The camping season for the BWCA will be here before we know it. When the opportunity to go camping knocks you want to be ready and that includes having all of your gear cleaned and in proper repair so you can have an enjoyable adventure. Of course you can always rent equipment from us at Voyageur but if you have your own then it’s time to get to work.
What’s the most important piece of camping equipment? Folks may argue but I’ll say for today the tent is the most important because it will keep you out of the elements and away from bugs. The best way to clean a tent is to set it up in a clean location where more dirt and debris are not likely to get on it. This could be on a large tarp in the yard, in a garage with a drain, a laundry room or a living room depending upon how dirty it is.
Once it is set up you can get inside to sweep it out and inspect it. If it is just lightly soiled you might get by with using a damp sponge or cloth using a non-detergent. This is important! If you use detergent or soap then you can damage the performance by effecting the fabric’s breathability and/or water resistance. A non-detergent soap is not made with synthetic components whereas detergents are usually synthetic and contain a sulfate or sulfate group. If you want to learn more about cleaning detergents and soaps I suggest you visit this website. To be on the safe side I would suggest purchasing Nikwax Tech Wash, Sensi-Clean or some other type of cleaner that will not leave behind a residue.
If it is quite dirty then you may want to use a garden hose to spray the entire tent. Then go back and scrub any trouble spots before rinsing again.
Always allow your tent to completely dry before storing it. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming on your tent and will help it last longer. You can leave it set up until it’s dry or hang it to dry, just make sure it is dry before putting it away. If you have a spot in the shade to allow it to dry then dry it there as extended time in ultraviolet rays is not good for a tent.
Check zippers, screens, poles and stakes to make sure all are in good condition.
Store your tent in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. It can sit on an open shelf either rolled or folded or can be stuffed in a cotton bag or duffel bag. It should perform better if it hasn’t been compressed in a tight bag for 49 weeks.
Remember NEVER put your tent in a washing machine and ALWAYS store your tent after it is completely dry.
Once you have made sure your tent is ready to go you can worry about the other smaller camping essentials later. Your shelter is ready for the Boundary Waters so answer the door of opportunity.