It’s been a long, cold winter, but those days are now behind you -- it’s officially Spring! And that means it’s time to start planning for warm-weather adventures. If you’re like us, you never really stop planning the next adventure (or three). Here’s a quick checklist to make sure your gear is all ready to go so you’re not left out in the cold.
Deep Clean Those Dishes
You may make the best backcountry chicken curry around. But what did those pots and dishes look like when you cleaned them last. “Camp clean” works great while you’re in the backcountry -- just rinse those dishes out in some water, wipe them with a towel and they’re good to go. But just like an artist placing a brush on a fresh, clean canvas, your best cooking will come out with some nice clean cook wear. Break out that camp kitchen set and throw everything for a run through the dishwasher. When it’s time to bust them out for the first outside meal of the year, your taste buds will thank you. Because nobody wants to spend a camping trip running to the bathroom from some bad curry!
Pitch A Tent
If you’re anything like us, that final camping trip last fall feels like it was years ago. Now think back to that trip… Was your tent dry when you put it away? Is there mud caked inside the entryway? Did you remember to pull your headlamp out of the pocket? Well, there’s only one way to be sure -- grab that tent and set it up in your living room/backyard/park/kitchen/garage/etc. Really any place that’s larger than the footprint of your tent. We like to use our yard because that makes for easy cleaning. Just grab a hose and a rag or sponge and give it a quick spray and wipe down. Just let it dry in the sun for an hour or so and it will be all set for your first weekend getaway of the year. This is also a great time to inventory tent stakes and examine the tent for rips or burns that might need mending. Bike tube patches work great for small holes and most local gear stores can apply larger patches but don’t be afraid to fall back to some good ol’ duct tape.
Plan Those Trips and Get Those Permit Applications In
It’s nice to keep an adventure bucket list going at all times. We like to keep ours categorized into three categories:
+Weekend Adventures (2-4 day trips)
These are easy. Just pack up the car before work on Friday and drive to your woods, lake or mountain of choice. You can usually get by without any major planning for expeditions like this. Just remember the basics (tent, food, coffee) and you can get through almost anything.
+Vacation Request Adventures (4-7 days)
Hence the name, these trips require a little more planning (including more than a weekend off of work). For trips like this, make sure to create a good supply list and don’t forget to put those permit applications in. Most national parks require permits for overnight backcountry adventures.
+Epics (7+ days or trips that require some serious planning)
Epics, also known as “bucket list trips,” are the holy grail of the outdoor lover. Often requiring months or years of planning, these are the types of trips you return from a changed person. There’s no exact science for how often one should embark on a trip like this but if it’s been more than a year or two since your last one, it’s probably time to start planning. Your soul will thank you!
Splurge On That New Gear
Did your plastic camp mug fall in the fire last year? Time for some new cutlery? Finally ready to step up to a fully integrated cooking system? Well now is the time. While you’re cleaning and taking inventory of all your camping gear this spring, take a minute and determine if any of your gear is hanging on by threads. To help you out, GSI is offering free shipping on all orders over $65 for the month of April. So what are you waiting for? That new cookset isn’t going to magically appear in your pack.