Picture this: you’re back from your latest adventure exploring Snowdonia, your Hyperlite Mountain Gear a testament to the incredible memories made. Now, before you sit down to relive those moments, it’s time to give your gear the attention it deserves. Don’t leave it there to fester or shove it in the shed hoping for the best. Let’s prep your kit for winter and get it ready to store properly.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of keeping your gear clean and pristine, ensuring that each piece is ready to accompany you on your next exciting escapade into the wilderness.
Embarking on a Gear Cleaning Adventure
Your kit (Hyperlite or otherwise) is worthy of the same meticulous care as your body does post-hike. I’m not suggesting a magnesium salt bath or a sports massage for your gear but, whether it’s preparing for the next adventure or the off-season hibernation, it’s time to restore some order.
When you’ve invested in kit this good, you don’t want to squander that – it’s not good for your pocket or the planet. So let’s get to it! Time to gather every piece of kit that’s journeyed with you, and begin readying them for new exploits.
Essential Cleaning: Our 1085 Adventures approach
Before we dive into the soapy depths of cleaning your gear, let’s lay down the basics.
Non-detergent, non-oil-based soaps are your buddies, and warm water is your best pal here. We like to fill the bath with lukewarm water and minimal soap for some soaking and scrubbing opportunities that won’t waste water or put your gear at risk.
And remember, avoid any sort of concentrated heat – no hair dryers, fireplaces, or wood stoves! Air drying is best in most cases, although the tumble dryer is handy for some things to restore them (like your down sleeping bag, or puffer jacket).
(NB: always check the labels for the manufacturer’s advice! Our top tip: if you hate labels and cut them out for comfort, take a pic of the washing instructions first!)
Cleaning your trusty pack
If you’re anything like us, it’s rare you have a chance to wash your pack in between trips, so now is the time to give this loyal companion of yours a little winter TLC. Start with removing any aluminium stays (wipe these down if necessary), and releasing any zips on your pack. Then give it a good ol’ shake to rid it of any cheeky treasures trapped inside (KitKat foil, fluff from your socks…maybe even the odd earwig) – let’s keep the memories, not the crumbs. Turn it inside out and hand-wash in the bathtub with a gentle soap and warm water.
Now rinse it off and let it hang upside down – preferably get it outside on the washing line for the fresh air.
We use all the same tactics with the Hyperlite stuff sacks. Keep it simple!
Now, let’s talk shelters – those reliable havens that shield you from the elements. A gentle jiggle around in the bath with some Tech Wash might be fine, but if a deep clean is in order, hose it down with a delicate stream and a squirt of soap (if you’ve not got access to a hose, I’ve done mine in the shower before!). You can use a soft cloth for any stubborn spots.
To dry your tent or tarp, it’s best to pitch it (if you can) and let it air-dry, door open, or hang it out on the line. Make sure it’s fully dried out before folding it away or putting it into your Stuff Sack or you could find a mildew-y situation come Spring.
Keep your sleeping gear comfy
When we get to washing our down sleeping bags and quilts, it all comes down to not using too much soap. Again the recipe for impeccable care involves filling the tub, using a specialised down wash, and giving it some gentle agitation. Less is more in this case, with both bubbles and movement.
Now…drying your sleeping gear is an art. A surprisingly heavy one. After squeezing out excess water (and that might take some time!!), wriggle the edges and break up the clumps a bit. Opt for a gentle dryer setting and throw in a tennis ball or two to help fluff up the feathers (also great for your puffer FYI). Every now and then, give it a shake. Quadruple check it’s dry when you think it’s done…because there’s nothing more grim than putting away a slightly damp sleeping bag and rediscovering it months later.
Trust us – patience pays off, ensuring your kit’s ready for keeping you cosy at night on your next wild trip.
Storing kit while you wait for future adventures
Remember to store your sleeping bags uncompressed and give your tent a little room to breathe, too, to prevent mildew growth and unnecessary fabric abrasion.
Don’t store your gear in direct sunlight or moisture-prone areas, and keep it covered if you can. I have a few large plastic boxes for this purpose, but an old pillowcase can also serve double duty as an at-home stuff sack.
Hopefully this 1085 Adventures guide has armed you with the wisdom of a seasoned adventurer, dedicated to the art of caring for your gear – saving you from buying replacements while helping minimise your impact on the planet, but maximising your adventure time.
Now, as you set your sights on the horizon, rest assured that your Hyperlite Mountain Gear and other kit is as ready for the next thrilling escapade as you are.
Happy cleaning and happy exploring!