Once you get off the path, a number of wonderful subjects are doubtless high of thoughts: bathe, meals, an actual mattress. What’s most likely lurking in your unconscious, nevertheless, is extra alongside the strains of: ugh, I’ve to take care of all of my gear.
I’ve been there myself. Between being bodily exhausted, hungry, and filthy, I persuade myself that my backpack can simply sit there and I’ll take care of it later. However the longer you let your used gear sit compacted and soiled in your pack, the stinkier it will get—and, in some instances, it will probably even get broken.
For those who’ve discovered your option to this text, I applaud you in taking the primary steps towards caring to your gear higher post-trip. In it, we’ll cowl:
- Key Steps to Take Care of Your Gear
- Methods to Discover Motivation to Take Care of Your Gear
Methods to Take Care of Your Gear: 4 Steps
Totally different gear requires totally different maintenance, however there are some basic steps to comply with to maintain all gear in lasting situation.
1. Let every thing dry out.
Even for those who didn’t have a wet hike, it’s doubtless your gear has picked up some moisture throughout your journey by way of condensation, sweat, or dew. Keep away from mildew and mildew that may wreck your gear by ensuring every thing is totally dried out earlier than you retailer it.
Dangle up your tent and footprint, ensuring to shift them from time to time to provide totally different components larger airflow and a possibility to dry. Open all the valves on your water filters, bottles, sleeping pads, and different gadgets. Go away them in a great place to dry out totally, which could take a day or two.
You’ll additionally need to utterly empty your pack and grasp it someplace with good airflow to dry out. Look at every merchandise you unpack to find out if it needs to be left someplace to dry out extra or if it’s prepared for storage. Moist garments can head straight to the wash.
2. Clear your gear every journey.
All of the sweat, grime, grime, and different muck you decide up whereas on path can impression your gear over time. As mud dries, it will probably dry materials out too, inflicting them to grow to be extra liable to cracks, tears, and different wanted repairs. Sand caught in tent zippers can put on them down and make them break. Extended sweat and muck on waterproof materials can impression their water repellant. And stinkiness tends to get stinkier.
Check out your whole gear as you unpack. Brush off what grime you possibly can and wipe more durable instances down with a moist fabric. In relation to clothes, sleeping luggage, rain gear, and different gadgets, comply with the care directions that got here along with your gear for finest cleansing outcomes.
3. Retailer your gear correctly.
Maintain your gear saved in a cool, dry place that’s out of direct daylight. You need to be sure you’re not storing gear in a spot liable to moisture, as this could negate your whole work drying out your gear and nonetheless result in mildew and mildew. You additionally need to maintain it away from harsh UV publicity, which might harm it.
Most gear can be finest saved loosely. Take your sleeping bag or quilt out of its stuff sack and place it right into a breathable bigger bag for it to fluff in. You probably have an inflatable sleeping pad, test its care directions, however many advocate storing them inflated with the valve open.
4. Look at your gear for wanted repairs.
As you unpack from a visit, be aware of something that’s in want of restore. Don’t wait till your subsequent journey, if you is likely to be brief on time and sources, to know what wants fastened.
Lacking a couple of tent stakes? Organize them now to have them prepared. Have a tear in one thing? Make your plan to patch it or substitute it now. Must revamp the sturdy water repellent (DWR) coating in your rain gear or different gadgets? Care for that now. Must backflush your water filter and take a look at its integrity? Yep, try this, too.
Additionally be aware of how a lot gasoline you may have left, if in case you have any lifeless batteries, how your backpacking meal cache is trying, and the standing of another consumables. Taking a second to notice these items now will assist you may have a extra gratifying journey sooner or later.
5 Methods to Discover Motivation for Taking Care of Your Gear Submit-Hike
Okay, so, you realize what you want to do, however how do you get your self to do it if you simply need to lie on the sofa post-hike with a pizza and a lime La Croix? Listed here are a couple of concepts on tips on how to trick or in any other case coax your self to handle your gear in a well timed method.
1. Use the “bathe rule”.
Kristina Ciari shared her “bathe rule” with Journey Journal in Might 2018. It’s an excellent choice in case your high precedence as soon as house is an opulent sizzling rinse. Her rule states: “I’m not allowed to bathe till all of my moist, gross, manky, smelly, funky gear is hanging as much as dry or in any other case handled sanitarily.” It’s easy and motivating and simply may work for these of us unwilling to hop into mattress with out getting clear first.
2. Strive a gear-based affirmation.
Studying Atomic Habits by James Clear taught me that true behavior modifications are id modifications. So, for instance, as a substitute of believing you’re an individual who simply can’t get their gear cleaned and put away in a well timed method post-trip, you shift that perception to what you need your behavior to be (i.e., coping with your gear if you get residence).
This may sound a bit of woo-woo, however on my final massive journey I made a decision to provide it a attempt. As I lugged my backpack into my house, I stated out loud: “I aspire to be an individual who takes care of her gear. I’m an individual who takes care of her gear.”
I repeated it as I wanted to get myself to the end line, and it truly felt actually good. It jogged my memory of why I used to be taking the time to do that activity and helped me problem outdated beliefs that I used to be in any other case lazy or careless with my gear.
3. Have a gear unpacking social gathering.
Did you go backpacking with a buddy? Flip your unpacking and equipment caring duties into a celebration! Bump a few of your favourite tunes, reminisce on the journey, and maintain one another motivated as you get every thing sorted. Having an accountability buddy provides a enjoyable element to getting your chores accomplished.
4. Leverage meals and different treats.
Much like the bathe rule, you should use different post-hike treats as leverage for getting your gear care work performed. Remind your self of the pizza you’ll order when you’re completed. Let your self have some ice cream to mark a milestone in your unpacking journey. Discover no matter motivates you, and put it to work!
5. Put together for gear care earlier than your journey.
An oz. of prevention is price a pound of remedy, they are saying. Prep to your return as a lot as potential to take away any friction to your unpacking course of. For instance, be sure you know the place you’ll have area to hold issues out to dry.
Have a brush useful for sweeping up the grime, leaves, and different particles you’ll shake out of your gear. Verify that you’ve laundry detergent, some rags for wiping gear down, DWR coating to reapply if wanted, and another needed provides. Assume by way of your ache factors upfront and repair them forward of time.
Take Care of Your Gear Submit-Hike for Longevity and Peace of Thoughts
Taking good care of your gear in a well timed method after your journeys will guarantee your investments final so long as they need to. It’ll additionally assist you put together for extra adventures to come back! We hope a few of these suggestions for gear care and motivation assist maintain your gear in tip-top form.
If this was useful, you may take pleasure in a few of our different sources on the Gentle Toes weblog:
Have your individual suggestions for gear care or methods to remain motivated to do it? Unfold the love with us by tagging Gossamer Gear on social media (@gossamergear) and utilizing the hashtag #takelessdomore.