Preparing Outdoor Gear For The Spring Season

I don’t know about you, but when I pack up my outdoor gear at the end of the fall season it’s, ehh, not the cleanest should we say. Maybe I’m lazy, but usually at that point it just doesn’t seem so important to me that everything is nice and clean. What’s important is that it’s put away and I’ve moved on to the next thing in life. Hopefully I’m not the only one that thinks this way, and either I’m not lazy or we’re all lazy. Whatever works.

The thing is, almost every year on the last few trips things are just muddy and wet. Naturally everything picks up a ton of dirt. Are you really going to hose and brush everything down? How are you going to get it dry without bringing all of that into your house when it’s cold and wet outside? Maybe someone else out there has a practical solution, but I just pack everything up and wait to deal with it when the sun and the warm weather are back.

Well, spring has certainly sprung, and with it has come the sunshine, warm weather, and drier conditions that allow me to once again bust out my dirty outdoor gear and get it clean for the upcoming season. Here are a few things I do to get myself ready:

Clean Off and Out The Boots

At the end of a busy outdoors season my super high quality pair of boots often look like they’re destined for the trash can. They’re covered in leaves and pine needles, caked on with layers of dirt and soaked through with muddy water from the many puddles I had the misfortune of stepping in. I know what’s underneath though, and that’s my good old trusty pair of boots. I just have to bring them back to life.

So, first things first I’ll smack the living crap out of the to knock off as much of the dried and crusty debris as I can. You might want to cover your face when you do this, because so much dust and dirt flies up in the air you’ll be wondering if there’s a sandstorm. Then I’ll take a firm brush and while the soles are still dry I’ll continue knocking debris out of the tread. Once that’s all said and done it’s time for the garden hose, and I’ll hose those suckers down until the water starts to run clean. Then I’ll hang them out in the sun until they’re as good as new.

Getting The Tent Ready

On any given year my tent has likely seen some serious action. The first thing I’ll do is find a dry patch of land and get it set up so that I can do a basic damage assessment. While the tent is relatively dry – albeit awful musty – I’ll remove any leftover goods (train tickets, napkins, receipts, etc.) and take the opportunity to vacuum out all of the debris that had accumulated over the year of use.

Once the tent is clean on a dry basis, it’s time to actually get the material back in top shape. Usually my neglect has led to some mold forming on the outer and potentially inner walls, and once again there’s usually mud everywhere. I usually find a pressure washer works best for getting rid of both of these, as a gentle stream of high-pressure water loaded with detergent seems to be quite effective. If you don’t have one already, I’d recommend reading through some electric power washer reviews. They are quite affordable and even more useful.

Once I’m done washing I’ll give the tent a chance to dry, then I’ll treat all of the outer surfaces with a good water repellent to keep the coating in good shape to hold up through the upcoming season.

Tending To The Rain Gear

No, not reign deer. Rain gear. You know, like my rain jacket and rain paints. Duh.

I treat my rain gear very similarly as I do to the tent, with the exception of the fact that it is not resilient enough to stand up to the high pressure stream from a pressure washer. Instead I’ll hang them all on hangers, empty and invert the pockets, and wipe away any debris. Many people will put their rain gear in the washing machine but I find that this seems to have a hugely negative impact on the fabrics, seriously reducing their usable life. Instead what I’ll do is hose them down and use a sponge to gently lift any dirt and grime that has built up on them. Then I’ll let them air dry in the sun thoroughly.

Again, once they are dry I’ll use waterproofing spray to preserve the resistant properties of the Gortex. This will help them stay in good shape for years to come. If necessary, I’ll mend any minor tears or split seams with a needle thread, and I’ll put extra sealant on any of those repairs because I know from experience that my craftsmanship is a bit lacking and they’re prone to leakage.

With all of that behind me, I’m ready for the next outdoor season. This year I’m going to try to do quite a bit more hiking, as I feel I was spending a lot of time on flat ground last year. It was great fun, but you have to change it up from time to time.

Looking for an Adrenaline Boost? Try Paintball!

Paintball played speedball method can provide a good rush of adrenaline. It is a fast-paced game. The field of play is small. The strategy and equipment will vary when playing speedball version of paintball. The rules for speedball is different than traditional woodball version of paintball. Paintball can be expensive, but it really determined to how much the player will be willing to spend on equipment and how often they might play.

You need to try paintball especially speedball. The field of play for speedball can be an athletic field. The field size will be about the half the size of a football field. There are not many places to hide during a game of speedball. and contain man-made bunkers. The bunkers will be any shape and they are normally inflatable. The games can be held indoor or outdoors.

The game of speedball is short and can be quite intense. The teams can consist of three to seven players. Speedball is the version of paintball that is played professionally. It does require some strategy to win. Strategy will be influenced by on the setup of bunkers, number of players in the game, and purpose of the game There are games that last about 2o minutes. Since the games go by quickly, you are able to play several games in a day. Many people consider speedball very addicting. You can play the game once, and you will want play it again. People are addicted to the fast pace, rapid firing of the marker, and fun you will have with your friends.

The equipment is required to get total enjoyment out of speedball. The most important piece of equipment would be the mask. You want a mask that is not going to fog up too quickly on you. The less expensive mask may fog up little quicker than other masks. Mask with thermal lenses will reduce fogging, but the type of mask may be the most expensive. The marker is what the paintball gun is a called. For speedball, you want a marker that will fire rapidly. You would check how many paintballs the marker can fire per second – the best speedball guns can fire upwards of 15 balls per second! By having fast marker, you may sacrifice reliability of a marker.

The rush of playing speedball would be rapid fire of the markers and dodging behind the bunkers to prevent from being hit. Strategy changes as the game moves along and players are eliminated. The game is fast-paced, and you need constant communication with teams to have a chance at winning the game. Players are more aggressive with their moves and play in speedball. Teamwork at a fast-pace is very rewarding when the team is able to win. Players scurrying about trying to get to bunkers without being hit.

Speedball can be addicting and fast-paced, but it can also be expensive. A good marker can easily cost over $1,000. The use of CO2 and compressed air for the markers to fire will cost the player to refill. The pricing you will pay for playing field rentals. Price of playing paintball will be driven by the players’ preference to how much they want to spend. A player who wants to play with great equipment and is very involved with paintball will spend more. The beginner may look at the sport as casual and spend small amount for games on the weekend.