Summer is the perfect season to embrace an adventure in the sun, sand, mountains, and deserts. While having the right gear is important, caring for it is equally critical, if you want it to be ready the next time you get the urge to explore.
Cleaning Adventure Gear
Sleeping Bags: Check the tag for cleaning instructions and dry clean at Flair if recommended. If washing at home use a bathtub if your machine is too small. Fluff dry the bag on the gentle setting with a tennis ball for added loft. Or, line dry on a breezy day.
Hiking boots: Remove laces before cleaning. Gently brush off loose dirt. Use cleaners designed specifically for hiking boots and follow the instructions carefully. Do not use bar soap or detergents and never use a washing machine. Rinse thoroughly with water. Remove the insoles and let both air-dry separately at room temperature.
Trail Shoes: Let the outer soles dry completely. Then give them a hard brushing to remove dirt and debris. Remove the laces and insoles. Gently wash the shoes with mild soap and water. Do not use a washing machine as it can cause damage. To clean the insoles, use either mild soap, a baking soda/water paste, or the vinegar/water. Scrub them, rinse them and allow them to air dry with the shoes.
In addition, bring hiking boots and trail shoes to Flair for repairs and new soles so they’ll perform well during any adventure.
Tents: Vacuum loose dirt from the surface and spot clean with warm water and a soft sponge. If it’s really seen some dirt and mud, put it in your bathtub and use tent cleaner found at most outdoor stores. Never use detergent, machine wash or dry clean tents. Once clean pitch the tent in your yard for a few days so it dries completely.
Moisture Wicking Clothing: Before washing, read the care instructions on the tag. Therefore, always these garments separately from other clothing items – especially things like jeans and hoodies with zippers or buttons. Turn clothing inside out before putting it in the washer. Skip the fabric softener and add one cup of white vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda. Never use hot water or a dryer. Hang to dry.
Windbreakers: Wash with cold water on the delicate or hand wash cycle. To avoid friction and pilling, ensure all hook and loop fasteners (velcro) are closed. Use mild detergent, preferably non-toxic and biodegradable. Do not bleach or add fabric softener, the strong chemicals can break down the waterproofing elements that. Hang dry or dry flat in areas with plenty of ventilation. DO NOT IRON. The inner coating and seam sealing is applied by heat and will melt if it comes in contact with high heat. This can also ruin your iron. Always hand your windbreaker after use until it is complete dry. Storing a wet crumpled garment can cause mold and mildew.