Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s completely appropriate to start day dreaming about getting outside in the middle of your Monday meeting, in line at the grocery store, or at dinner with your in-laws. To make it even easier to Think Outside, we put together a list of to-dos, so your gear is prepped and ready when the pull of exploration calls.

1. Clean and organize
– Remove Dirt. Excess dirt and grime can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your beloved outdoor gear. Check the product tags for info on how to best wash each item, most items call for hand washing and air drying. Read more about sleeping bag cleaning and care HERE.
– Remove Mildew. An enzyme cleaner like MiraZyme or Gear Aid’s Revivex Pro Cleaner will kill the mildew, clean the item, and eliminate the mildew smell (great for deodorizing tents, shoes, etc.).
– Storing items loosely will allow for ventilation and reduce unnecessary wear on folding seams, etc.
– Organize your items so you can pick up and go whenever you hear the call of the wild

Photo: Gearaid

Photo: @erinkoko33

2. Check for wear & tear. The last thing you want to do is pitch camp after a long, adventure-filled day and find holes and tears. Make sure you check your items before heading out on the trail. If you find any tears you can apply silicone tent sealer to fix pinhole tears or reinforce seams.

How to take care of your Camping Gear


3. Reapply weatherproofing on items that may need it.
– For hiking boots apply leather conditioner at least once a year to prevent the leather from cracking.
– Nikwax and other similar products out there allow you to reapply a non-toxic, waterproof coating to maintain the DWR finish on items like apparel, tents, etc.

4. Refill items you may have used. Showing up to a campsite without your essentials can lead to a not so pleasant night in the backcountry. When checking over your camping equipment make sure you see if you need to stock up on any supplies you may have used up on your last trip. Some things to think about include stove fuel, matches, wet wipes, toilet paper, batteries in flashlights / headlamps, toiletries, bug spray, etc.

5. Check expiration date on products. Some items that may have gone bad that you might not have thought of include sunscreen, freeze dried meals, bug spray, etc.

Photo: Katie Warren/INSIDER

6. Gear up. Looking for a lighter weight tent to go even farther on your next backpacking trip? Wanting to add even more comfort to your car camping set up? Resources like, Outside Magazine, and more provide excellent Spring Gear Guides and Best Of Lists to help you pick out gear that makes getting outside even better.