Off-Season Camping Readiness


After the holidays have past, and Super Bowl parties have ended, now we campers are anxious to get back to the great outdoors .  But for most of us, the conditions are not quite ideal just yet.  So what can we do? Are we just mandated to sit and twiddle our thumbs?  No!  Now is the perfect time to take stock of our gear and get to thinking about different areas to explore.  The following will give you a few good tips on how to spend a weekend of your spring preparing for a great camp season. Pull out all your gear – yes, I mean ALL of it.  Unload your camping box.  This will allow you to do 2 things:

  1. You need to survey everything you have accumulated in the past year(s).  Some things you may not be using year after year, or some things you may almost be out of.
  2. You can clean your camping box.  We can all admit that this is the one area that rarely gets cleaned after a single camping trip, let alone a whole season.  I’m not talking about bringing out the scrub brushes, but a good rinse out is not out of the question.?

Take Inventory

With everything out of the camping boxes, you can truly assess your situation. The following are some major highlights to focus on:

  • Check flashlights -change bulbs and/or batteries if needed
  • Unwrap the tent – check zippers and overall condition, don’t forget to look at the stakes and poles
  • Canned goods – are there any dented cans? Are your “staple” items all there (beans/veggies/fruit)?
  • First Aid Kit – Really go through this, it’s easy to forget you used the last band-aid, or that the scissors got lost on the last trip…
  • Water Storage – fill them up to make sure they don’t have any holes in them. It’s also a good idea to rinse them out just to freshen them up.
  • Propane tanks – Make sure you have a good supply of full tanks, if you tossed in the empties on the last trip – now’s the time to dispose of them properly.

Clean It Up

Now that you have gone through the equipment your second mission is to clean it up! In our crew we have a term, “camping clean”. Anyone that has been camping probably knows exactly what we mean when we say that – for those of you who don’t – it basically means in the civilian world, it could probably use a pass through the dishwasher, but out in the wild, it’s the best possible clean you’re going to get! But I digress, what I’m really saying is your camp kitchen gear could probably use a good cleaning. Pull out the utensils, pans, pots, etc and run them through the dishwasher. Wipe down the stove, table, and chairs with some soapy water.

Once you have done these things, you will feel rip-roaring ready to go! All that will be left to do is to get excited about the season. Wondering what adventures will be had and remembering the wonderful memories of years past.