Upon returning home from a hunting excursion, it’s likely that you’re feeling pretty exhausted. However, now is not the time to sleep. You need to perform some basic equipment maintenance to ensure that your gear is in perfect condition for your next trip. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time but is well worth doing as it really can help your equipment to last longer. Keep reading for a list of five tips for maintaining your hunting equipment.
1. Wash Your Clothes
This tip might seem pretty obvious, but we’ve included it here for a reason. It is vital that you read the washing instructions on all of your gear and wash them as the manufacturer intended. For outdoor clothing such as coats and over-trousers, you’ll want to use a mild detergent and a product like Nikwax. Any clothing made from softshell, as well as rain gear and high-performance sportswear, can be washed in this way. Once you’ve washed your clothes, it’s best to hang them up to dry rather than run them through the tumble dryer as this will prolong their life.
2. Clean Your Boots
Once your clothes have been washed, it’s time to move on to your boots. These again are an essential piece of equipment and need to be properly looked after. Start by scrubbing all debris (mud, sand, dirt, etc.) from your boots with a hard brush. You can then use a cleaning agent to clean them properly. This can be purchased from most sporting goods stores. Finally, you’ll want to add a reproducing agent and finish with wax. As with your clothes, you’ll want to make sure that the products you use are specifically designed for the material of your shoes.
3. Take Care of Your Scope and Sight
Riflescopes and sights are sensitive pieces of equipment. They are very similar except a scope is an optic with magnification. Whether you use both, or just one of these, on your rifle, it’s important that you keep it in good condition. You can start by using a microfiber cloth to dust the lens. Next, spray cleaner onto the cloth to wipe away any dirt, and use a cotton bud to get into any hard-to-clean spaces. When done, replace the lens cap and put the device back into its protective casing. You can find a lot of sights made for AR-15s on the Ozark Armament website.
4. Invest in a Rifle Cleaning Kit
A cleaning kit is one of the most important items a hunter needs to invest in. You can either purchase a ready-made one or create your own. The former is usually the best option as not only is it easier, but it’s usually cheaper as well. Some items may not be included, however, and this is especially true for those using exotic devices. A cleaning kit will enable you to efficiently and quickly clean your rifle after a hunt. Ideally, it should include a bore snake, cleaning chemicals, cotton buds, jags, patches, a variety of brushes, and some rods.
5. Revitalize Any Water-Resistant Items
Finally, the last thing you’ll want to do is revitalize any water-resistant items. The DWR (Durable Water Repellant) coating on your gear will begin to wear off after consistent use. To deal with this, you can either purchase a wash-in treatment that can be placed in the washing machine with your gear, or a spray treatment, which works as you’d expect. Both of these options will renew the DWR surface and help the water to once again roll off as intended. You only really need to perform this task at the end of the season.
Once all of your gear has been cleaned and maintained correctly, make sure to store it in its original casings or in air-tight containers so that they are ready for use next time you’re ready to head out.