How To Clean Your Camping Gear

Hi, Sweet Friends,
Just got back from an adventure! Now the cleaning starts!
I took a look at our camping gear and it really needed a good cleaning!

Old Kerosene Lanterns
I looked up on the net to see how to clean the lanterns first and found this way to be the most useful. This is from "How to Restore Old Kerosene Lanterns from Home Guides".

Things You Will Need

  • Latex gloves
  • Measuring cups
  • Kerosene
  • Rags
  • Liquid auto polish
  • Spray lubricant
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Thin stick
  • Wick
  • Scissors


Put on latex gloves. Take the chimney cap off the glass chimney and lift the chimney off the lamp body. Unscrew the wick collar from the lamp body. Unscrew the filler cap from the lamp body.


Pour 1/2 cup of kerosene in a measuring cup. Pour the kerosene into the lamp's body and gently slosh it around to collect any dirt or debris inside. Pour out the dirty kerosene into the measuring cup for disposal in a proper container.


Apply liquid auto polish using a clean rag. Apply the polish to the lamp body, wick collar, filler cap and the chimney cap. Allow the polish to dry, and then polish the parts with a clean rag.


Spray a small amount of lubricant onto the wick roller. Rotate the roller each way several times to remove the old wick, dirt, and debris. Spray another shot of lubricant on the roller and rotate it several times.


Clean the glass chimney inside and out with glass cleaner and paper towels. If necessary, use a small amount of kerosene on a rag to remove dark spots.


Determine the length of the new wick using a thin stick, similar to an oil dipstick. Insert the stick straight into the base and mark it where it intersects with the top of the threads for the wick collar. Use the stick as a guide to cut a piece of wick 1 inch longer than the mark indicates.


Pour a cup of kerosene into a clean measuring cup. Immerse the wick in the kerosene. Hold one end of the wick and use your fingers to strip away excess kerosene into the cup.


Feed one end of the wick through the slot for the wick from the underside of the collar. Rotate the roller clockwise until the upper end of the wick rises 3/4 inch above the top of the collar.


Insert the lower end of the wick into the lamp body and screw the roller collar onto the body. Install the glass chimney onto the body and reattach the chimney cap on top of the chimney.


Pour the cup of kerosene into the filler hole on the lamp's body. Depending on the volume of the body, add more kerosene until it's three-quarters full. Reattach the filler cap. The lantern is now ready for lighting.

Tip

  • If you have a painted lantern, remove rust and old paint from the metallic components with garnet sandpaper. Then paint the components with three light coats of epoxy spray paint.
All in all, I have to say this is the best way I have found to clean these lanterns. We use ours throughout the Spring, Summer, and into the Fall with Citronella Oil. These lanterns are great to take camping or just enjoying the outdoors at home.

Tents
Here are a few of the tips for cleaning your tents.
  •  Always sweep out your tent. Make sure that rocks, leaves, dirt, and branches are all out of the tent before packing it up. It's a good idea to keep your shoes/boots out of the tent so you don't track debris inside the tent.
  •  If at all possible, only take down your tent when it is completely dry after a rainstorm or morning dew. Wait until it dries so you will not have to worry about drying the tent at a later time. Mold is extremely hard to get out of a tent, so dry it before you pack it.
  • You can use a sponge and mild soap to wipe off a dirty tent. Do not use a washing machine to clean your tent. And always let it air dry before re-packing. You can hang it between two trees, or lay it out in the sun, turning it over to dry both sides. At home, you can drape it over a fence, do be careful not to snag your tent.
  • Your tent must be stored dry. If you must close the camp in the rain, open your tent and set it up as soon as possible to avoid mildew and odors. When your tent is stored between camping trips, a cool, dry place is ideal. Keeping your tent away from windows will keep it from fading by the sun.
 Sleeping Bags
Sleeping bags need to be cleaned after each use and stored away completely dry. 
 
     Dry cleaning is NOT recommended.

    Use only oversized commercial front loading washing machine with a rotating drum action(laundry mat type) - DO NOT use top loading agitator style machines.
    Wash warm, rinse cold on gentle cycle using ¼ mild detergent.
    Use a fabric softener in the wash. (Do not use detergents with bleach.)
    Tumble dry at low temperature in an oversized commercial dryer.

    Alternate method: hand wash in the bathtub. Use a small amount of liquid washing soap in warm water. Rinse in cold water, ring out and hang dry.

    The bag must be thoroughly dry before being stored.

 To store, zip up sleeping bag.
    Fold in half, lengthwise.
    If applicable, fasten toggle and loop to ensure the bag stays in folded position.
    Start rolling snuggly from opposite end of ties, loops or straps (whichever applicable). Have ties lying directly on the ground.
    After rolling bag completely, secure ties, loops or straps. If the bag has Wrap 'N Roll feature, continue rolling into attached carrier, tie, and transport.

* Coleman suggests that for longtime storage, it is not recommended to store sleeping bags in its stuff sack or carrier, since it can reduce the loft, or puffiness, of the bag over time.
 
Coolers 
For your coolers, start by cleaning the inside and outside with a bit of mild soap in warm water. I use a cloth to get into the hinge and drain spout areas.

If there is sticky stuff or tough dirt, use baking soda and water on a scrub brush; good to remove stains. Rinse thoroughly, and allow to air dry with the lid open before storing.

Remove odors with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach and water. Rinse and let air dry. *Coleman suggests wiping the interior with a cloth that is saturated with vanilla extract, then leave the cloth in the closed cooler overnight.
 
Dishes & Utensils 
Wash your dishes & utensils once again when you are home. Let dry and repack into your camping supplies. This is always a good idea since bacteria can grow even from the smallest of leftover food particles. I keep our dishes & utensils in a box for easy access and storage.
 
Enjoy the Great Outdoor, keep your gear clean and ready to grab up when the camping urge arises!
 Have a Great Day!
Enjoy!

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