Clever Ways to Care for Outdoor Equipment

Keep your gear ready for the next big excursion with these useful tips.

Cat Litter

Keep tents and sleeping bags fresh smelling and free of must when not in use. Pour cat litter into an old sock, tie the end, and store inside the bag or tent.

See more uses for Cat Litter.

Curtain Rings

On a camping trip or a hike, when you don’t want to carry a backpack, it’s easy to lash a few items to your belt loop with the help of a curtain ring. Mountain climbers rely on expensive carabiners, which they use to hold items and to control ropes. But you don’t need to carry along anything so heavy. Attach your sneakers to your sleeping bag with a metal curtain ring; your gloves and canteen can dangle from a metal shower curtain ring or a brass key ring.

Dental Floss

Because dental floss is strong and resilient but slender, it’s the ideal replacement for thread when you are repairing an umbrella, tent, or backpack. These items take a beating and sometimes get pinhole nicks. Sew up the small holes with floss. To fix larger gouges, sew back and forth over the holes until you have covered the space with a floss patch.

Duct Tape

You open your tent at the campsite and oops — a small tear. No problem as long as you’ve packed duct tape. Cover the hole with a patch; for double protection, mirror the patch inside the tent. You’ll keep insects and weather where they belong.

See more uses for Duct Tape.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest