Most of the time when you decide to go camping, it involves a pretty hefty amount of planning and preparation. It would be terribly disheartening to start that process off with the discovery that your gear has succumbed to mold and mildew. These fungal terrors thrive in dark, damp locations. A folded-up tent that was put into storage while still damp is a wonderland for mold. Camping gear that has mold or mildew growing on it will have an unpleasant musty odor. More importantly, fungal infections may well pose a health threat. This is why it’s important to take the proper steps to prevent mold and mildew.
Start off by cleaning your camping equipment thoroughly. Adding a cup of Lysol to a gallon of water creates an ideal cleaning solution. Use this to scrub your gear thoroughly but gently. The best way to do it to use a soft brush and move it in circles over every part of your equipment. Note that this washing alone is not enough to kill mold spores, but it does get rid of musty smells.
Problem areas that are showing clear signs of mildew should be treated with a more potent cleanser. You can create an effective one by adding two tablespoons of plain bleach to a pint of water. Load this mixture into a spray bottle and apply it thoroughly to trouble spots.
There are many commercial cleaners designed to treat mold and mildew. Before purchasing one, check to make sure that you’re using an environmentally-friendly product. There are plenty of choices out there that get the job done without using toxic ingredients. Specialized products like Mold-Off have accumulated good track records for being both effective and safe.
The final step in handling mold and mildew is the one that takes the most time and care. You need to make absolutely sure that all of your gear is as dry as possible before storing it. Do this on a flat, dry surface that allows every part of your gear to air flow. If possible, use a well-ventilated dry area for storing your gear whenever you’re not using it.