Jump to content


Maintenance for Backpacking and Hiking Gear


Aaron Zagrodnick

Recommended Posts

  • Premium Member
Aaron Zagrodnick

A great winter was enjoyed. And it is not quite the end of winter. Spring is almost here. The fine art of ski touring was mastered a bit more. The goal of one winter backpacking trip a month was achieved. Some foothills trail work was done on a few occasions. Your trusty leather hiking boots not only let you walk up to a trail work site, but also became coated with mud on some of the warm winter days that occur just before spring. Your down coat seems a little grungy from some deep shoulder season camping trips and is redolent of the fine aroma of what seems to be fermented wood smoke. And you go into the gear closet and notice your sleeping bag smells a bit like last summer’s backpacking season...for better, but probably worse. Your pack is encrusted with salt and red dirt from some early season Utah trips already taken. A favorite wool ski hat? Seems a little stiff from sweat and salt after some hard ski tours the past month or so. And the hiking poles need a bit of TLC. A few buttons are loose on a favorite hiking shirt. And there is a tear in a rain jacket you meant to repair. And the pockets on the pack have a bit of a rip. It is time to spend a weekend to perform some spring cleaning. It is time to do some gear maintenance...

@PaulMags with an in-depth article on getting that backpacking and hiking gear back in shape and ready for whatever trails and seasons lay ahead. Take a look at all the details here:

Gear Maintenance - Spring Cleaning for the Outdoors Crowd

How to maintain, patch, fix, and clean backpacking / hiking gear

Issue 27 Page 1

Link to post
Share on other sites

Backpacking equipment requires little maintenance if you are careful with it.  Sometimes I rinse everything with a strong spray from a hose.

The exception is washing clothing and down bags.  The new products made for down are a big improvement.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I really liked Paul's article on gear maintenance. Lots of great tips that I can use.

I have a problem that may not fall exactly under gear maintenance but wanted to ask Paul/others here if they have any input on it. I have a large Kelty day pack that I use for traveling. It is 12-14 years old and is made of a heavy robust rip stop material. It is now starting to get a bit sticky inside as the protective coating (PU?) may be letting go from the material. I'm not really sure. I have wiped out the pack and have tried to use a water on a rag to get rid of the sticky/tacky feel, but that only provided a minimal fix; it's just a little less sticky now. So, do you know what I can do to get rid of the stickiness? I've thought of just putting everything in a plastic bag, and that would fix the problem, but that'd be a major hassle when locating items in the pack.

I sure hope somebody has an answer for this. I really like this pack.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Premium Member
PaulMags

On that old of a pack, you'll have to remove the old PU coating and then reapply with something call Aquaseal or similar tent floor sealant. (Yes..made for a tent, works for packs too apparently)  Never done it myself.

Thread with some details if you want do DIY:

http://litetornado.blogspot.com/2009/12/re-waterproofing-backpack.html

Looks like an ~72 hour process all together. 

Edited by PaulMags
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the direction. I'll see if it will be worth my time. I I have a bottle of Gear Aid Tent Sure floor sealant. -Hoping I don't have to spend hours peeling the old PU off.

Thanks again

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Premium Member
PaulMags

Another option is to call Kelty up. They typically have great customer service. They may repair the pack for you...or even replace it. You never know! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Premium Member

There is information on the Tent Sure Web Page about removing the old PU coating. The short version is, soak the fabric in water until the coating comes loose and then remove the coating with a scrub brush. The most interesting part of the post was that the best way to get the coating to fail is to put your gear away wet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

So, I finally got around to calling Kelty, thanks Paul. Billg above essentially summarizes what they told me to do. Their instructions included soaking the pack in cool water with a non-fragrant washing machine soap. Then let it dry. Finally use a scrub brush to take off the remainder of the coating. For me, it too two soakings and the second time I used the roughness of my hands to loosen all the coating after it had been in the water a while and then I thoroughly rinsed the pack and put it in the sun for a while before hanging it in the garage to fully dry. I had very little scrubbing to do once it was all dry the second time. I'd say I spent 2-3 hours doing this project and it for me was worth it. Kelty mentioned that I could treat the outside with a DWR or re-waterproof the inside. But for me, this pack is just used for traveling as it fits well in the overhead bin on an aircraft. I'm glad it is not all sticky inside anymore and it'll probably last another 20 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...