How to Care for Your Tech Gear & Have it Care for You in Return

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The following is a guest post from evo Denver — a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, skate, camp, and lifestyle retailer. 

Most streets in life don’t run just one way. There’s always a give and take, a reciprocity, and that holds true even when you’re dealing with inanimate objects like your outdoor gear. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you, performing reliably for years. Neglect it, and it will fail you, leaving you wet, cold, and angry in the mountains. So take a quick moment to check over your gear every time you use it, make sure it’s holding up and hit it with some preventative maintenance. Gear is expensive, and some cheap maintenance will keep it performing like new for years.

We’ve built this guide to help you on your journey to keep your gear working well. We’ll start with some general principles, and then go through some more gear-specific maintenance.


Keep It Clean

How to Care for Your Tech Gear - Cleaning
How to Care for Your Tech Gear – Cleaning

The simplest thing you can do to keep your technical gear functional is to keep it reasonably clean. This serves two purposes. First of all, gear that stays clean is just better to use, it looks better, feels better, and smells better. Second, and more importantly, keeping your technical gear clean is important to help it do its job. The membranes that make waterproof gear waterproof are full of microscopic pores. These pores allow condensation from your body to escape and keep you from getting wet and clammy. But dirt and crud on the outside of the fabric clog those pores so they can’t do their job. And grease on the outer DWR layer of the clothing breaks it down and stops it from doing its job. 

So do your best to keep your kit clean. Try not to spill on it, and when it does get dirty, clean it up quickly with a damp rag. The same goes for puffy insulated garments. Spills can soak into the insulation and compromise it, as well as making it nasty.

Fully clean your gear with a waterproofing detergent at least once a year. It will look better and keep you more comfortable in return.

How to Care for Your Tech Gear - How to Wash Tech Gear

Keep It Dry

How to Care for Your Tech Gear - Gear Drying
How to Care for Your Tech Gear – Drying

The second big enemy of functional gear is accumulated moisture. Wet things deteriorate faster, and provide a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. We understand that after that 12 hour epic in the rain you just want to leave your gear in a pile on the floor. But don’t give in! Always hang your gear up to dry and check on it to make sure there are no weird wet spots. Always make drying your gear a priority. Get on it fast and your gear will reward you. Leave it till later and you’ll end up smelling musty and retiring gear early.

Gear Specific Maintenance

Ski Boots

The biggest challenge with ski boots is drying them all the way between uses. Remove the ski boot insolesafter use to help the liner dry. And consider buying a boot dryer from an alpine ski shop. That way you can just throw them on the dryer after skiing and have them ready and warm when you head back out. But make sure not to fall into the temptation of putting your ski boots on or too close to a heat source that can melt them, like a fireplace. When storing boots for longer periods, avoid any direct sunlight as this can degrade the plastic.

Waterproof Outerwear

Two systems at work make your waterproof gear waterproof: the membrane and the DWR coating. Keeping your gear clean helps both of them do their job. So wash your gear with a tech-specific wash at least once a year, and if you notice that water is no longer beading on the outside of it, refresh the DWR with a spray that should be available at your local camping store.

Puffy Insulators

The same goes for puffys, keep them clean! There are down-specific washes available for this type of garment. When drying insulating layers, it’s a good idea to run a couple of clean tennis balls with the gear in the dryer. This will keep the down spread throughout the coat instead of all bunching and clustering in one place. If you get holes or tears in your puffy, repair them fast with a nylon specific tape. They’ll grow quickly otherwise.

Base Layers

Wash them before they smell! I know, merino wool never really gets stinky, but it’s good for your body to keep those next to skin layers clean. Read the manufacturers instructions and follow them. Be especially careful drying, so that nothing shrinks. This especially applies to your stinky ski socks.

Taking care of your tech gear isn’t rocket science, it’s mostly just common sense. So take care of your gear so that it can keep taking care of you.

About Evo DEnver

We are evo Denver –  a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, skate, camp, and lifestyle retailer. evo explores the collaboration between culture and sport by seamlessly joining art, music, streetwear, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, and wakeboarding. Our aim is to bring all things relevant to the urban, action sports lifestyle into one creative space. Whether it is on the website, on the phone, or in our stores, our aim is to make all who come into contact with evo feel welcome and excited about their experience.

Disclosure: Please note that this post is sponsored by evo Denver and contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you buy a product or service through an affiliate link. This revenue helps us provide readers with helpful content to plan amazing adventures.