“If you love your gear, it will love you back.”


Follow these tips to get the most out of your gear, and help it to last through a lifetime of adventures.

Tents

It’s not as hard as you think! See our handy tips and tricks for the full run-down of replacing pole segments.

Storing

After each trip, make sure your tent and all of its components are completely dry before storing. This is the most effective way to prevent mold and mildew from forming on your tent and to prevent damage to the waterproof finishes. If you are storing your tent for extended periods of time, keep the tent and contents loosely stored in a breathable cotton storage bag; do not store it in its stuff compression sack. Store the tent in a cool, dry, and dark area, away from direct exposure to sunlight.

Washing

If your tent is exposed to dirt, sand, etc., you can wipe it down with a wet cloth.  For excessive dirt, remove any airbeams (if applicable) and hand wash the tent with a technical fabric wash like Nikwax Tech Wash® or McNett ReviveX® Synthetic Fabric Cleaner.  Do not wash your tent in a washing machine with agitators, as they can tear the fabric.  Hand washing and air drying is best. Do not use bleach and do not iron.

It is also important to keep the zippers clean, so if exposed to dirt, sand, or salt air, wipe the zipper down with a wet cloth. In excessive cases, wash and then treat and lubricate the zippers with McNett Zip Care™ or a silicone zipper spray (popular in dive shops).

For tent airbeams, wipe down the excess dirt with a wet and/or soapy cloth. Make sure to keep water out of the valves (keep valves closed).

Footprints do not need as much care, as they can be exposed to more dirt and are more abrasion resistant compared to tents. If they must be washed, follow the tent cleaning tips above.

Pawprints can be washed with a standard detergent or with a technical fabric wash like Nikwax Tech Wash® or McNett ReviveX® Synthetic Fabric Cleaner in a washing machine with no agitator. Line dry, or on low, gentle cycle.

Drying

Do not machine dry your tent. Be sure to let your tent fully line-dry before storing loosely in a cool, dry environment. Make sure to dry your tent away from direct sunlight as extended exposure to UV is harmful to its fabrics. You can machine dry your Pawprint on low to medium heat, or line dry it.

Repairs

If you need to re-treat the outer Durable Water Resistant (DWR) finish, you can use a spray-on product like Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof® or McNett ReviveX® Spray-On Water Repellent after the tent has been cleaned. Damaged seam tape can be repaired by using McNett Seam Grip® over the damaged area by treating the exterior seams of the tent.

Fix a rip by using a clear Tenacious Tape™ patch by Gear Aid™. Just clean the area and peel and stick the patch. You’ll have a durable, nearly invisible repair that won’t leave behind sticky residue that duct tape will. For extra strength or for repairing mesh, you can patch both sides of the fabric.

Repairing a leak in your AST™ (AirSupported Technology) tent is as easy as changing the bicycle tube inside your tire. If the leak is small, the bladder may simply be repaired with a small sticker patch placed over the hole. Two of these patches are included with the tent. If the puncture in the bladder is large, the entire bladder will need to be replaced. Fully deflate airbeam and remove the bladder through the Velcro® access panel to find the leak. Hint: Pull a spare bladder into place by tying it to the end of the damaged bladder. Or tie cord to the end of the bladder before removing to help get the bladder back into place once repaired. After determining the size of the leak, patch or replace the bladder. Reinstall the bladder, making sure not to twist it or snag it on the Velcro®. Close Velcro® panels evenly to prevent exposed Velcro® from causing damage to your new bladder.

If a pole breaks when you’re out in the field, use the included pole repair sleeve and some duct tape to temporarily fix your pole. Be careful of sharp and jagged pole ends and slide the pole sleeve over the damaged pole sections. Tape (or wedge) the sleeve in place. The pole sleeve can be wedged into place with a stick or stake if you don’t have duct tape on hand.


Sleeping Bags

Storing

After each trip, air dry your bag for at least 24 hours before storing. Avoid storing your bag for extended periods of time in its stuff sack. Over time, tightly compressed insulation can lose its loft and warmth trapping ability. Hang your bag or store it in its oversized breathable storage bag in a cool, dry space.

Washing

Dirt and oils affect performance over time. Washing will help restore warmth and breathability so the bag performs like new again. For most people, washing your bag once a year is enough. Front-loading, oversized washers are best — do not use a washing machine with an agitator and try to avoid lower volume home washing machines that can compress and twist the insulation and internal baffling system of your bag.Close any zippers and wash the bag inside out. Spin twice to remove excess water.To gently remove dirt and oils that impact performance of the down and synthetic insulation in our bags, we recommend the use of Nikwax Down Wash Direct® or Nikwax Tech Wash®, respectively. Regular detergents will leave behind residue that can harm the insulation. Dry cleaning is never recommended.

Drying

Take care transferring a wet bag from the washer to the dryer; fine fibers and stitching are more susceptible to breakage when wet. For best results, choose an oversized commercial dryer and keep the settings on medium at most — it can take a few hours to dry a bag completely. With a down bag, add a few tennis balls to encourage the down to regain its loft for maximum warmth and longevity. Occasionally pause the dryer to gently tease apart any down clumps. This will speed the drying process and help to avoid any damp spots. It may also be helpful to turn the sleeping bag inside out half way through the dry cycle so the foot end dries faster. When completely dried, unzip and allow to air dry overnight before storage.

Repairing a Tear (Hint – It’s Not With Duct Tape!)

 

Getting a rip or ember hole in your bag can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to be. Fix a rip or hole and protect your insulation using clear Tenacious Tape™ patches by Gear Aid™. Just clean the surface, let dry, and peel and stick on the patch. You’ll have a durable, nearly invisible repair that won’t leave behind a sticky residue like duct tape will.

Sleeping Pads

Storing

After each trip, air dry your sleeping pad for at least 24 hours before storing. Avoid storing your sleeping pad for extended periods of time in its stuff sack, especially if there are open cell foam or insulation components. Over time, tightly compressed foam and insulation can lose its ability to rebound or insulate, and may be permanently compressed or creased. If possible, keep the product stored flat or otherwise, loosely rolled, uncompressed, and away from direct sunlight. Open the valves in foot pumps to allow the foam to expand. Do not store the sleeping pads inflated.

Washing

To clean your sleeping pad, wipe down the surface with a wet and/or soapy cloth. Make sure to keep water out of the valves (keep valves closed) if necessary. Do not machine wash your pad.

Drying

Do not machine dry your sleeping pad. Be sure to let your sleeping pad fully line-dry before storing in a cool, dry environment. Make sure to dry your sleeping pad away from direct sunlight as exposure to UV is harmful to the fabrics.

Repairs

 

For patching pads, you can use the included fabric patches. Cut the patch to fully cover the hole and round the edges of the patch to keep them from peeling up. Use an adhesive like McNett Seam Grip® to bond the patch to the pad.  Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s directions for application and curing time. You can also fix a leak using clear Tenacious Tape™ patches by Gear Aid™. Just clean the surface, let dry, and peel and stick on the patch. You’ll have a durable, nearly invisible repair that won’t leave behind a sticky residue like duct tape will.The micro-adjust valve can also be replaced if needed. Simply remove the old valve by holding the pad at the base of the valve seat, and use a pair of pliers to twist and pull the valve out. Put a thin layer of super glue or McNett Seam Grip® on the threads of the new valve and insert it into the valve seat. Let it cure according to the adhesive manufacturer’s directions.


Pillows

Storing

After each trip, make sure to air dry your Fillo™ for at least 24 hours before storing to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Avoid storing your Fillo™ compressed for extended periods of time in its stuff sack. Over time, tightly compressed foam can lose its ability to rebound. If possible, keep the product stored flat or otherwise, loosely rolled, uncompressed, and away from direct sunlight. Do not store the pillow inflated.

Washing

When washing the Fillo™, wash only the microsuede cover. Remove the inner air bladder and memory foam/mesh bag assembly. Untie the elastic cord on the exterior of the cover so that it cannot snag on the washer or dryer. Front-loading, oversized washers are best — do not use a washing machine with an agitator. Try to avoid lower volume home washing machines that can compress, twist, or rip the fabrics. Use warm water and choose a regular cycle with no bleach or fabric softener. We recommend the use of Nikwax Tech Wash® to gently remove dirt and oils. If the foam must be washed, hand wash only.

Drying

 

Take care transferring the wet cover from the washer to the dryer; fine fibers and stitching are more susceptible to breakage when wet. For best results, choose an oversized commercial dryer and tumble dry on low. Alternately, hang until completely dry; turn the cover inside out and hang dry until no moisture is present. Make sure to dry the cover away from direct sunlight as exposure to UV is harmful to the fabrics.Do not machine dry the foam/mesh bag assembly. To preserve the position of the foam within the mesh, do not wring dry. Pat dry with an absorbent towel. Make sure to dry the foam away from direct sunlight as exposure to UV is harmful to the material.

Furniture

Storing

After each trip, make sure your gear and all its components are completely dry before storing. This is the most effective way to prevent mold and mildew from forming on your chair or hammock. If you are storing your gear for extended periods of time, you can keep it in the case because it has a breathable mesh panel. Store your furniture in a cool, dry, and dark area, away from direct exposure to sunlight.

Washing

If your furniture is exposed to dirt, sand, etc., you can shake or brush it off and wipe it down with a wet cloth. For excessive dirt, hand wash the gear with a technical fabric wash like Nikwax Tech Wash®. Do not wash in washing machines. Hand washing and air drying is best. Do not use bleach and do not iron.

Drying

Do not machine dry your furniture. Be sure to let it fully dry before storing loosely in a cool, dry environment. Make sure to dry your gear away from direct sunlight as extended exposure to UV is harmful to the fabrics.