Spring Break, Spring Cleaning

spring outdoor sportsCalling all University of Arkansas college students! Spring Break is here and we know a lot of you will be getting out of the dorm or your apartment and enjoying the great outdoors, no matter what the weather is like. If you haven’t pulled out your gear since last summer, it’s probably time to give it a once over before you head out into the woods. Here’s a list of things to do as a spring check-up before heading out:

Tents

Take it out and pitch it! Make sure all the zippers still work smoothly, there aren’t any rips or tears and you have all the parts in working order, including poles, stakes and guy-lines. (Remember that time when the possum walked over it? Those claw marks need some patching!)

Sleeping bags, pads, and stuff sacks

Pull out your sleeping bag and check it for mold and mildew. Wash or get it dry cleaned, if it’s smelling stinky. Check your sleeping pad to make sure it’s still got spring left in it and give your stuff sack a good washing.

Lighting

Check batteries for life because running out of juice while making a midnight run to the latrine is never fun. If you use gas lanterns, give all the parts a going over to make sure nothing’s cracked or frayed and the relief valve isn’t clogged.

First Aid

Check your emergency supplies and replenish anything necessary. Check expiration dates too because, honestly, when was the last time you did that?

Food related gear

If you plan on cooking in the woods, make sure your cooking gear is in working order and all the burners are clean, fitting tightly and are well fueled. Also check your coolers and storage for mold and mildew and give it all a once over with some bleach solution.

Taking a few minutes before you go saves you time in the long run — and it can also save you from an unpleasant experience with a moldy sleeping bag and leaky tent.

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