Camping means that a lot of the time you are outdoors, which means that a lot of the time you will inevitably be exposed to the elements, and whether it is scorching sun, heavy rain or gale force winds you are competing with, it is very important to look after your camping equipment so that it lasts more than one camping trip!
Your tent may be one of the most expensive tings you take camping with you, so if you want to look after the investment of a tent, then you will need to ensure it is properly packed away after each holiday. Put an additional groundsheet under your tent to protect the bottom of it. To avoid faded colours, try camping in the shade so your tent isn’t directly exposed to harmful UV rays. Don’t pack tents away when they are wet – although morning dew or rain cannot be avoided when you are packing away, you may have to pack a wet tent away. If this is so, try and let it dry out in your back garden when you get home at your earliest opportunity. This way the moisture won’t destroy the tent’s nylon material or start to smell.
Regular maintenance for your portable cooker / stove is also a great way of making it last longer. So you don’t damage it prior to your camping trip, try using it at home with instructions to hand. This way you will know how it works and hopefully not have any problems on the trip itself. Only use fresh fuel for each use and only use the assigned fuel for the cooker – other fuels may do damage to the unit and could shorten its working life. Cleaning the cooker after every use ensures that the burner and other parts don’t get clogged.
Sleeping Bags need a little maintenance, after all they will determine whether you have a comfortable night’s sleep or not. To look after your sleeping bag, always ensure that when you pack it away you don’t roll it but instead stuff it into its bag. This will save space and will also ensure that the filling doesn’t gather in just one place in the bag. Air the sleeping bag out each morning to get rid of the “sweaty” smell it is very likely to pick up! When you are not using your sleeping bag (i.e. when you are at home) keep the bag loose and let it lie out or just simply store it in a large sack so that the compression doesn’t cause long term damage to the material.
In general, maintaining your camping equipment will mean that you can use the equipment again and again. Not only this, but it also means that you can use the equipment instantly on your holiday without having to clean it there and then. Keep extra fuel for portable cookers or lanterns, sharpen your knives, and keep your cooking utensils clean and you will have a problem free trip.