Get your camping gear winter ready
Now Autumn is here it is a great time to make sure your camping gear is ready for the winter,
Whether you plan on camping through the colder months or are packing away until spring appears - make sure your gear is winter ready.
Packing away summer gear
Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye to that lightweight summer sleeping bag and your warm weather gear. But how should you store it to make sure it is good for another year come spring.
If you know you wont be using your sleeping bag for a while - now is a great time to clean it, you might not think that your sleeping bag is that dirty, but oils and salts from your perspiration, plus grime from the outside world (including fine-grain sand) can remain inside the bag.
Washing keeps the insulation at its best, prolong its life and ensure there are no nasty smells. We've put together a handy guide on how to wash your sleeping bag - which you can read here: Washing your sleeping bag guide.
Once your sleeping bag is clean and dry it is time to store it for the winter. Make sure your bag is fully dry before you start packing it away!
The golden rule when storing your sleeping bag is to not compress it - your compression sack is great on the move when you need to keep space down, but not for long term storing as this can damage the loft of your down or synthetic fill.
All of our sleeping bags come with a fabric storage cube but you can also use a large storage sack (cotton works really well for this).
It’s always better to stuff a synthetic bag rather than folding it and rolling it, as folding and rolling the same way every time can permanently split the synthetic fibres and lead to cold spots.
Finally - store in a shaded and well ventilated part of your house, where temperature will be as consistent as possible.
Your trusty sleeping mat also needs some TLC before storing away. Firstly check for leaks - inflate and weigh down with some books - leaving overnight to test. If the mat is still inflated in the morning - happy days it can be cleaned and stored, if not check for holes and repair.
Cleaning your sleeping mat is simple shake off any excess dirt and wipe it down with a damp cloth if it’s looking grubby - mats shouldn't need to much of a deep clean as they are generally protected by your tent and sleeping bag.
Now for storage!
Self inflating sleeping mats ideally should be stored laid flat with the valve left open - under your bed is the ideal place for this. Inflatable or air mats can be lightly folded and left with the valve open.
Again a well ventilated and shady part of the house is best.
While there is no special storage or cleaning needed for your camp kitchen gear - packing everything away for a while is a great time to check your gear.
Firstly wash your camp kitchen gear until it’s super clean. We all know that our idea of clean at camp can be different to clean at home! - Even the smallest pieces of food can attract unwanted pests like rats - and you don't want them to get into your camping kit!
Next make sure your set us complete - there is northing worse then getting to camp hungry and realising your spork isn't there. If you are missing something it is best to order it now as you will likely forget in three months time!
First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit can be put away with the rest of your gear and doesn't need any special treatment beforehand.
But it is good practice to check you have everything you need in your first aid kit before putting it away - check out our guide to packing a first aid kit here: First Aid Kit Guide.
Replenish anything you have used throughout the year and replace anything which is out of date (or will be before your next trip)!