew growth.
Sleeping bags and sleeping pads should be dry cleaned or at the very least washed before storage. It is very important to note, that sleeping bags can mildew very easily when stored damp for a period of time.
We all have other gear, as well, like cook stoves, pots and pans, coolers, lanterns, and even a first aid kit. All of us have a method of cleaning these items, but they do need to be cleaned. Things like pots and pans just need to be washed with soap and water and then stored in an appropriate container. Coolers can be washed with a bleach or similar solution and then stored open. Cook stoves need to be cleaned thoroughly, so that any fragments of food are not left behind, as well, you could make sure you clean the burners and underneath the burners. Lanterns need attention as well, take out the fuel and store. The first aid kit should be checked for anything that can be discarded, such as old medicines, etc. You can replenish the kit in the Spring with new stuff.
These steps can save you a lot of money and time in the Spring when you want to go camping.