It may be freezing outside and you might feel less inclined to venture out in the backcountry, but don't let the cold temperatures stop you from unraveling yourself out of the blanket and checking on your equipment. The wintertime is a good opportunity to show your gear some love and prepare for the camping season coming up.
A little bit of care goes a long way – follow these quick tips to keep your BioLite gear in top form through these cold months:
2. Charge It Up. Plug in any electronics via micro USB and fully charge your gear to condition the internal battery.
3. Store It Well. Proper gear storage under the right conditions helps prevent any rot or mold that could happen while your gear isn't in use. Store your equipment in a dry place, ideally at room temperature (≈73°F).
4. Warm It Up. If your gear has been hibernating in a trunk or cold garage, warm up any lithium ion device to over 45°F to start it easily. (Lithium-ion batteries will perform subpar at a temperature less than 45°F.)
5. Dust It Off. Clean off your solar panels & power banks, and make sure all the gear ports and flaps are free of dust for optimal charging.
6. Practice Makes Perfect. Familiarize yourself and make sure you take your gear for a test drive every 3-6 months. For avid campers who are out year-round, this will come with normal use; for less frequent usage or if you're planning to use in-case-of-emergency only, make sure your gear is prepped with regular check-ins. Zach Kramer, our BioLite Customer Support and Product Expert, says: "If you want your gear to serve you best, get to know it really well. Break it out even if you aren't going out into the field. If you have questions, if anything doesn't work the way you expect, or if anything seems counterintuitive, send an email or make a phone call and I'll be happy to help. The best thing you can do for your BioLite gear is use it!"
7. Clean Your Kit. Are you guilty of returning from a camping trip and just leaving your equipment piled up in storage? Pre-wash and organize all the camping crap that you tossed in the garage after your last fall outing.
BONUS TIPS: Preparation during the winter doesn't only end with your gear. Now is a good time to plan out the details and mentally prepare yourself for the trips this upcoming year.
- Reserve Your Sites. Snag that spot NOW! Many reservations open six months in advance and can go fast for weekend bookings. Visit recreation.gov or Reserve America for that perfect campsite, and your future self with thank you. Mike Knuepfel, our Senior Product Engineer who frequently ventures in the backcountry, says: “The newly redesigned recreation.gov webpage is really awesome if you are looking for sites in the United States. The page has filters that let you find bookable facilities all over the country. The Build A Trip function is the easiest way to filter. For example, I've always wanted to stay in a fire tower. I used the "Lookouts" search filter and booked this fire tower in Colorado.”
- Apply For Permits. To help protect the natural landscape from being trampled on by too much foot traffic and to ensure the safety of visitors, plenty of backcountry destinations require permits for access. Backpacking or river trips at popular national parks like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon require backcountry permits. Do your research on where you're planning to go and see if they have any permitting system. You can also use recreation.gov's Build A Trip function to browse some locations that require backcountry permits.
- Sign Up For Classes. While you're waiting for camping season, you can use these winter months to brush up on your outdoor knowledge. Even when you've done all the preparation for your gear and your trip itinerary, it's helpful to expect the unexpected and understand wilderness safety. Sign up for a NOLS course or get a Wilderness First Aid certification this winter to prepare for the adventures coming up ahead.
Gearing up for any adventures this year? Tag us on Instagram to share your upcoming trips with us.