Winter is officially here, which means it’s time to rotate goods in the gear closet. How many of us just want to throw our used summer gear aside with excitement to reconnect with our snow gear?  And, how many of us hear Mom’s voice ringing in our heads…”put it away clean!”? Oh mother, how you are always right.

Cleaning your gear doesn’t just come from a motivation to have a decent smelling closet through the winter. It’s more about keeping pricey gear in good shape.

Over time, your adventures take a toll on gear and naturally break down its materials. Here are tips to clean oft-used summer gear like tents, sleeping bags, and sandals.

Camping tents

Mildew and stains are common on tents. To make sure your tent doesn’t smell like Grandma’s basement, give it a pre-storage cleaning with Tech Wash. Make sure it dries fully before you put it away, otherwise your efforts will have been for naught. If you want, you can also use Tent & Gear SolarProof to refresh the water repellency and add UV protection, that way it will be ready for action when spring returns.

Sleeping Bags

Use Tech Wash to clean synthetic sleeping bags. If you have a down sleeping bag, make sure to use Down Wash. The best option for sleeping bags is to go to a laundromat. Home washers are generally too small to fit a sleeping bag. Also, never wash a down sleeping bag in a top loading washing machine! The agitator will bash up the down feathers, reducing your bag’s loft.

Nikwax products are safe in industrial washing machines. Just be sure to calculate the correct amount to use if you pile multiple bags into a huge washer.


Heck, while we’re on the cleaning spree, might as well wash those stinky Chacos too! Sandal Wash works wonders on all funky summer footwear.

Listen to Mom and put that summer gear away clean!

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