Let's be real, running, hiking, biking, and exploring outside are dirty activities. If you are out and using your gear, there is going to come a time that, well, things are not looking (or smelling for that matter) as good as they once did. It is like a badge of honor when you get that perfect level of rugged wear that really embodies the adventures you've been on. But there may come a time when that last dip in the mud, or debacle with the tree sap, or spilled Gu might have pushed it a bit over the line from cool dirty to just, dirty… If that sounds all too familiar, read on and get some pointers on how to keep your gear in tip top shape! 


General Principles: 

• Better safe than sorry- always keep things gentle, it is better to approach that spot with finesse than to really scrub at it

• Use a designated tech wash- there are tons of great soaps and mild detergents out there that are specifically created to handle outdoor gear

• We recommend Nikwax or Granger products

• If you do not want to use a tech wash, you can make a vinegar and water solution (1 part water, 2 parts water)



Spot Treating: 

If you only have one or a few spots that need to be cleaned, then this portion is for you.

Materials

  • Soft bristled brush, sponge, or rag
  • Small bowl
  • Unscented mild dish soap 
  • Water 

Instructions

  • Find all of the areas you would like to clean and make them easily accessible
  • Wet the spots you would like to clean
  • Using a small amount of dish soap, gently scrub at the dirty spots, working slowly to get as much of the residue off as possible
  • Rinse thoroughly to ensure no soap remains
  • Air dry your item until it is completely dry
  • It is crucial you ensure that it is fully dry before packing away or you run the risk of mold and mildew forming
  • Do not use a dryer


Full Cleaning: 

Does your vest's wear and tear go beyond a few spots? If you need to clean your whole item, then this spot is for you. If you have a couple of noticeably tougher spots, follow the procedure above then move to this set of instructions second. 

Materials

  • Clean bathtub or other large waterproof tub 
  • Cold to lukewarm water
  • Cleaner specifically designed for cleaning outdoor gear 
  • Sponge or cloth 

Instructions

  • Spot treat any specific trouble spots with the guide above
  • Fill your tub with cool to lukewarm water
  • Follow the instructions on your tech wash and add the correct amount of cleaner to water
  • Be sure all of the pockets are empty  and all of the bottles/reservoirs removed
  • Immerse the vest in the tub of water
  • Follow the instructions on the cleaner bottle to see how long to vest soak
  • Feel free to gently move the vest around in the water, ensuring all areas are coated in the detergent filled water
  • Rinse thoroughly- be sure to drain and refill your tub as many times as needed to get all of the soap off of your item 
  • Dry completely- hang your item in an area with limited sun and wind and let it completely dry before storing