Today’s blog post is brought to you by our fabulous blogger and outdoor guru, Katlyn Spade.
Camping is a favorite pastime among Americans with more than one million new households joining the camping family in 2018 alone. Undeniably, there are many benefits to camping, such as reconnecting with nature and family or friends, reducing stress, and improving your mood. On the downside, camping also entails maintaining your gear—from caring for hiking boots to storing tents properly both during and after time spent in the woods. Proper camping gear storage is essential to protecting your equipment from insidious threats like dry rot, mildew, and mold. Ensuring that these items are mold-free will prolong the life of your camping gear and equipment, giving you many years of use. More importantly, camping gear that is free from mold prevents inhalation of spores, which could cause respiratory problems.
Clean Tents, Backpacks, and Shoes
Tents are designed to provide shelter and to protect you from the rain and sun. They can withstand the harsh elements such as salt, humidity, and the harsh conditions outdoors. However, if you don’t clean and air your tent, mold and mildew are going to grow. After a camping trip, make sure that the tent is cleaned and air dried before storing it. Don’t just fold or shove it in one dark corner of your garage or basement as this will surely encourage the growth of mold.
If you suspect mold growth in your home but can't find any traces of it, schedule a mold inspection to confirm its presence and remove it promptly. Mold does not only affect the walls, floors, or plumbing of your abode, it can also get in your shoes, backpack, and other items, again making a strong case for creating a clean area in your home for camping gear storage. For example, you’ll want to store your clean hiking boots in a well-ventilated and damp-free area rather than tossing them in the back of a closet or garage until your next adventure.
If it’s too late, and you need to know how to clean a tent with mold, there are a few ways to achieve this. Scrub the canvas of your tent with a brush using a solution of soap, lemon, and hot water. There are also enzymatic cleaners that you can use that are effective in removing stains from natural and synthetic fibers. Avoid using bleach on camping gear because they are harsh on the materials of your equipment.
Prevent Mold Growth While Camping
While there are ways to protect your camping gear in storage, there are several ways to prevent mold from appearing while you are using your camping gear. One is to invest in a tent footprint. This is a piece of cloth that you put under your tent to minimize tear and abrasion. Tent footprints can keep your tent warmer and also prevent water from pooling under the tent which will discourage the appearance of mold. Alternatively, use a tarp that can serve other purposes such as a cooking or dining area. Since mold thrives in a damp and humid environment, make it a habit to air your tent daily. Roll up ventilation flaps to change the air inside and get rid of musty odors especially after a heavy downpour.
It is also a good idea to leave shoes outside of the tent to prevent dirt from spreading inside. If it is raining, put your shoes in a waterproof bag and hang it inside. Just make sure to clean and air your footwear once the weather clears. The same goes for backpacks and anything that you’re using while camping. The key is to clean your gear and dry them thoroughly before storage.
Spending time outdoors is a fun and healthy way of recreation. Camping experience is enhanced if you take care of your camping gear ensuring that you create a dedicated camping gear storage area that is dry and well-ventilated to keep your boots and equipment mold-free. Explore more of our blogs to learn about proper care for hiking boots!