Get your camping gear ready for the new season
Before you head off on your first camping trip of the season, you need to make sure all your gear is in good condition. It’s a big job but don’t put it off. You’ll need time to check what needs to be cleaned, repaired or reproofed and then get the jobs done.
Those repair kits that came with tent and airbeds now come into their own. Even better, it is a slack time at camping shops so take a look at what bargains await. In the meantime, dust off the plastic bags and boxes. Hang out that tent and air off the sleeping bags. Spring is just around the corner and all sites will soon be open.
1 Check your tent. You carefully repaired and cleaned everything before winter (didn’t you?) but it’s worth checking it your tent for any holes, tears, mould, mildew, seam strains or any other signs of wear you might have missed.
2 Repair or replace dodgy pegs, guylines, poles, buckles and elastics.
3 Air off sleeping bags for a couple of days and store them in their loose bags again. Take a close look at drawcords, zips and seams, repairing damage where you can.
4 Check your airbed/SIM for leaks and make any necessary repairs
5 Unpack your stove, check the burners are undamaged and ensure all the fittings are tight. Tighten the jubilee clips on the gas hose and regulator and give everything another good clean for luck.
6 Check gas levels now now rather than at the last minute before the first trip of the season.
7 Give pots and crockery a good scrub.
8 Check the batteries in your torches and lanterns are working.
9 Tent furniture like wardrobes, kitchen, pantry, table and chairs should all be dusted off, wiped down with disinfectant and checked for damage.
10 Check and replace as necessary camp kitchen consumables like scourers, washing-up liquid, coffee, tea and sugar.
11 Stock up your first aid kit and make sure everything is up-to-date
12 When you've finished your checks and completed any maintenance, remember to replace any items you've used from your repair kit such as tape, glue, sealant, pegs and spare guylines
13 Hit the shops and look out for some new gear!