You had a great summer. You climbed mountains & battled windstorms. You camped by the river & caught breakfast. You even slept through a downpour & woke up dry.  Cheers to adventure and wilderness! All the havoc nature wreaked on your tent can be reversed; follow these five easy steps to prepare your camping gear for winter hibernation:

  1. TAKE THE FUNK TEST. Did you stuff away your tent or sleeping bag after a wet camping trip? Take it out and give it a smell, if it makes your nose cringe it’s time for a MiraZyme™ bath. ½ oz. + 20 gallons of water + sink/tub + fresh air = Tent (and gear) that smells just like new. Sometimes tents need baths just like us.
  2. CHECK YOUR FLY. Zippers are trouble makers. They rip fabric, stop sliding for no apparent reason, send zipper teeth flying, and sometimes even kill innocent bugs. Proper cleaning and lubrication is essential for a well functioning zipper. If you’re looking for a product, check out Zip Care™ by Gear Aid.
  3. CONSULT SEAM GRIP®. Waterproof Tent = Happy Camper. Check to see if seam tape is still secure in the corners, note any rips or tears, and check the strength of guyout points. Treat trouble areas with Seam Grip®. Replace repair/duct tape patches with a permanent Seam Grip application.
  4. FIRST-AID FIRST. We humans tend to be repetitive in nature & often repeat the same accidents before finally learning – err, remembering – a lesson. Do yourself a favor, replenish your camping kit with water purification, first-aid, and repair supplies now. Trust us, you’ll forget next year (just like last year).
  5. WITHOUT FRAMING THERE’D BE NO ROOF. Tent poles are not made of steel, that’s because we like carrying them up mountains for miles. Check tent poles for chipped ends, near breaking points, or elastic loosing its stretch. Be prepared for tent pole repair & add a pole splint and elastic cord to your repair kit.

Do you have any tips for storing your camping gear? Share them in the comments below!

Originally Published: Dec 4, 2013