It’s February, and in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado the snow is falling and we still have a couple of months of ski season left. We’ve yet to start thinking about the summer months of cool nights and warm days because we’re still doing our snow dance. Alas, now is the time to start preparing for sleeping in the dirt and under the stars. Repairs and maintenance of gear is inevitable.
In an ideal world, if any of your gear needs repairs the best time to have it fixed is at the end of the season before you store it away, and the syndrome of “out of sight out of mind” takes over. The reality is that while camping season comes to an end we’re all so busy getting ready for winter that our gear ends up waiting on necessary repairs.
Getting tents, sleeping bags and other items repaired in the winter is another great option. Having your gear repaired down time means you’re ready to go when that first impromptu camping trip pops up. Here at Big Agnes, we enjoy repairing gear in the off season so we can have a quicker turn-around, and a lower workload come busy summer months. We perform repairs on ripped tents and sleeping bags, repair zippers that do not want to stay closed, and replace broken or bent segments on pole sets, as well as hubs and shock cords. All of these repairs are done by our in-house repair technicians whose goals are to perform professional repairs in a timely manner to get you back outdoors at a minimal cost.
It’s never fun to send your favorite tent out to get repaired no matter how quickly it’s returned to you. Some simple upkeep of these items can greatly reduce the need to send your tent to get fixed. For example: zippers. Zippers can wear down if there is dirt and dust caught in the zipper teeth (a frequent occurrence if camping on the beach or in the desert). The dirt and dust acts like sand paper and will wear down the slider which causes the zipper teeth to not connect and open up. This can be prevented with brushing the zipper teeth with a fine toothed comb/toothbrush or by using McNetts Zip Care. Another scenario is UV damage. This can cause your tent to become brittle and tear more easily. A personal favorite solution is the Solar Proof Spray which not only adds a layer of UV Protection (like sunscreen does for your skin), but also helps revitalize the water-resistant coating. Just feel like washing the tent to get the dirt and grime off? Try Nikwax Tech Wash. More care tips for Big Agnes products can be found on the FAQ page including bag washing/re-lofting, zipper care, etc. Big Agnes recommend Nikwax products to be used on our tent fabrics.
Just like everything else in the world your camping gear needs a little TLC to perform to its full potential, and taking care of matters before the camping season hits means you’re ready to hit the trail as soon as they dry out.
-Nikki Flamio, Big Agnes Customer Service Representative