Gear Check – Plan Ahead and Get Prepared
We’ve all done it - left our gear check until the night before going on a camping trip and then find out something’s broken or missing or remembered that something was supposed to have been fixed after the last time you went out, but you’ve forgotten to do anything about it! Needless to say, you’re not on your own. To help, we’ve put together a checklist of things to check now, ahead of your next trip so you’re not stressing at the last minute – it’s our gentle nudge to plan ahead and get prepared!
- Storing - We all know that gear should be cleaned and dried properly before being packed away in its bag for storage. Or should it?
Instead of rolling up your tent or hammock and packing away in its bag/ stuff sack, we recommend storing loosely, ideally hanging somewhere cool and dry. Obviously, this is dependent on you having the space to do this but it allows your fabric to breathe, avoiding moisture to gather, which can cause your tent, rainfly or hammock to become sticky.
- Weatherproofing - When camping it’s the rainfly that takes all the punishment that the weather throws at you. Whether it’s the beating from invisible ultraviolet rays from the sun, the wear and tear of abrasion from the wind or the pounding of the rain on the seams. All good things need a little tender love and care.
Did you know…
- Every year it’s a good idea to re-weatherproof your tent or hammock to help prolong its life. UV exposure can reduce the tear strength of your tent or hammock fabric by half.
- Weathering from rain, dust and dirt will reduce the effectiveness of your rainfly Durable Water Repellency (DWR) – if dust or dirt sits on your rainfly fabric it reduces the fabrics breathability which then allows condensation to build up on the inside on your tent when in use as the water vapor struggles to escape.
- Tent pegs – Do you have all your tent pegs? It’s the worst when you go to set-up your tent and you’re missing pegs so you can’t achieve the best set-up. You may have lost a few due to breakage, bending, misplacement or generosity! A fresh new set is always handy.
- Tent Bag or Stuff Sack – General wear and tear eventually catches up with most things, including your storage bags. They could have been packed wet or over-filled causing rips or the zip to fail. Maybe the strap has come loose or the stitching has torn.Packing up your tent or hammock in a working bag or stuff sack is also important for ensuring you’re ready for your next adventure.
- Hardware – Poles can become bent, the shockcord can degrade over time or become loose or can snap. It’s an idea to store your tent poles partially assembled to reduce the tension on the shockcord. But, give your poles the once over to make sure they’re in good working order.
For your tree tent and hammocks in particular, you need to look after your straps and ratchets – without regular oiling ratchets can cease up. And just like your tent, make sure your straps and ratchets are clean and dry before you pack them away.
So, what gear will last another year? What needs to be retired? What needs to be fixed and what needs to be replaced? Get prepared for the season ahead, avoid last minute checks and ensure you have everything you need in time another year of exploring and adventuring.