Taking Care Of Your Hiking Gear

Drying your socks using body heat to tackle areas that are contaminated by mold. Here’s the best way you can ensure that your clothing is safe for you from the elements

Being outdoors in the elements demands protection from the elements, and as anyone who has hiked knows that an outdoor excursion is often characterized by sweat or smoky, as well as wet. Although this is part of the enjoyment, if dirt, sweat, and dampness remain in the air, it could reduce the lifespan of outdoor equipment, turning an inexpensive hobby into one that is very costly. You don’t want to destroy your Arcteryx beta ar jacket just because you were not careful enough

Consistent laundering of gear really helps prolong the life of a product,” says Corey Simpson of Patagonia, since the technical fabric “all perform better when they’re not clogged or covered with dirt and oils“.

You can wash your hands while hiking

If you are forced to wash your gear during a camping excursion, Simpson says to “find a creek, stream or river to rinse the garments“. Rinsing is okay, but making use of soap within a stream isn’t. If your camping site does not provide laundry facilities for guests clothing should be hand washed in a tub or bucket with soap that is biodegradable and the grey water must be tipped out of the way away from running water.

Then hang them for drying in the breeze or sun.

What do you do when it rains?

Drying out your gear is among the most crucial aspects of keeping it in good condition, but it can be a challenge when you’re caught in the rain halfway up a mountain during an extended hike.

The first step is to shake out any water that has accumulated and then locate a dry place for it to be hung. The general manager of products at Kathmandu, Robert Fry, recommends inside “your tent’s vestibule” as an ideal drying location, “so there’s no chance it’ll drip and wet your dry gear, like your sleeping bag“.

Utilizing your body to heal your body

If your down jacket is saturated, Simpson suggests you “shake the jacket to get the moisture off … and get the down to loft up again“. It is also possible to use your body heat to get the coat dry. Put the jacket on over any layers of wicking and then rub your hands on the jacket to create friction and heat into the jacket from the outside. Then, put the shell over the jacket and continue moving to ensure that your body heat is absorbed into the jacket from inside as well.

It also helps dry your socks. If your socks and shoes are wet, Simpson suggests wringing out the excess moisture from your socks before hanging them up to dry. If they’re still damp when you go out, “put them in the inside pocket of a jacket to get your body heat to dry them out“.

Post-hike cleanup

After returning from an excursion, begin by shaking off or washing away all dirt and other debris from your gear, then clean each item in accordance with the instructions for care. Fry states that waterproof items and fabrics that breathe should be cleaned “using a cleaning agent made specifically for [them] on a cold, gentle cycle“.

Inspect and fix

If your equipment is getting older and is beginning to show indications of wear and tear, Fry suggests that you be aware of this as it could affectyour overall experience and safety when spending time ‘out there.”

However, in some cases, the damage isn’t that severe and will not affect the performance of your gear. Simpson states, “If your favorite hiking shirt has a few holes in it, no worries, you can continue to use it and earn some more rips and tears.”

Fry recommends checking gear at the end of each trip and, if you notice any issues that are serious – such as broken zips – make sure to bring it to an expert repair shop. This way, you won’t have time to overlook the issue before your next trip.