Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Prep

This time of year brings about a lot of new outdoor activities many of us haven't been able to do during the winter.  As the snow starts to melt and you start preparing for your outdoor adventures, don't forget to make sure you gear is all up to par before leaving the house.  Of course we all want to make sure we our gear is working properly before we put it away and store it during the winter, but it is still smart to check everything before you head out on your spring adventures.  Here are a few things you want to make sure you check before leaving the house.

1. Boots
 There is very little gear that makes as much of a difference on your experience in the outdoors than what your boots do.  If you're boots are worn out, falling apart, or just not cutting it, then chances are you're adventures are going to be cut short due to wet or sore feet.  Before you head out of the house check the stitching of your boots to make sure everything is till good.  Also if you have leather boots, make sure the leather is not cracking or ripping.  It is also smart to treat the leather on your boots with some leather lotion to prevent cracking, drying, and even help waterproof the leather.  Another part of your boot you need to check is your insoles as well as your laces.  I always carry para-cord in case I have a shoe lace malfunction.

2. Clothing
Even though it may seem like spring is here for good, we know that at any time of the year in Idaho, you can experience all four seasons in just one day.  Make sure you always have layers no matter what, and that you have clothing for every element you may face while outdoors.  With that said, if you are getting ready to hit the hills but you just realized that you may have put on a few extra inches over the winter, it may be a smart idea to not squeeze into your hunting gear just yet and risk ripping, stretching, or ruining that gear before the season.  Clothing that doesn't fit can cause a lot of irritation and be extremely annoying while trying to hike around.  Get clothing that fits and get out to lose that winter insulation!
3. Gear

Weather it is your binoculars, gun, scope, pack, or any other type of gear, be sure you do a good look-over before you head out of your house.  One example of this is that I had left a candy bar in the outside mesh pocket of a pack one time and a mouse had sniffed it out and chewed a hole in my pack to get to the candy bar... This was when we lived in a house we were renting and our storage shed was away from the house... Needless to say, when I realized one of my pockets on my pack wasn't going to do me any good, I knew I shouldn't have brought that pack on my outing.  With your guns, be sure to clean them and take care of them before you store them away for a long period of time.  When you get them out of storage, make sure they function properly before leaving the house while also keeping safety in mind!  With the other gear like your binoculars, if you house is anything like mine, as much as you tell the kids to stay out of places, they always seem to have their hands into everything.  You want to make sure every part to every piece of equipment is there as well as make sure nothing got broken without you knowing about it.  I am yet to figure out where the base went to connect my spotting scope to my tripod, but I'm sure my kids had something to do with it :)
Weather you're hitting the hills looking for shed, new hunting areas, or just getting out and enjoying the good spring weather, be sure to check a few of these items to make sure your trip isn't ruined or lessened by your gear failing.  As I said, of course we encourage you to always clean and take care of your gear so you know what condition it is when you put it away for the season, but it is always safe to check things before you leave the house.  Preparation is a key aspect of success for any type of adventure outdoors no matter how big or small it may be.  These are just a few tips of course there are many other items you could/should check before leaving the house.  Get out there and enjoy the outdoors!

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