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Taking care of your kit

June 19, 2023

Taking care of your kit is just as important as taking care of yourself – both in the lead-up and after your trek.

Why? Chances are you have spent a good bit of money planning what you need to take with you and you want to be sure you can use for years to come.

Good kit is not cheap and can be quite pricey so the time it takes to look after it will help ensure it remains at it’s best for your next trip. Ruhubia (Brand and Marketing Manager) and Lexi (Tour Manager) recorded a video on how best to look after your much-loved pieces of equipment.

care of your kitBoots

Protecting your footwear is the best way of protecting your feet. These are likely to be one of the highest price points in your trekking kit list so taking care of them should be a priority. The temptation is, after a trek, to unpack and shove them away in the back of the wardrobe until the next time but what should you do?

  • Don’t pack them away dirty! Use warm water and a stiff brush to get the mud out of every crevice.
  • Remove and wash your insoles! They absorb your foot odour and can lead to unpleasant smells if not freshened up. Keep your insoles separate from the boot when putting away.
  • Ensure your boots are dry before putting away. Scrunched up newspaper and help to absort excess moisture.
  • Invest in a pair of Boot Bananas; these are great for keeping your boots smelling fresh.
  • Waterproof your boots 3-4 times per year to keep them in tip top condition.
  • Store in shoe boxes or shoe bags.

Sleeping Bags

Depending on the type of sleeping bag you buy (either synthetic or down), your sleeping bag is likely to be at another high price point. How many of us simply back the bag away back in its little bag and forget about it at the end of a trip? Here is our advice:

  • Use a sleeping bag liner to help keep that unwanted dirt/sweat away from the bag itself. Just pop the liner in the washing and you’ll be good to go again!
  • Be sure to check the manufacturer instructions on wash and care. Some washing machines have a specialist function for sports wear (synthetic sleeping bag). Gentle detergents or soap flakes are perfect.
  • Line dry and do not tumble dry.
  • If using a down sleeping bag; we would recommend using a local dry cleaning service once every 2-3 years. Some brands even offer a cleaning service!
  • If you have space, hang your sleeping bag in your wardrobe by using a trouser hanger. Try not to store it rolled up in the stuff bag as the fibres can get condensed over a long period of time. Storing your bag hung up can also help prevent the bag from smelling musty when it comes to using it again. If you have space, it can also be stored flat under a bed.

Waterproofs

You may not need to spend a huge amount on waterproofs but, the better care you take of them, the longer they will be your friend.

  • Make sure they are cleaned whenever they are visibly dirty and use the correct cleaning products – refer to the manufacturer information.
  • Reproof when rain drops stop ‘beading’. Beading are the round wet drops that form on the outer of your waterproofs. When they stop is a good indicator that your waterproofs are no longer doing the job they are intended for.

Other Top Tips

  • Be clever about using your backpack – use it as additional storage for those items you take on a trek and don’t want to lose i.e ear plugs, travel adaptor, gaiters (cleaned before storage) etc.
  • Be mindful where you store your kit. If left against a cold, bare wall, this can lead to damp and/or mould encroaching on your kit.
  • Look out on selling groups for good second hand kit.
  • If you have a piece of kit you no longer use, consider recycling it. We have partnered with Kitsquad who will take your pre-loved trekking gear and pass it on to someone on a low income, enabling them to get out in the great outdoors.
  • Be proud of your kit, wear your boots around town (a great way to wear them in).

The original interview on taking care of your kit was recorded at the start of lockdown and can be viewed here

Looking for a trip to use all your kit? Find inspiration for your next adventure here

 

 

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