How to Keep Your Military Gear in Good Condition

How to Keep Your Military Gear in Good Condition

Posted by MLC Secret Squirrel Blog Writer on May 3rd 2024

Your military gear is critical to your operations, whether you’re currently in the service, retired, or a tactical military enthusiast. It’s essential to keep your gear in the best condition possible to prevent premature wear and tear or failure when you need it most.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the general steps of maintaining your gear, including cleaning methods, storage options, and preventative tips.

Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Military Gear

Military gear is designed to withstand the rigors of some of the toughest, most demanding conditions. However, nothing is invulnerable. Regular exposure to the elements, dirt, sweat, and other environmental factors can worsen the quality of your gear over time unless you put in the work to maintain its condition.

When you perform regular maintenance on your military gear, you can extend the life of your gear and ensure it works efficiently when you need it to perform. Well-maintained equipment is also less likely to need replacing after just a few uses.

What Military Items Should You Perform Maintenance on or Preserve?

Whether you’re in the military, a veteran, or someone who enjoys using military equipment in your lifestyle, there are a lot of items to consider maintaining or preserving. For example, some of the items you’ll need to maintain or preserve include:

●Bags, packs, or cases

●Clothing or uniforms

●Firearms and accessories

●Documents and files

●Digital files and information

Every part of your loadout is critical, from your firearm and watch to your compass and map. You should take the proper steps to ensure every item in your tactical arsenal is well-protected and cared for so it lasts as long as possible with minimal wear and tear.

Tips for Maintaining Your Military Gear

If you’ve never thought about maintaining your gear before or don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled some of the best tips to help you get started. Depending on your gear, you may not need to use all of these tips, but the knowledge will be useful if you ever plan on expanding your arsenal.

1. Keep Everything Clean

One of the first things you should do to maintain your gear is to keep it clean. Whether you’re in the military or a tactical enthusiast, your gear will inevitably be exposed to harsh elements. Once you’ve wrapped up your mission or adventure, take some time to clean your gear and equipment.

Since every item in your arsenal is different, you’ll want to use different cleaning methods. Below are some general cleaning instructions or guidelines to follow when handling different types of gear:

Vests: Ideally, you’ll want to avoid soaking your tactical vest fully. Instead, clean specific spots on the vest that need attention and let it hang dry. You may also want to consider wearing a shirt or other clothing underneath your vest when you wear it to prevent sweat from making your vest dirty sooner.

Backpacks: Your tactical backpack or pack will be exposed to elements frequently, so you should try to clean it once you return home from your mission or adventure. Remove the pockets you can and wipe down the outside of the bag with moist towels. You can also use a vacuum to clean the inside. The bag’s manufacturer may have specific cleaning instructions, so be sure to check these instructions to see if there’s a specific way to clean your bag.

Boots: Your boots have the most contact with the ground, meaning they are constantly in contact with dirt, mud, and other elements. You may be able to brush away some of the dirt or debris, but you may also need to scrub with a brush or damp cloth depending on the material your boots are made from.

Uniforms or clothing: When you’re wearing your uniform or clothes, there’s not much you can do to prevent them from becoming dirty. However, you can keep them clean when you’re not wearing them to prevent premature wear and tear. Once you finish wearing your uniform or clothes, try to clean them as soon as possible. Follow the appropriate washing instructions, which can usually be found on the tags. Once they’re dry, store these items away from light and in climate-controlled spaces to avoid fading and moisture build-up.

Firearms: If you’re in the military, you’re taught to clean your weapons and generally have to clean them before returning them. However, if you have a CCW or hunting weapon, the only person you have holding you accountable for cleaning is you. It’s critical to clean your firearm regularly to maintain the quality of the various components. You can find cleaning guides for your specific firearm online, making it easier to take apart and clean.

Generally, smaller items that you can keep inside your bags will be better protected from the elements than those directly exposed to the environment. However, if these become dirty, you can always clean them as you would any other item, unless the item comes with specific cleaning instructions.

Another factor to consider when cleaning your belongings is what products you want to use. The products you use for your firearms won’t be the same as what you would use on clothing items. Harsh chemicals can do more damage to some of your gear than good, so make sure you follow the appropriate cleaning instructions and product recommendations for each item.

2. Use the Right Storage Methods

While you may not think the way you store your military and tactical gear matters, it plays an important role in the longevity and quality of your equipment. Once you finish cleaning your gear, you should store it inside a dry, cool environment.

Too much humidity and heat can cause some of your gear to wear down prematurely, and extreme heat can even cause some of your gear to warp. So that means you should leave your gear outside of non-climate-controlled areas, such as tool sheds, attics, or basements. You should also avoid sunlight since UV rays can cause premature fading.

If you choose to store your gear in a container, make sure you use a high-quality container that won’t break at the first sign of trouble and leave your gear vulnerable to unnecessary damage. If you’re using a storage unit, consider the climate you’re in and whether you’ll need to invest in a climate-controlled unit. For example, if you live in the Southern United States, you may want to consider a climate-controlled unit since it can get very hot and humid in the summer.

3. Keep an Eye on the Elements

Your gear will inevitably be exposed to the elements when you’re using it, even if it’s tucked away inside a bag or pack. Mud, sand, water, and other elements can quickly degrade your gear and make it weaker and more likely to break down sooner than it should.

If you know you’re going to be out in the rain or muddy environments, make sure to dry out and clean your gear before you get home. Another element to think about is salt exposure, which can happen from sweating or working in marine environments. Salt is highly corrosive, so you’ll want to clean your gear promptly if you are sweating a lot while wearing your gear or working on the coast.

4. Consider Investing in Protective Gear Accessories

You can take steps to prevent your gear from getting damaged or more dirty than necessary by using protective equipment. For example, you can use rain covers to protect your bag during rainstorms or humid environments. You can also use watchbands for the same purpose while also protecting against dirt or dust collection that can scratch the surface.

Once you’re finished using your gear, you want to avoid leaving it on the floor or tucked into a corner in your closet since it doesn’t allow your gear to dry properly or air out. Instead, consider using something like the Tough Hook Tactical Equipment Hanger, which allows you to hang your bags, tactical vests, and other gear to prevent damage during storage.

5. Choose High-Quality Gear at the Start

You can put in a lot of work to maintain your gear, but it won’t do much if your gear isn’t good quality. Rather than having to replace your gear so soon, consider investing in higher-quality gear. While it may come with a bigger price point, you won’t be replacing your gear as often, which could end up saving you money in the long run.

When you start looking for gear, look at the quality of the materials, whether it’s made from fabric, metal, plastic, or other materials. You can look at the specs if you’re looking for something specific, but you can also look for reviews to verify the quality of a specific item. Generally, if an item is well-liked and frequently used by service members, veterans, and tactical enthusiasts, it’s more likely to have the quality you need.

Look to MLC for the High-Quality Gear You Need for Your Operations

If you’re looking to upgrade your arsenal or just want to add something new to your loadout, Military Luggage Company has you covered. We offer an impressive selection of high-quality gear, ranging from assault packs and loadout bags to rucksacks and chest rigs. You’ll find the best selection of bags, packs, and cases for service members, tactical enthusiasts, veterans, and everyone in between. Get started by browsing our complete selection, or contact us today with any questions!

Share this!