Time To Treat: When to Repair Gear

How do you know that your gear is crying out for help? Consult our handy list of signs and solutions.

The Gear: Outerwear

The Signs That It's Time: Water doesn't bead up; you start to FEEL wet

What To Do:

1. Wash it. Use a front loading washer, cold water, and a mild soap.

2. Machine dry it. This reactivates the coatings in the fabric.

3. Iron it. Make sure the iron is clean-wipe the face with denatured alcohol.

4. Reapply a DWR. Your choice: spray-on or wash-in

The Gear: Boots

The Signs That It's Time: Leather starts to look dry and thirsty; Boot fails to keep water out

What To Do:

1. Apply a waterproofing wax to leather areas.

2. Apply a spray-on or paint-on DWR to the fabric areas.

3. Seal the seams.

The Gear: Tent

The Signs That It's Time: Coating on rainfly or floor begins to flake and peel; previously applied seam sealer cracks and peels

What To Do:

1. Remove old coating and/or sealer (see sidebar).

2. Reapply coating and/or sealer

The Gear:Bivy Sack

The Signs That It's Time: Water no longer beads on surface; leakage.

What To Do:

1. Wash it. Use a front loading washer, cold water, and a mild soap.

2. Machine dry it. This reactivates the coatings in the fabric.

3. Iron it. Make sure the iron is clean-wipe the face with denatured alcohol.

4. Reapply a wash-in DWR (since bivies have no liners, wash-in treatments are the best choice).