Now that the Christmas festivities are over, it’s time for New Year’s! It all feels like it’s flying by so FAST – is it just me?!
This year for New Year’s, we’ll be at my parent’s home in Hiawassee, Georgia.
Hiawassee is a beautiful lil’ mountain town that doesn’t know about wifi and where you meet the locals when they break down in front of your house. It’s where the only things to do on New Year’s Eve involve a church choir and a live “possum drop”. (I’m not even joking. Not even a little.)
No matter the time of year, one of our favorite things to do when we’re in Hiawassee is explore the area via hiking…especially if said hiking involves waterfalls. So naturally there’s a bit of gear that we tend to take along with us!
Investing in outdoor gear takes plenty of time and research, not to mention being a little pricey. Here’s your guide for preventing damage and repairing your gear to keep it in tip-top shape for your next adventure and many more to come.
Get Started by Taking Inventory
Having a checklist for all of your outdoor gear is never a bad idea, and it will be a big help when it comes to keeping your gear clean and in tip top shape. Don’t forget to remove batteries from all electronic devices while not in use to prevent corrosion. Taking inventory allows you to inspect everything for wear and tear from the last trip and take notice of any little rips or tears that can be fixed right away before they become a bigger problem.
Clean, Dry & Pest Free
One thing you want to take special care to avoid is mold. If most of your equipment, clothing or bedding is even the least bit wet when you put it into storage until the next trip, you’re going to regret it. Once a sleeping bag or your favorite flannel smells like mold, it’s hard to get rid of the stench.
Save your silica packets or buy some online. Or you can also buy some charcoal filters at a pet supply store or use regular old barbecue briquettes busted up with a hammer. Put the charcoal into a half open plastic bag inside your sleeping bag or pack to keep it bone dry and smelling fresh. Some people also use (fresh!) kitty litter in a shallow pan for damp closets and garages.
Many blogs advocate the use of plastic bags to keep moisture and moths out, but they can also trap water, cause condensation, and make mold worse. Wrapping gear in newspaper soaks up the moisture and it’s cheap. Or you can invest in a dehumidifier for under $100.
Unroll Your Roll Up
Keeping sleeping bags and pads rolled or stuffed into a sack can not only invite mold to form and critters to nest, it can also do irreparable damage, shortening their lifespan and making them far less effective. Hang your sleeping bag loosely on a hanger in your closet to keep insulation from compressing. Keep tents in a large trash bag instead of stuffed into a sack and you just might end up with fewer broken tent poles.
Don’t Forget About That Warranty
Good gear costs good money. You usually get what you pay for, and outdoor gear is no exception. But the difference is between well made goods for the wilderness and say, an excellent return policy is that good quality gear can save your life. A lifetime warranty on your new gear is a good sign that the company that makes it stands behind it, and it’s well made enough to stand the test of time, or else that company would be out of business right?
Repairs in the Field
Being prepared in the field for minor repairs to your gear may mean the difference between a horrible trip and a great one. It can also mean the difference between salvaging expensive gear or having to invest in new equipment. Duct tape, dental floss and a needle, seam sealer and waterproofing spray are all valuable tools for your makeshift repair kit.
There you have it! Our gear is ready to go for the new year! How about yours?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!