Extend your backpack with these 3 tried-and-true ways.
A good backpack for hiking makes or breaks a hiking experience – which is why many hikers and trekkers are willing to invest in high quality ones.
However, they are usually neglected and not properly taken care of.
In order to extend its lifespan, follow these 3 simple steps!
Light clean or deep clean?
Firstly, unload all the contents of your backpack.
Then, undo all zips, flip the backpack inside out and remove all detachable parts (eg. adjustable shoulder straps).
Hang it upside down and store it in a dry place away from direct sunlight. This allows natural drying of moisture (eg. sweat, muddy water) to take place.
After the drying process, use a soft brush to remove all dirt and debris.
PRO-TIP: Avoid overcleaning or using mechanised cleaning methods (such as machine wash, tumble dry, dry clean, iron, bleach) as this might result in a breakdown of backpack material, which can affect properties like waterproof coating.
Vacuum your backpack to remove dirt. Using very gentle soap, proceed with washing it by hand.
Feel free to use additional tools, like a small brush to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Spend more time on certain areas – namely straps and back padding, which are in direct contact with the body.
Complete the washing process by rinsing with lukewarm water.
PRO-TIP: To keep your backpack smelling fresh, insert tea bags inside all the compartments of your backpack overnight.
Tips and tricks for easy storage!
Similar to the previous point, the ideal way to keep a backpack is with its front side lying on the floor or leaning against the wall or tent.
Steer clear from storing your backpack at the bottom of your wardrobe or under a pile of clothes, as putting extra weight on it might disfigure the backpack and in turn, reduce its lifespan.
Do this to prevent mould and foul smells from developing, as these are prevalent in humid environments. It is also a good idea to air your backpack indoors from time to time.
PRO-TIP: Avoid putting your backpack under direct sunlight as this might damage the material of the backpack.
Keep 'em dry!
After a few years of use and wash, restore the fabric's water repellent properties by using a "waterproofing" spray.
Prepare your backpack for hiking by cleaning it well before applying a layer of waterproofing or water-repellency treatment.
Avoid spraying too much as it might potentially cause discoloration – just a layer or two will suffice.
PRO-TIP: Bear in mind that no amount of spray can help in making your backpack 100% waterproof. Water is still able to seep in through the seams and zips.
Therefore, retire your backpack when needed (i.e. like when there is too much wear and tear on the zips due to friction!).
Show a little extra care for your backpack by following this simple yet effortless guide.
You will be surprised by how small actions can result in huge differences!