Durability is almost always a trait that outdoor companies use to highlight why their products are more favorable than others. Some go a step further and back them up with lifetime guarantees against defects and abuse. It makes perfect sense; after all, if you spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of hiking boots, a sleeping bag or a jacket, you expect it to handle more than a few trips to the mountains before a stitch comes loose or a seam begins to tear.
Sometimes gear failure is unavoidable. An outer layer may snag on a rock or thorn, a spark from a campfire may land on a nearby tent. These are unfortunate, happenstance situations. Laziness and neglect are not, and they shouldn’t be the reason why a piece of expensive outdoor gear doesn’t last its entire intended lifespan.
We often think of outdoor gear as different from regular clothing; it is, and it isn’t. Certain technical fabrics require special attention in maintenance while others can be treated just like an everyday t-shirt (durable water-repellent coatings, for instance, lose their hydrophobic qualities when covered in dirt and body oils and will revitalize after a quick wash and dry cycle).
Cleaning and repairing outdoor gear can seem intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. In almost every case you can simply follow the instructions on the garment tag. For all the others, you can see our step-by-step guides.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Leather Hiking Boots
With the right care and attention, a pair of well-built leather hiking boots will last for years. Here are the steps to make your current pair your last pair.
How to Wash a Down Sleeping Bag
Washing a down sleeping bag (or a down jacket) is simpler than you might think.
How to Re-Waterproof Your Jacket
Save yourself a few dollars by learning how to revitalize it with the right tools and a few simple steps.
How to Re-Wax a Canvas Jacket the Right Way
If you're lucky enough to own one, you need to know how to re-wax it properly — instead of just buying a new one.
How to Repair a Ripped Tent
Breathe new life into your old tent with a few easy steps.
How to Repair a Ripped Rain Jacket
From hole to whole. It's shockingly easy.
The Ultimate Outdoor Gear Repair Kit
Next time something snaps, rips or leaks, reach not for your credit card, but for a quality gear repair kit.