For those who are more of a dayhiker, like myself, here's my checklist of cleaning after a hike
- Turn my daypack inside out. There are always some crumbs in there somehow
- Empty any water out of the pack. I have totally forgotten to do this and gotten things wet by accident!
- Make a list or email yourself any supplies you need to restock. Did you use a bandaid or notice you forgot your knife? I email myself (sometimes on the car ride back) with these reminders so I can get supplies during the week
- Place gear back in my gear basket. I have a basket next to the packs where we put all the gear we take with us. Before every hike, I go through the basket to make sure everything important is in our packs. This is really helpful when you are switching between packs, but if I know my next few hikes are with the same pack I may skip this step.
- Clean my hiking boots. There's a great article here on boot repair if you want more info. In short, I use a boot brush to clean the bottom and give the shoe the once over for any damage.
But my gear has been abandoned for the past month or two and I've forgotten any mental reminders I have made, so this past weekend I took to airing everything out. This was a great chance to freshen things up and make a checklist of any repairs or additions I want to make while summer sales are still going on. Having a carport was an advantage here - I could hand everything up and not heat up in the sun.
For better articles on maintaing your gear, check out:
Section Hiker - Backpacking Gear Maintenance
Backpacker.com - Make Your Gear Last Longer