It may still be gray and coldish outside, but a look at the calendar confirms that spring is around the corner. It’s time for the big gear-check to make sure we’re ready for the outdoor season from day one!

Here’s how to whip your equipment into shape, take inventory of what’s there, evaluate what needs to be replaced and, last but not least, get stoked for the adventures waiting ahead.

Vent Your Tent

Pitch your tent in your backyard, living room, basement – wherever you find space. Make sure no parts are missing, strings and pins are in good shape. Clean off any dirt and dust and let it sit for a while to get rid of any bad odors.

Backpack Check

The backpack is the heart-piece of your equipment and deserves some extra attention and love. Open all pouches and pockets, make sure the zippers are zipping just fine. Check for brittle plastic pieces and order replacements if needed. Clean the pack inside and outside with a cloth, mild soap and warm water. Check if the backpack still fits your back properly. Then air it in a dry place until that first adventure of the season comes around.

Rinse and check your water bladder before first use this summer.

Water Bladder Inspection

What can we say – if you’re the owner of a SOURCE Hydration System, there’s not much to do. If stored dry and at room temperature during the long winter months, any SOURCE bladder is ready to go without worries about bad taste or bacteria growth, thanks to our unique Hydration Technologies. To make sure there are no leaks and rips, fill up the bladder and apply light pressure. Then blow water through the valve and tube and that’s it.

Sleeping Bag: Air & Care

If needed, wash your sleeping bag in the washing machine, according to the instructions. Depending on the material of the filling, you may need a specific cleaning agent. After drying, check the sleeping bag for holes and rips. If needed, renew the water repellency with a fitting spray. It is recommended to use a sleeping bag liner to keep your sleeping bag clean: after each trip, you simply wash the cleaner – less washing can enhance the lifespan of your sleeping significantly.

Hiking Boots, Bike Shoes, Sandals, Flip Flops – Smell Check and More

Dust off whatever footwear your are going to use during the season. Apply water repellent to your boots and shoes, treat them to a good scrub and surface  treatment, according to their material. Check the strings of your hiking boots, replace them if needed. Make sure your bike shoes are still clicking into the pedals properly. Inspect the rubber parts of your sandals, flips flops and any pair of shoes for brittleness. And last but not least: smell check! Not an issue for owners of odor-treated SOURCE Sandals. For everyone else, make sure that you’re not inflicting harm on your own and any other persons’ noses – and know when it’s time to get a new pair of shoes.

Make sure your shoes are still up to the task! SOURCE Sandals can last for years.

First Aid Kit Refill

Refill your First Aid Kit and replace expired products. If needed, adapt in size and content to whatever new adventures you are planning. Download a first aid app. And also check your insurance paperwork if needed.

Get Excited – Start Planning

Start planning your trips early. Rushed planning is never a good idea and can lead to unnecessary risks and even harm. And there’s hardly anything more excited than planning these adventures outdoors with your friends!