The nearing of spring means some outdoors lovers' thoughts turn to camping adventures! However, spring cleaning chores come first - for the camper that means organizing, cleaning and making sure your equipment, from the biggest tent to the smallest stake, is ready to go!
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Camping expert Peter Maley suggests taking time each day to work on sorting and evaluating. He divides everything out into groups and then attacks each one. He offers up these tips for getting your equipment gear ready for camping season 2013.
Divide and Conquer!
Personal Gear - Clothing, boots, personal care items, etc.
Boots, socks, footwear: Make sure your boots and other camping-related footwear are in good condition...down to the laces!
Personal toiletries – It helps to have a personal care kit that is solely for camping. Then you never have to remember, "Did I bring deodorant?" Contact lens cleaner, razor, toothbrush, bug repellent, shampoo, extra sunglasses, sunscreen...have personal care items dedicated to camping.
First Aid Kit - Make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked - more sunscreen, adhesive bandages of various sizes, adhesive tape, non-stick and gauze pads, elastic bandages, antibiotic ointments, etc. Bass Pro Shops has first aid kits designed for different levels of care need,, from basic, to backpacker, to family care kit...designed to give you what you need and not what you DON'T need!
Tent – Closely examine your tent for tears and wear. Check the seams and repair, if possible. This is where you really have to evaluate if it's worth it to make a good repair or just buy a new tent.
Poles and stakes– Check for splitting or fraying of fiberglass poles. Figure the number of stakes you need, count what you have, and replenish - plus add in a couple of extras!
Awning - Just like the tent, check your awning or canopy for wear and tear.
Chairs - Again, make sure your chairs are sturdy and give them a cleaning.
Your camping equipment and tool kit should include sturdy rope, and plenty of it, for use with the tent, canopy and awnings. Don't forget a knife in a sheath, and an ax or hatchet (good for chopping or for pounding in stakes!). Some tent camper also use a tarp under their tent, to protect it from puncturing and moisture.
Backpacks - If you're a backpacker, check your pack for rips, bad seams, broken zippers, bad frames, etc. Evaluate if it's time to get a new one...remember, you're going to be using it again and hiking through the mountains is not a time to have it break!
Sleeping bag – Wash and dry your sleeping bag, if you didn't do it after its last use. You'll want to use a front-loading machine, as the agitator could easily damage a bag.
Headlamps, flashlights - Replace batteries and keep extras in your equipment tote or box.
Stoves and lanterns - Make sure they work and that you have enough fuel.
Clean your pots, pans, utensils, etc.
Put everything in a plastic tote for easy storage and transport.
Make sure you have the basics such as tongs, cutting knife, spatula, stirring spoons, aluminum foil, salt/pepper and other seasonings, and enough utensils for everyone.
Re-season your cast iron.
Some products that Maley recommends from Bass Pro which might help you with your camping gear maintenance and repair are:
McNett Tenacious Tape - Real tent fabric and a long-lasting, high strength adhesive that provides nearly invisible, permanent repairs for tents, mosquito netting, backpacks, rain gear, sleeping bags, tarps, sleeping pads, and more.
Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent Spray - Comes in aerosol or non-aerosol. Can be use on clothes, sleeping bags, tents, and gear bags. Lasts up to six washes!
Pole Repair Kits
Camp Dry and ReviveX Air Dry Waterproofing - Camp Dry is a silicone-based waterproofing spray. ReviveX is non-silicone.
Whether small or big tent, pop-up camper, or RV, the key is to be organized, make sure everything is in good repair, and to ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS!
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