Our general guidelines recommend regularly washing and reproofing your kit with Granger's (see more). If you choose to rinse your gear in bleach or detergent such as Milton, be sure to rinse it fresh water afterwards. Using a detergent may affect the lifespan of your kit and, as manufacturers, we would normally recommend avoiding this, although we appreciate these are not normal times. Please understand that if you do use bleach or similar it may affect the warranty of the product.
For more handy hints on looking after your kit this summer, check out the following points taken from a previous post...
- UV - extended exposure to UV has a serious effect on man made fabrics. Try to dry your kit away from direct sunlight if possible, and definitely don't leave your kit in the sun for long periods of time when camping, on trips etc.
- Kit dies in hot cars! If you do have to leave your kit in your vehicle for a longer period, stick it in your boot, or at the very least in a kit bag. Latex seals, seams and printing - along with seam tape - can deteriorate rapidly on your parcel shelf / car seats in the sun, as anyone who has ever left a pair of shoes on the dashboard can attest to (guilty...). Really important this one, you can trash kit in a short time by making this mistake.
- Sun cream and insect repellant (e.g. DEET) - both handy in the warmer months but both pretty brutal on man-made materials, especially rubber and latex. Be really careful when applying these products: do it after your kit is on so you will transfer as little as possible to the materials. Also be particularly careful to get as little as possible on to your spraydeck! DEET is especially powerful, treat with caution. Look for natural alternatives, but do not hold us responsible when your citronella oil fails miserably to hold the west coast midges at bay. Recommendations anyone?
- Everyone loves the beach (right?) but salt and sand are both fairly abrasive on, well, everything. Rinse your kit!
- Wear a base layer. Obviously you don't need to go for multiple thermals in summer, however wearing a thin, wicking base layer will not only reduce condensation by helping your waterproofs to breathe, but will also reduce damage to kit (and odours) caused by sweat. And base layers are a lot easier to wash than a dry cag...
- Finally, when we can go camping again, keep your kit in a kit bag in your tent- don't leave your kit lying around on the grass. Mice, like paddlers, love waterproof kit. We've seen the evidence. You'll only do it once...
We hope this helps! You can see our regular care guidelines here.
Keep safe, keep well, and keep local!