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How to clean your camping gear

The trails are always calling. Encouraging our community to foster a strong connection with nature is at the heart of everything we do at Koala Eco. More than simply a pleasurable accoutrement to our everyday lives, spending time in nature plays a core role in our mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being. In particular, spending consistent time in nature has been associated with improvement in the presentation of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as a better perception of one’s overall quality of life. 

The benefits of hiking — and in turn, camping — extend far beyond typical exercise; besides benefiting your cardiovascular system, hiking in nature can help improve cognitive function, promote creativity, increase feelings of calmness, and even improves interpersonal relationships. Plus, exploring stunning mountains, forests, and waterfalls helps evoke feelings of awe, which take us out of ourselves by showing us the presence of something greater than the everyday.

To preserve your gear for many more hikes and camping trips, it’s essential to clean your equipment properly. Fortunately, the multitasking nature of our formulas means you can use the Koala Eco products you already know and love to care for your camping gear — and infuse them with the scents of the great outdoors as you clean. Here’s how to care for your camping gear with Koala Eco.

Tent

While actually in use, one of the best ways to extend the life of your tent is to invest in a groundsheet. This protects the bottom of your tent from cuts and abrasions while keeping the tent floor dry during wet weather conditions.

Keeping your tent dry is also crucial to extending its longevity; on multi-day hikes, take a break to let your tent air dry before continuing. Post-trip, ensure your tent is completely dry before storing it for the season.

Those who use their tents for short overnight stays can get away with washing them once a season; however, frequent multi-day campers are best off washing them after each trip. To clean your tent, use a non-abrasive sponge or bamboo cleaning cloth alongside our Natural Dish Soap. The plant-based surfactants in this formula work alongside lemon myrtle and mandarin essential oils to break down any dirt, dust, and grime that accumulate during your trip while being gentle enough to keep your equipment safe. In a bowl, mix two squirts or pumps of our Natural Dish Soap with warm water; lightly wet a bamboo cloth or soft sponge with the solution and use it to wipe down surfaces and then rinse. Hand-wash before setting up your tent in the shade or indoors to air dry. Once completely dry, store your tent in a mesh or fabric gear bag. 

Sleeping bag

Sleeping bags should be hand-washed in a bathtub or machine-washed on a delicate cycle. Specifically designed to care for wool, silk, lace, and other soft fabrics, our Natural Laundry Delicate Wash harnesses the power of Rosalina to clean without compromise. Our Natural Laundry Delicate Wash's gentle nature means it cleans your sleeping bag without damaging the natural fibre clusters within.

Dry your sleeping bag by hanging it on the clothesline to air dry or machine drying on low heat or a cool cycle. It’s essential to ensure your sleeping bag is completely dry — with no clumps in the insulation — before storing it to prevent mould from growing.

If you identify any mould or mildew growth on your sleeping bag, use a toothbrush dipped in two capfuls of Natural Dish Wash in half a cup of warm water to spot treat before wiping clean.

Hiking boots

More often than not, dirty hiking boots are the sign of an adventure worth having. To clean your hiking boots, you’ll need an old scrub brush our bamboo scrubbing brush is a great size, a water source (ideally outside), and our Natural Laundry Wash. Post-hike, remove visible mud and dirt by dunking your hiking boots in a river or stream — dried or caked-on mud is far harder to clean.

Upon return home, loosen and remove your hiking boots' laces and remove the insoles. Add the insoles to a bucket of warm water with two capfuls of our Natural Laundry Wash. Rinse them and scrub clean using a bamboo scrubbing brush before leaving them to dry in a well-ventilated area.

In the same bucket, soak your hiking boots, using the scrubbing brush to remove mud and dirt from hard-to-reach areas. Rinse your hiking boots under running water and leave them to air dry at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. Don’t leave them out in direct sunlight, as this can cause damage to your boots.

Once completely dry, replace your shoes and return the insoles.

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