Durability is almost always a trait that outdoor companies use to highlight why their products are more favorable than others. Some go a step further and back them up with lifetime guarantees against defects and abuse. It makes perfect sense; after all, if you spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of hiking boots, a sleeping bag or a jacket, you expect it to handle more than a few trips to the mountains before a stitch comes loose or a seam begins to tear.
Sometimes gear failure is unavoidable. An outer layer may snag on a rock or thorn, a spark from a campfire may land on a nearby tent. These are unfortunate, happenstance situations. Laziness and neglect are not, and they shouldn’t be the reason why a piece of expensive outdoor gear doesn’t last its entire intended lifespan.
We often think of outdoor gear as different from regular clothing; it is, and it isn’t. Certain technical fabrics require special attention in maintenance while others can be treated just like an everyday t-shirt (durable water-repellent coatings, for instance, lose their hydrophobic qualities when covered in dirt and body oils and will revitalize after a quick wash and dry cycle).
Cleaning and repairing outdoor gear can seem intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. In almost every case you can simply follow the instructions on the garment tag. For all the others, you can see our step-by-step guides.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Leather Hiking Boots
With the right care and attention, a pair of well-built leather hiking boots will last for years. Here are the steps to make your current pair your last pair.
How to Wash a Down Sleeping Bag
Washing a down sleeping bag (or a down jacket) is simpler than you might think.
How to Re-Waterproof Your Jacket
Waterproof garments can lose their resilience over time, but that doesn’t mean your rain jacket belongs in the trash. Save yourself a few dollars by learning how to revitalize it with the right tools and…
Need to Re-Wax Your Canvas Jacket? Here’s How to Do It Right
If you’re lucky enough to own one, you need to know how to re-wax it properly — instead of just buying a new one.