Getting Your Outdoor Gear Ready For The Upcoming Camping Season (2020 Corona Virus Edition)
Boots and Backpacks
Our boots and backpacks are two of the key items that get us out there. Our boots help us get to where we're going in comfort, and our backpacks help us get everything we're taking with us there.
- Inspect your foot ware for holes and wear, replace worn laces and give them a nice cleaning. You can find tips and tricks on how to clean and prolong the life of Gore-Tex and waterproof shoes online or by clicking the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fabqKQ50aX0
- Some of the best replacement laces you can use are 550 Paracord, we all have it, and it ensures you always have some survival cord with you, on your adventures.
- Check your backpack(s) over for any tears, broken buckles and zippers you may have not noticed during your last outing. Making any necessary repairs if possible or replace the pack if need be.
- Open and inspect all compartments and pockets, you'd be surprised what lost treasures from last season can be found, or you may find out that your mylar survival blanket that has been floating around in the bottom of your pack for years has a hole in it.
Tents, Tarps, Hammocks and Other Shelters
Arguably the most important part of you gear that you own, is your shelter system. Whichever shelter system you use, you've likely made a considerable investment to acquire it. Maintaining that investment will ensure that you have it for years to come.
- Take time to thoroughly inspect tarps, tents and hammocks for holes or seams that may be failing or letting go. If your hammock is equipped with a bug net, inspect it for holes and check that all zippers are working, you don't want any surprises when you get out there.
- Double check waterproof membranes or sealants are still adhering to the fabrics they are on.
- Setup tents and tarps, allowing them to air out for a few hours, look for spots of mold and mildew. The last time you put your tent away it may not have been thoroughly dried. Click on the link to learn how to remove and treat mildew on tents/gear. https://www.tripsavvy.com/remove-mold-from-your-tent-498727
Grills, Stoves/Burners and Cookware
A wise man once told us, "you don't eat, you don't poop... you don't poop, you die". We all have to eat food to survive, that's why everyone of us can be found carrying a way to cook our food and something to cook it in. Maintaining your essential cooking gear will keep your belly full, and come meal time keep others from having to feed you or share their gear when yours fails.
- Scrub and clean your grill grates along with your cook pots, remnants of last years delicious meals, do not add great extra seasoning to your next meal... trust us.
- Check any seals or o-rings on your burner stove and replace if needed. Most reputable manufactures include spare o-rings when you purchase their stove.
- Run your stove and ensure the igniter (if equipped) is operational.
- Check your fuel supplies, don't assume canisters are still full or haven't leaked, order/purchase more if needed, it's always good to have a few on hand.
- Even if you were diligent enough to clean you cookware after your last trip, we always sneak ours into the dishwasher at least once before the season, when you know who isn't looking. If you cook over a campfire, your spouse may not want your soot covered stuff in the dishwasher, so use ninja like stealth.
Sleeping Bags, Quilts and Underquilts
Sleep systems are just as important as everything else we've covered. They keep us warm and comfortable, and can be our bed for days to a few weeks at a time while out in the backcountry. Having a musty sleeping bag or system that smells like a damp and dusty basement or a dirty old sock, will make sleeping not so enjoyable while your out there.
- Open up and shake out any debris from last year (leaves, sand/dirt, sticks pine needles, dead bugs).
- Wash all bedding/sleep systems, follow attached manufactures recommendations closely. Most items will need to be hung to air-dry.
- Check all zippers and draw strings for proper functioning.
- Inspect your storage and compression bags for your sleep systems. Compression bags take a lot of stress and over time, seams, buckles and straps will begin to fail.
Headlights, Flashlights and Powerbanks
Everyone who heads into the outdoors, can be found with some type of illumination for nighttime. Making sure batteries are charged, battery compartments are corrosion free, and lights are functioning as they should, will make that late night frantic scramble to the bushes a lot easier to navigate and take care of business. It will also make camp activities like gathering firewood easier at night.
- If you didn't remove your batteries after your last trip, remove them and acquire replacements. Also inspect the battery compartment for corrosion from leaving weak/leaking batteries in the unit.
- Double check that your lights work, all buttons and features function properly along with all sealed compartment seals, being intact and tight.
- Any lights or powerbanks that charge by USB, do a rundown and recharge cycle to ensure their internal batteries are functioning well and retaining a charge.
- It's a good idea to not have the batteries installed in your lights while in your pack. This will prevent them from accidentally turning on and draining.
As you can see, the common denominator with inspecting you gear is to help eliminate any surprises while in the outdoors. Having to adapt with failing gear and make improvisations in the backcountry will not only test your skills, but likely leave you having a less than enjoyable trip. Our main goal at WILDLANDS is to help everyone be prepared and get outdoors safely, allowing everyone to enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer without a worry.
With the current events going on in the world, we all have the time to make sure that we are ready to be back outdoors, as soon as the situation permits.
If you have any tips you'd like to add or thoughts you'd like to share, please comment below. We'd love to hear from everyone and see others offering their knowledge to help others enjoy the outdoors.
Stay safe everyone,
- WILDLANDS Outdoor Gear