The weather is warming up, the fireflies are out, and you likely have one thing on your mind: gathering your friends, building a fire, and pitching a tent at your favorite campsite. But before you leave for the first adventure of the year, you should do a once over on your camping gear to ensure that you’ve repaired all tears from last year and eliminated any funky smells that may have developed over the long winter. Even if you’re only planning on camping in your backyard or at your local state park, your camping gear will still need a thorough cleaning and prepping before you take it out for the first time.

Ready to get your camping season started? Here’s how to prep your camping gear in five easy steps.

1. Clean and Lubricate Zippers

When you’re camping, the state of your tent zippers can make a big difference in whether or not you get a good night’s sleep. But your tent zippers and sleeping bag zipper can become clogged with dirt and sand, making it difficult to move the zipper down the teeth. Give your zippers a thorough cleaning with our Zipper Cleaner & Lubricant to remove debris and unstick even the most impossibly stuck zippers. Our Zipper Cleaner & Lubricant will also prevent damage from saltwater should you find yourself camping near the water.

2. Inspect for Tears in Nylon or Mesh

No matter what kind of gear you bring along with you on your camping trips—a traditional tent, a bug shelter, or a good old-fashioned tarp—you need it be ready to handle all the elements, which means no holes, tears, or rips. Inspect your gear for tears in the material and patch them up with our Tenacious Tape to keep the bugs, rain, and wind out and be comfortable the entire trip.

3. Wash Your Sleeping Bag

You may be sleeping on ground level in your sleeping bag, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t smell just as good as the bedding you have at home. But over months of storage in the garage or attic, your sleeping bag can pick up odors and generally not feel as fresh as it did when you first rolled it out. To remove dirt and odor, wash it with Revivex, our line of cleaners, conditioners, and protectants. If you have a synthetic bag, use our gentle formula Pro Cleaner, but if your sleeping bag is made of down then you’ll need to use our specialized Down Cleaner, which will get it squeaky clean and also restore the natural oils to keep you warm. For stubborn odors like mildew, mold, or pet stains, you may need to use Revivex Odor Eliminator to get it back to smelling fresh once again.

4. Inflate Sleeping Pad and Check for Leaks

There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that your sleeping pad has gone completely flat, leaving you to sleep on the uneven ground. Before that first big camping trip, take a few minutes to inflate your sleeping pad and check for leaks. If you spot one, you can seal it right up with our waterproof sealant, Seam Grip WP or our Tenacious Tape Flex Patches, which forms an impermeable seal.  

5. Wipe Your Rainfly or Hammock Tarp Clean and Add Protective Coating

Rainflies and hammock tarps cover you from all the elements when you’re outside, so why not make them even better? Spray down your shelter with our Revivex UV Protectant, which will give an extra protective barrier to repel dirt, sun, and even some water.

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