Roothy’s top 7 tips for maintaining camping gear

1. Look after your fabrics 

The first thing you’ve got to do is look after your fabrics. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a camper trailer, a tent or a swag, bring it home, chuck it in the shed or the back verandah or outside on a sunny day, and give it about six hours of sunshine. That’ll just dry everything thoroughly and then you can pack it away!

Most people give off a little bit of moisture when they’re sleeping so sleeping bags need to be dry cleaned about once a year. In the meantime, you can take advantage of the Queensland sunshine. Just unzip the whole thing and hang it on the washing line out in the sun. The sun is like natural disinfectant.

When you go to store your sleeping bag, don’t crush it back up into that tiny little bag that it came in. It crushes the filling and over time takes away the insulation properties. If you can hang it in a wardrobe, otherwise, use a larger bag than the original one it came in and loose roll it so it’s not so crushed up.

2. Maintain your zippers 

You’ve got zippers pretty much everywhere on your camping gear these days from the swag to the camper trailer to the awning, and a really good thing to do just before you pack it away is get a wax candle and run it along the edge of each zip.

It will lubricate the zippers and just make them a whole lot easier to open and shut. It’ll make them last longer too.

3. Clean out fridges and ice boxes 

Fridges, eskies, ice boxes, anything like that, the first thing you should do is clean it all out and then leave it stored with something to hold the lid open so it can breath. An extra tip here, use something like a rag or something wide to even out the pressure on the seals.

4. Clean and maintain cast iron cookware 

First of all give it a really good scrub, go find the biggest scourer you can. Then, get some oil. Canola spray, olive oil, and give everything a spray. Inside and out.

5. Remove and charge batteries 

Take out all batteries on the big things and the little. Chain saws, blowers, even things like kid’s torches. Charge them up if they’re chargeable and they’ll be ready to go next time and you won’t have anything eroding away inside.

6. Remove food 

When it comes to the food you’ve got left over from the trip, you either want to use it pretty much straight away, or if it’s tinned food, you can hang onto it till next time. But anything at all that’s flour based or sweet based like sugar or jam, get them out and either use them straight away or throw them away.

Do not take them into the house, as you might end up with an outbreak of weevils in your pantry like Roothy once did!

7. Bomb it! 

When you’ve been out bush, you’re going to bring back all sorts of bugs that aren’t easy to spot, so when you get back put all your camping gear together somewhere in an enclosed space and set off an insect control bomb. After all you don’t want any extra hitchhikers on your next trip.