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Your End of Winter Checklist

We're not saying winter's over just yet. There's still plenty of fresh snow falling and spring corn to be had through the rest of the spring. But winter is drawing near its inevitable close, maybe sooner than you'd like. And it's never too early to start preparing for that end of winter clean-up that you should always do yet probably rarely pull off. It's important to put your gear away for the season in the right way for a few reasons: Taking care of your ski gear will ensure its longevity and quality for seasons to come, plus you'll be dialed and ready once the snow starts falling again next fall. So, here is your end of winter checklist, complete with tips and suggestions for putting your winter gear away right. 1. Clean your skis. Muddy, sticky spring snow can wreck havoc on your bases, so first clean those bases with a rag, wiping the edges of water, which can lead to nasty rust, and cleaning any dirt off the bases. Then wax and scrape your skis, which you probably haven't done enough of during the season anyway.


2. Remove the batteries from your beacon. Most avalanche beacon manufacturers recommend doing this during the summer season when your beacon isn't in use. It helps prevent leakage from the batteries and ensures your equipment stays in tip-top shape. Just remember at the beginning of the season to swap in brand new batteries into the beacon before using it. 3. Clean the crumbs, wrappers, and leftover containers out of your backcountry pack. Wash all water bottles and coffee mugs in boiling water. 4. Your outerwear probably has residue leftover from all winter long: That miso soup dripping from your trip to Japan, some hot wax or P-tex, a BBQ sauce stain from that chicken wing that slipped from the plate, blood from that time you nicked your face with a branch. So start by cleaning the garments, following the care instructions on the tag or by taking them to a professional outerwear cleaner (some of our favorites include Technical Equipment Cleaners in Truckee or Rainy Pass Repair in Seattle). After cleaning your stained jacket or pants, coat them in a fresh layer of waterproofing Nikwax, which, conveniently, we sell right here at Plus, Nikwax is the only environmentally friendly, easy-to-use product that works on fleece, three-layer hardshell, softshell and down. 5. Put your goggles in a lens cloth. Duh.


6. Repair cuts or holes in your down layers. There are a variety of methods to mend your coats, from Duct tape to MCNETS. We like using Super Glue or tent seam sealer. Or check out Gear Aid's Tenacious Tape, built exactly for this type of thing. If it's a bad rip or tear, you may need to bring it to a professional to fix. Try Boulder Mountain Repair in Boulder or Stitchlines in Denver. For washing down, use Nikwax's Down Wash. 7. Pack your climbing skins away right. Make sure they're thoroughly dried, then stick them together using that piece of mesh they originally came with (G3 sells Skin Savers separately in case you've lost yours), then store them in a cool, dry place for the summer. 8. If you use an ABS airbag backpack, they recommend installing a new compressed air cartridge every year. So have some fun and go yank your ABS lever and inflate your airbag at your next BBQ. Then swap in that cartridge for a new one at your local ABS retailer.

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