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How to Clean and Store Camping Gear
Category: How-Tos


Returning from camping? It's easy to quickly throw all your gear back on the storage shelves, but before you do you should make sure you gear is clean and dry to make sure it'll be ready for your next trip. 

For Tents:

  1. Pitch the tent as tautly as possible.
  2. Open doors and windows; sweep or vacuum out all dirt, grass and bugs.
  3. Close all windows and doors.
  4. Wipe down all outside surfaces with a small amount of mild soap (dish soap) in warm water. 
  5. If the fabric is really dirty or has been covered with a sticky substance like tree sap, use a tent cleaner available at camping and outdoor stores. Use this product as directed. 
  6. Rinse tent thoroughly but do not spray water inside the tent. Allow it to dry completely.
  7. Dry the outside of all zippers; open zippers and wipe all zipper surfaces.
  8. If fabric or seams need resealing, follow instructions on a resealing product from a camping or outdoor store.
  9. Drop tent; fold and roll loosely.
  10. Wipe all poles with a soft dry cloth to remove any dirt, grit or salt residue.
  11. Store the tent loosely rolled in a cool dry place. Cover the top with a cloth to keep out dust but allow the tent fabric to breathe.
  12. Store poles assembled and flat to reduce tension on the shock cords. 
  13. Do not store the tent or poles in the carry case.

For Footwear, Backpacks:

  1. If muddy, allow to dry. Brush and scrape off as much mud as possible.
  2. Use a wet cloth to remove the rest of the mud and dirt.
  3. Most camping and outdoor stores carry cleaning products for footwear and other gear; follow directions on the product.
  4. If wet, stuff the footwear or backpack with absorbent paper to absorb any moisture on the inside; check and replace the paper as needed.
  5. Store in a dry place with nothing pressing down on top/ to allow the materials to breathe.​


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Last updated on July 17, 2018