Outdoors Information

Tent and Outdoor Gear Care and Repair


TENT CARE

You should seal all floor seams and those seams on the rainfly. This will make the tent waterproof. If the manufacturer already taped the seams, get some seam sealer anyway and seal the corners. Better to be safe than sorry.

Always use a ground sheet with your tent. This will cut down on the wear and tear of your tent floor. Rocks are sharper than you think and over time will push right through that nylon. If you do not buy a ground sheet made specifically for your tent, buy a plastic sheet and cut it slightly smaller than the dimensions of your floor. This will keep water from accumulating between the sheet and the tent floor.

Always store your tent DRY. If it gets wet on your trip, don't worry. Set it up when you get home and it will dry in about 30 minutes. If you store it wet, mildew will accumulate in the nylon and destroy the material. There is no way to stop mildew after it is there. Always store your tent DRY.

Store your tent in a relatively cool place. If you leave it in a hot room or car the sealed seams will delaminate causing the tent to lose its waterproofness.

FABRIC MAINTENANCE

A durable water-repellent (DWR) finish is applied to the outermost surface of waterproof/breathable clothing and equipment during manufacture. It prevents the fabric from absorbing moisture by making water bead up and roll off while minimizing condensation within the garment and maximizing breathability. This finish is not permanent and must be maintained to optimize performance.

Clean the fabric. Dirt attracts water, so clean the fabric with Nikwax Tech Wash non-detergent cleaner. Detergents can leave water-attractive residues that don't rinse out. They also contain agents that can wash away water-repellent treatments. Never use liquid detergents or fabric softeners.

Restore durable water repellency. Washing and using fabrics can make them begin to absorb water or "wet out". Nikwax TX-Direct completely restores durable water repellency and will last several washings without re-applying after every wash like other treatments.

Keep the fabric clean. Once treated, keep the fabric clean with Nikwax Tech Wash to maximize performance and extend the life of the fabric's new water-repellent finish.

BOOT CARE

The less water absorbed by leather, the longer it will last and the more comfortable you will be. Once wet, it stretches and weakens-shrinking and becoming brittle as it dries. Leather is skin without natural occurring lubricants and protectants of living skin, making it essential to keep it clean and add waterproofing and conditioners to maintain it.

Rinse off mud and dirt with plain fresh water, using a nylon brush if necessary. Small particles of dirt can work their way into the fibers of the leather causing it to dry out and break down.

Use a Nikwax waterproofing treatment of ours to protect and preserve the leather. If using a water-based treatment, (Aqueous Wax Leather Waterproofing, Nubuck and Suede, Fabric and Leather or Leather Cleaner and Conditioner) apply immediately after washing off boots with water. Wait until leather is dry before applying Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather or Liquid Nikwax.

Put in a warm, but not hot place to dry out. Excessive heat damages footwear. To help dry a boot that is filled with water or thoroughly soaked, stuff it with newspaper. Replace wet newspaper with dry, and repeat until boot is dry.

WATERPROOFING

--Boots - Boots are made of leather because it is comfortable, supportive, naturally water-repellent, and breathable. The less water absorbed by leather, the longer it will last and the more comfortable you will be. Once wet it stretches and weakens, shrinking and becoming brittle as it dries. Here are a few simple suggestions to keep boots performing at their best for years to come.

CLEANING:

The first step to boot maintenance is regular cleaning. Small particles of dirt can work their way into the fibres of the leather causing it to dry out and break down. After use rinse off mud and dirt with tap water. To remove oil-based dirt, excess wax and stubborn grime that will not be cleaned by plain water use NIKWAX Footwear Cleaning Gel and a nylon brush. Be sure to clean the linings of your boots with a warm damp cloth after each use as well. Salt from perspiration can pass into the lining rapidly destroying the leather making it dry and cracked.

RESTORE or ADD WATER-REPELLENCY: This is important not just to keep your feet dry, but will keep boots cleaner and maintain the leather's suppleness for improved durability. After cleaning boots with water, apply the appropriate NIKWAX waterproofing treatment to the entire boot, paying special attention the stitching and hardware (anywhere the leather has been punctured) to ensure complete protection from the elements. Reapply as necessary or after use in severe conditions. For best results let boots dry for 24 hours before use.

DRYING: Start by removing the laces and insoles. Dry boots slowly at room temperature. Do not expose boots to a direct heat source. Excessive heat can cause irreversible damage to the leather and is harmful to the adhesives used in boot construction. To help dry a boot that has been filled with water or is thoroughly soaked, we recommend stuffing it with newspaper. Replace wet newspaper and repeat until boot is dry. CONDITIONING: Conditioning boots can reduce the break-in time for new boots or revive old dried out boots. We suggest using NIKWAX Liquid Conditioner for leather, a few times a year or as needed.

--Sleeping Bags - Nikwax non-detergent soaps clean without harming water-repellency and help to restore the bag's loft. Nikwax waterproofing treatments are made from breathable elastic water-repellent elastomer called TX.10 that bonds to the fibers of the fabric and fill material. Treating sleeping bags with Nikwax makes them less susceptible to humidity and allows them to stay drier longer.

Down-Filled Sleeping Bags - Clean with Nikwax Down Wash, waterproof both down and shell fabric with Nikwax Downproof Wash-In, for Waterproof/Breathable outer shell fabrics - Waterproof outer shell fabric only with Nikwax TX-Direct Spray-On.

Synthetic-Filled Sleeping Bags - Clean with Nikwax Tech Wash, waterproof both insulation and shell fabric with Nikwax Polarproof Wash-In ,for Waterproof/Breathable outer shell fabrics - Waterproof outer shell fabric only with Nikwax TX-Direct Spray-On.

1) Use In A Front Loading Washing Machine for best results. Machine application provides an even distribution of the active ingredients. Use a large capacity (30 or 50 lb. load) commercial, front load machine. Top loading machines can cause damage to the bag. Set water Temperature to WARM.

2) Pre-Wash with the appropriate Nikwax non-detergent soap to remove dirt, water-attracting detergent residue and contaminants. Rinse the bag thoroughly. Apply the appropriate Nikwax waterproofing treatment to the clean, wet bag.

3) Add The Water-Repellent Treatment to the wash cycle soap dispenser after loading the bag into the machine (do not add to the pre-wash soap dispenser).

4) Tumble Dry the bag at the heat recommended on the CARE TAG. Large bags will require several hours of tumble drying. Make sure the bag is completely dry before storing. TECH TIP Use of a sleeping bag liner will help keep your bag clean. Make sure that your bag is thoroughly dry before storing in a loosely packed oversized stuff sack or sleeping bag storage sack.

Special consideration for sleeping bags with waterproof/breathable shells: Apply Nikwax TX-Direct Spray-On according to the directions on the bottle if all you want to do is add repellency to a bag that has a waterproof/breathable shell. Downproof and Polarproof can be used on bags with waterproof/breathable shell fabric, although they will slightly reduce breathability.

--Tents

1) Clean by sponging off the tent or pack with a solution of Nikwax Tech Wash and water to remove any dirt. ( Note: do not wash the tent in a washing machine.) You may also spray the tent with water to remove dirt or soap.

2) Treat by applying Nikwax Texnik while the fabric is still damp, spray or apply with a brush generously and evenly on the uncoated side of the fabric. Check carefully to make sure no areas of the fabric have been missed. Wipe up runs with a damp cloth. Allow to soak into cloth for 5 minutes and then wipe all excess (drips, runs, puddles) away with a damp cloth. (Note: Failure to do so may leave a white residue) Apply a second coat to areas of high traffic or abrasion (such as tent floors or pack bottoms), following the instructions above. Allow the first coat to dry before applying the second, rewet the fabric before applying so that it is damp to the touch.

3) Maintain after treating by sponging it off with a solution of Nikwax Tech Wash and water. Single Wall Tents and Bivy Sacks

1) Clean by sponging off the tent or bivy with a solution of Nikwax Tech Wash and water to remove any dirt. ( Note: do not wash in a washing machine.) You may also spray with water to remove dirt or soap, rinse thorougly.

2) Treat by applying Nikwax TX Direct Spray-On while the fabric is still damp, spray generously and evenly on the outer side of the fabric, rub into the fabric with a damp cloth to ensure even distribution. CHECK CAREFULLY to make sure no areas of the fabric have been missed. Allow to soak into cloth for 5 minutes and then wipe all excess (drips, runs, puddles) away with a damp cloth. Wipe away drips, runs or puddles 15 minutes later. (Note: Failure to do so may leave a white residue) Tent floors or bottoms that are not made with waterproof/breathable fabrics should be treated with Nikwax Texnik. Follow the same instructions as for above. Apply a second coat to areas of high traffic or abrasion. Allow the first coat to dry before applying the second, rewet the fabric before applying so that it is damp to the touch.

3) Maintain after treating by sponging it off with a solution of Nikwax Tech Wash and water followed by a thorough rinse with water.

--Outerwear

A durable water-repellent (DWR) finish is applied to the outermost surface of waterproof/breathable clothing and equipment during manufacture. It prevents the fabric from absorbing moisture by making water bead up and roll off. This minimizes condensation forming within and maximizes breathability. The DWR finish is not permanent and needs to be maintained to optimize performance. Safe for use on Gore-Tex®, Sympatex®, Entrant®, Ultrex®, TriplePoint® and all liner and shell fabrics.

1) Clean with Nikwax Tech Wash. Dirt will attract water and reduce the beading-up of droplets on the fabric's surface. Wash the garment in Nikwax Tech Wash non-detergent soap. Detergents can leave water-attractive residues that will not rinse out. They also contain agents that can wash away water-repellent treatments. Never use liquid detergents or fabric softeners.

2) Treat to restore durable water-repellency with Nikwax TX-Direct. Washing and using fabrics can make them begin to absorb water or "wet out". Nikwax TX-Direct completely restores surface water-repellency which enhances breathability. Nikwax TX-Direct lasts several washings and does not need to be reapplied after every wash like other treatments. TX-Direct is available in both wash-in and spray-on versions.

3) Maintain by cleaning the fabric with Nikwax Tech Wash. Once treated, keep the fabric clean with Nikwax Tech Wash to maximize performance and extend the life of the fabric's new water-repellent finish.

--Fleece and Insulated Garments

Even though synthetic insulating fibers naturally absorb little moisture they can hold substantial liquid within the structure of the knit or weave. This significantly reduces the thermal insulating qualities of the garment. With proper cleaning and the addition of Nikwax Polarproof you can improve the performance of your insulated clothing-especially in wet or humid conditions. Stay drier, warmer and be more comfortable. Nikwax treatments will not affect the look, feel or breathability of the item. Ideal for use on PolarTec®, Synchilla®, Chinella®, Thinsulate®, LiteLoft®, Primaloft®, Polarguard/ PolarguardHV® and Hollofill®.

1) Clean the fabric with Nikwax Tech Wash. Dirt will attract water and reduce the beading-up of droplets on the fabric's surface. Wash the garment in Nikwax Tech Wash non-detergent soap. Detergents can leave water-attractive residues that will not rinse out. They also contain agents that can wash away water-repellent treatments. Never use liquid detergents or fabric softeners.

2) Treat to add durable water-repellency with Nikwax Polarproof. Nikwax Polarproof adds surface water-repellency which reduces water-absorption, minimizes weight gains and maintains insulating properties. Nikwax Polarproof lasts several washings and does not need to be reapplied after every wash like other treatments. Polarproof is an easy-to-use wash-in treatment.

3) Maintain by cleaning the fabric with Nikwax Tech Wash. Once treated, keep the fabric clean with Nikwax Tech Wash to maximize performance and extend the life of the fabric's new water-repellent finish.

--Down Garments

Down is an amazing natural fiber that has an unbeatable warmth to weight ratio. It's compressible, resilient and very long lasting if properly maintained. The major drawback of using down-filled clothing is it's inability to retain loft and insulate when wet. To optimize the performance of your down-filled garments: 1) clean it regularly and, 2) add the appropriate Nikwax water-repellent finish. When machine washing always use a front load machine-top loading agitator machines can damage the garment.

1) Clean with Nikwax Down Wash. Dirt and body oils will contaminate the down causing it to clump together and loose loft. Dirt also attracts water and reduces the beading-up of droplets on the fabric's surface. Wash the garment in Nikwax Down Wash non-detergent soap. Detergents can leave water-attractive residues that will not rinse out. They also contain agents that can wash away the natural oils of the down. Never use liquid detergents or fabric softeners.

2) Treat to add water-repellency with Nikwax Down Proof. The performance of down-filled garments in wet or humid conditions will be enhanced by applying the appropriate Nikwax treatment. To add water-repellency to the whole garment--shell, down and inner lining--use Nikwax Down Proof. Nikwax Down Proof is a wash-in product that will treat the whole garment with a durable water repellency (DWR) that does not affect breathability, look or feel. Note: If your down garment incorporates a waterproof breathable shell fabric, you should use Nikwax TX-Direct Spray-On. Nikwax TX-Direct lasts several washings and does not need to be reapplied after every wash. TX-Direct Spray-On should be used on these garments when you do not want to treat the down itself. Independent lab tests indicated that Nikwax Down Proof could slightly reduce the breathability when used on a fabric with a microporous laminate or coating. However, the reduction was so slight that is would not be noticeable in the field. If a slight loss of breathability is a concern, use TX-Direct Spray-On.

3) Maintain by cleaning with Nikwax Down Wash. Keep the item clean with Nikwax Down Wash to maximize thermal properties of the down and extend the life of the garment.

- Outerwear Endorsements for Nikwax Products: Boulder Gear, Burton, Degre 7, Granite Gear, Kokatat, Marmot, Moonstone, Mountain Hardwear, Ned Limbo Phd, Obermeyer, Outdoor Research, Pacific Trail, Rail Riders, Schoffel, Sequel, Sierra Designs, Solstice, Spyder, The North Face, W. L. Gore.

WATER FILTER CARE

Keep Your Water Filter Flowing

Most people often overlook cleaning their filter after a trip and before storage. You can triple or quadruple the life of your filter if it is cleaned properly. Most filters come with extensive cleaning/maintenance instructions, which you should follow closely. Here's a list of procedures that will increase your filter's performance greatly.

Backwash a Filter

When output starts to slow, detach the intake hose and attach it to the filter outlet. Pumping will send a "backwash" of clean water through the filter, loosening some of the accumulated gunk. After backwashing or before storage, the filter element must usually be sanitized with a diluted bleach solution.

Scrub a ceramic element

This means removing and wiping off the ceramic cylinder. If the water flow has slowed, scrub the cylinder with a toothbrush to restore normal output. Some ceramic elements contain silver to limit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae within the filter, which keeps you from having to sanitize it after cleaning. Note, however, that the silver isn't intended as a water treatment by itself.

Clean the surface filter

This means removing the filter membrane and scraping or brushing it clean. Most people replace their membrane when it turns gray. After removing the membrane, you must sanitize it with a bleach solution or by boiling.

Start with the cleanest water you can

Try and not make your filter work harder than need be. Use pools rather than large currents, because they stir up sand and debris. Always hold the intake hose above ground so you won't suck up any mud, muck, or leaves.

Let water settle

Dip up a container of water and set it aside to let the suspended solids settle out. A few hours will help, but leaving water to settle overnight is best.

Copyright © http://www.TheCampingGuide.com 2003

Original article @ http://www.thecampingguide.com/articles/GEAR/Gear-Care-and-Repair.asp


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