If you have a lot of duffel bags and backpacks, it’s a good idea to go through every single pocket and zippered storage area.
Throw away your granola bar wrappers, cans, bottles, or any other trash to ensure that it doesn’t sit in a closed bag all winter. You also may find pieces of gear that you’ve been missing like keys, cards, and other items that may have disappeared throughout the season.
WIPE AND DRY SLEEPING PADS
Pads perform best when cleaned regularly. Before storing the pad away for the winter, it’s a good idea to wipe it down thoroughly.
For particularly dirty pads mix 2 cups of warm water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and wipe down with a washcloth. Rinse well. DO NOT use any detergents, even natural detergents. DO NOT put in a washing machine.
Hang the pad out upside down overnight with the vent open to allow the pad to dry completely before rolling it up and rolling it away.
WASH AND DRY SLEEPING BAGS
Sleeping bags, especially down-filled bags can wear down when cleaned frequently. However, it’s a good idea to clean it after the season.
We recommend washing a down bag in a front-loading washer. Never use an agitator-style machine as the motion can damage the stitching and feathers. Make sure to wash your sleeping bag on the gentle cycle in cool water with a down specific soap. To dry your down sleeping bag, set your dryer on the no heat setting and check often. If it is too hot you will run the risk of melting the fabric on your sleeping bag. The fluff or tumble setting without heat is the safest way to dry your bag. When the bag is nearly dry, add two or three clean tennis balls or a pair of clean sneakers to the dryer. This will help break up any clumps in the bag and will help to restore the loft. You will know your bag is fully dry when the musty smell is gone and no clumps of down remain.
Make sure your bag is completely dry, and store in a mesh large storage bag. This will preserve the fluffiness of the down feathers.