How to Clean and Store Camping Gear


Camping is, of course, an ideal way to relax and enjoy nature. It’s also an excellent way to spend time with family and friends while cooking over the campfire, hiking on the trails, or just sitting around chatting. Whether you’re going camping for the weekend or taking a lengthy vacation, it’s important to keep your equipment in good condition and store it properly when not in use. Follow the steps below for a deep clean and effective storage of all your outdoor equipment.

How to Clean

Use Soft Brush to Clean off Dried Mud or Dirt

Camping gear gets exposed to all types of elements and surfaces. While venturing off the beaten path, you may encounter mud, dirt, dust, and other debris that can seep into your camping equipment if not cleaned well. Use a soft cloth or brush to carefully remove dried debris from your tent poles, hiking boots, sleeping bag zippers, and more.

Use Water and Mild Soap to Clean off More Grime

If your gear has a little more buildup on it, like dirt, grime, and dust that is caked hard or dried in place, you’ll need a little water and mild soap to get the job done. Add some soap to a bucket full of water and use a soft cloth to gently wipe down your tent, air mattress, and cookware. Ensure to rinse with fresh water and allow everything to dry completely before packing it away or storing it in the garage.

Clean off Odor Causing Bacteria with Vinegar

 Strong odors like smoke, sweat, and mildew can accumulate over time if not properly stored or cleaned after each use. Luckily these odors can be easily removed with white vinegar. Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz your tent fabric, camping air mattress, sleeping bag, and more until damp. Allow the vinegar to dry for several hours before packing it away again.

 Tackle Grease and Oil with Dawn Dish Soap

 Stubborn grease and oil splatters on your pots and pans, grill surfaces, and camping stoves can be tough to remove without proper cleaning. Luckily, all you need is a little dawn dish soap to get the job done. Add a few drops of dawn dish soap to a bucket of warm water and use a sponge or dishcloth to scrub off your camping stove, grills, and pots and pans. Make sure they’re completely dry before packing them away again after camping with pure golden hour Michelob ultra.

Clean Zippers with WD-40

 If your tent, sleeping bag, or other camping gear zipper is jammed or doesn’t open and close smoothly, use a little WD-40 to take care of the problem. Spray down the zipper to loosen it up so you don’t damage it with excessive force later on. Be careful not to spray too much WD-40 directly onto your gear. You only need a spritz or two to get the job done.

How to Store

Hang Tents to Dry Instead of Folding them Up

 Instead of just folding up your tent, sleeping bag, hammock, and more after a camping trip, hang them out to dry instead. This will ensure that they maintain their original shape and don’t develop mildew or mold. You can also store this clean gear in a garbage bag if you plan on using it again soon, so it doesn’t get dusty or dirty again.

Lay Out Sleeping Bags and Air Mattresses Flat

 After a camping trip, take a few minutes to lay out your sleeping bags and air mattresses flat on the ground with all zippers open so they can air dry. This is especially important if you place them in a storage bag after the trip. Folding them while they’re still wet will cause them to develop mildew and other unwanted smells.

Remove Batteries Before Storing Camping Gears

 If you have any camping gear that runs on batteries, like a headlamp or flashlight, remove the batteries before storing them away. This shall help prevent corrosion and damage to the battery cells.

Store the Camping Gear in a Cool, Dry Place

 Moisture is the enemy of camping gear. Not only does it cause mildew and mold to form, but it can also cause metal parts to rust and plastic parts to crack. Store the camping gear in a cool, dry place like a garage or closet to help prolong its life.

 Inspect Gear for Damage Before Storing

 Before you put away your camping gear for the season, please take a few minutes to inspect it for damage. Repair any rips or tears in your tent and replace faulty parts on your stove, lantern, air pump, etc. This will help prevent injuries while camping next season.

Closing Thoughts

 Camping shall be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to take care of your gear properly so you can enjoy it for many seasons to come. Follow these simple tips to keep your camping gear clean and in good condition.


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