Taking care of gear is essential.
If you take care of gear, it will take care of you when needed.
Keep it clean as best you can, mend it, dry it out thoroughly, store it properly, and so on.
The better you take care of your gear, the longer it will last.
And a simple way to take care of your gear? Don’t use a dryer (except for puffy insulation), use a drying rack. A simple way to dry gear that also has the benefit of being more gentle to your (sometimes) expensive clothing.
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I thought we lived in the desert??? 😉 Our collective gear on the dry cycle. #reddirtismud #moab #utah
Another simple technique that seems obvious to those in the know, but not so obvious unless someone mentions it.
My housemate from long ago first showed the utility of this simple item to me. After a day of climbing, she’d throw her clothes in the hamper and then wash them at some point later. All these lycra and synthetic clothing would then be hung to dry. So simple. So effective. And something I did not know until she showed me!
A former partner loved the drying rack so much she started putting all her clothes on it. And my current partner is finding out the utility of this rack, too. With two active outdoors people, the drying rack certainly gets well used.
The heat from a dryer, even on a gentle cycle, is not as kind to gear as simply drying on the rack. And if you have wool layers, this fact is especially true! A dryer can, well, dry out the lanolin that makes wool effective. And if you wear delicate merino base layers, the utility of using a drying rack is even more pronounced.
If you live in higher elevation areas, leaving the clothes to dry outside may not be useful as the UV radiation can be damaging in the long run, too.
And if you have a small, oscillating space heater with a low setting, the effectiveness of the drying rack gets better.
So get a drying rack. A simple, no-brainer item that seems surprisingly less common than I realized. And should be used more.
Disclosure: I purchased the drying rack at that emporium of fine household goods call Tar-zhey.
Very helpful tip Mr. Mags. I’ve been using racks, or clothes lines, for years and my clothes last longer and I save money on electricity or gas. Another benefit for those who use laundromats is that you’ll save both time and money not having to use their dryers. BTW, instead of using a space heater, use a small fan. It’s cheaper to run and in warm weather your house will stay cooler.
Our house does not heat well, esp. in the gear room, so the space heater is a bonus on cold days. Admittedly, it helps we don’t pay utilities. 🙂 During warm weather, we do switch to a fan. The heater also has a “Fan only” mode so it is multi-use.
I’d also point out that abrasion from dryers generates microplastics from synthetic clothing. Those particles end up in our water sooner or later.