A guide to cleaning and storing your camping gear when not in use.
Here’s how to clean and store camping and hiking gear so that it’s in top condition when you need it next.
Clean and dry all camping and hiking equipment
All your gear must be clean and completely dry before you store it. This helps avoid common problems like mould, staining and equipment failure.
How to clean and store a tent
After a camping trip, allow your tent to air out at home. Sweep out or vacuum dust, sand and debris.
Clean mud splats with a damp cloth. Avoid harsh detergents that can stain or damage materials.
Make sure your tent is completely dry before folding and packing it into its tent bag. While stored, make sure it doesn’t lie on any sharp edges.
How to clean sleeping bags
Most sleeping bags are machine washable but check the tag for washing instructions before you go ahead.
Don’t tumble dry or dry clean a sleeping bag. If possible, dry flat to keep the insulation from clumping.
Sleeping bags should be stored hanging or loosely folded. Never store your sleeping bag in its carry bag.
How to clean sleeping mats and air mattresses
Shake them out to get rid of any loose dirt and then spot clean with a damp cloth.
Allow to air dry thoroughly before packing away.
Deflate air mattresses and store neatly rolled in a fabric drawstring bag. Avoid folding them back into their original box repeatedly as this can cause weak spots.
Sleeping mats should be stored rolled up.
How to clean and store backpacks
Some backpacks can be machine-washed but check the label.
If it can’t be machine-washed, hand wash with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.
Scrub zippers with a toothbrush. Once dry, lubricate with silicone grease.
Make sure the backpack is 100% dry before storing. Don’t fold to store. Hang it or lie flat.
How to clean and store braai utensils and camping cookware
Give all utensils and cookware another wash with dishwashing liquid and hot water once you get home.
Dry thoroughly, especially items that may rust.
Store cookware and utensils loosely stacked in a large sealable plastic container to keep clean and avoid pest infestations.
How to store camping stoves
Camping stoves should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Never soak a stove in water.
Make sure it is completely dry before putting it in its box or carrier.
Gas canisters must be removed and stored separately.
How to clean and store electronic camping devices
Wipe dirt or mud from your electronic devices with a damp cloth and dry before storing.
To avoid leakage, remove batteries if you’re storing them for more than a few weeks.
If an electronic device is stored in a box with other items, don’t place a heavy item on top of it.
If possible, store devices in protective cases or original boxes.
How to clean and store hiking boots and shoes
Brush loose mud and debris from your boots with a stiff brush.
For leather boots, only use leather cleaner and treat with leather food.
For fabric boots, buy an appropriate cleaner from a camping store.
Once dry, stuff your boots and shoes with tissue paper to keep their shape. Store in a box.
Store your camping gear with XtraSpace
With XtraSpace, we can’t clean it for you – but we can help you store your camping and hiking gear.
Contact us to find out more about our storage service.