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Camping The Camping forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness camping (commonly referred to as car camping).


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  #1  
Old 05-08-2014, 02:43 PM
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Perkolady Perkolady is offline
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Prevention or Aftermath Solutions

Camping can be hard on your gear, especially in bad weather, and with kids

Do you take measures while camping to try to keep the cooties out of the tent? Do you carefully wipe down the tent when breaking camp, etc., or just throw things into the trunk and deal with the aftermath when you get home?

What do you do, and are there any helpful tips you can share?

Perkolady
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2014, 03:08 PM
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Kylemeister Kylemeister is offline
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I try to keep things as clean as possible, within reason, when camping. I always sweep my tent as part of packing up when camping. I always clean up my boat after a day of fishing (picking up spent soft plastic lures, line clippings, putting things back where they belong, water bottles, cracker wrappers, etc.) I just like everything to be clean when I'm ready to use it next time.
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2014, 11:32 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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Re: prevention: If you are having issues with dirty boots worn inside the tent and abraiding tent floors, consider a second groundcloth used inside the tent as a floor protector. It's only a few ounces, and works very well.

My main tools for tent cleaning are a small dust pan and fine-haired 2" plastic-handled paint brush (handle cut off, of course). The dust pan is only 4" or 5" wide, and came as part of a camper's broom/dust pan set. The pan is very helpful. The original broom was worthless. The paint brush is a huge inprovement. For me, 2" is a good compromise between weight and width.

The degree to which I need to clean depends on the weather when I break camp. Most trips are warm and dry, so I sweep the tent with the paint brush/pan, and then pick up the tent body (sans poles) and shake it out - maybe even turn it inside out - to get the debris the brush/pan wouldn't get. (I find just turning the tent inside out doesn't clean it as well as sweeping first.) As long as the weather's good, I've never had to do anything further at home.

If the tent is wet, I will spread it out in the sun at home. If needed, the sleeping bag and thermarest come out to dry, too. I make sure the cats can't get at any of it. (Turns out that rainflys and inflatables are markedly less efficient once a cat has gotten into them... Don't ask...) I think the only things (except cats) you have to guard against in storage are abrasives and mildew. Seeing the gear is bone dry before storage is my primary defense against mildew.

If the tent body really requires more cleaning, I use a damp sponge. In extreme cases (serious mud or ice rime clinging to the tent on breaking camp), I've resorted to the hose and a spray nozzle followed by a long drying session. But I've rarely had to use the hose.

One other thing: 100% DEET will eat nylon, so if a bottle of that stuff spills in the tent, that's verly bad. It's way better to see the kids are putting that stuff on outside, just to be sure you don't lose a tent due to clumsiness. Maybe DEET isn't one of the "cooties" you had in mind, but I've had DEET spills eat into a fanny pack and a North Face parka, so I know it's one of the worst tent "cooties" out there.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:45 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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i do a good bit of both. gear gets shaken out and cleanly packed up when breaking down, but there's also a larger-scale/more thorough cleaning when finally back home.

it just pays off to air out all the gear thoroughly.
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2014, 07:36 AM
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Bushwalker Bushwalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylemeister
I try to keep things as clean as possible, within reason, when camping. I always sweep my tent as part of packing up when camping. I always clean up my boat after a day of fishing (picking up spent soft plastic lures, line clippings, putting things back where they belong, water bottles, cracker wrappers, etc.) I just like everything to be clean when I'm ready to use it next time.

Ditto for me, too : this is pretty much the same way that I try to go (good workshop practise, too ~ as well as when outdoors..), cleaning up along the way, rather than leaving it all to afterwards...

My brother destroyed a tent that he borrowed a few years ago by packing it up damp and salty and full of sand ~ when I got it back a few weeks later and unrolled it to clean and check it, all zips were already corroded and mesh parts starting to rot ! (Fortunately it was neither new nor expensive, but still reinforces that old adage against lending anything you value to family or friends..).

LEAVING a 'cleaning and maintenance' job to later can often mean that the task my not be done properly, or even worse that the damage has already been done..

Last edited by Bushwalker : 07-14-2014 at 07:38 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2014, 12:30 PM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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I try to sweep and clean as much as possible at the campsite, however, weather sometimes prevents that.

As far as DEET is concerned, I can't stand the stuff! It makes me feel hot and clammy and, as stated, can destroy some plastics. I use picaridin based bug repellents. They feel better on my skin and don't eat the clothes off my back. Sometimes, they are hard to find.
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