How to look after and repair a trekking backpack

How to look after and repair a trekking backpack

When trekking or hiking, your backpack is your best friend. It carries your belongings, acts as a tray table during breaks, patiently withstands pathways close to rocky walls.

In short, it’s indispensable and when you find the right backpack, there’s only one thing you want to do: keep it for as long as possible.
So how do you properly care for your backpack?


The 3 steps to maintaining a backpack

  1. 1 Cleaning my hiking backpack
  2. 2 Storage
  3. 3 Repair

Can you wash a backpack in a washing machine?

The answer is NO!
You must never ever put your backpack in the washing machine. Assuming first of all you could get it in, machine washing your backpack is the best way to ruin your bag's coating and foam.


How do you clean a hiking backpack?

You've dragged your backpack along hiking trails, through mud, dust, grass, stowed it in a bus luggage compartment and it's lost its sparkle. Then it’s high time to clean it!

Here's the equipment you'll need to fully maintain your backpack:
- A basin of warm water
- Special soap paste
- A soft brush
- A clean cloth or microfibre towel
- An old tooth brush (optional)
- A water repellent re-activator spray
- A deodorising spray

Steps involved in cleaning your hiking backpack:
- Completely empty the bag
- Remove the foam and frame (if your backpack allows you to do so and you're sure you know how to put them back)
- Brush or hoover the bag to remove any dust
- Start by dampening your bag using a brush
- Lather the bag and gently rub any stains
- You can use an old toothbrush for areas that are difficult to reach and leave the soap to work for a few minutes on engrained stains
- If your bag has foam shoulder pads, rinse them well and squeeze them to help the water penetrate, removing any salt from sweat, and dust
- Sponge the foam and bag thoroughly using a microfibre towel

Now you just need to air dry your bag, in a dry spot, ideally away from direct sunlight as UV rays cause the fabric to degrade prematurely.

If you don't want to get the foam straps wet, you can also use an odour neutraliser.
If you ever want to re-instate the water-repellent properties of your backpack, you don't need any sophisticated equipment, you can just use a re-activator aerosol once the bag is completely dry. This will help keep your belongings dry a little longer, giving you a little extra time while you take out and put on your rain cover!

Does your backpack have an isothermal cooling compartment? The most efficient way of washing your bag's isothermal compartment is to use a sponge and soapy water then leave it to air dry.

How to maintain and repair a hiking backpack?


How do you store a hiking backpack?

What to do with your bag when you get home? Trekking season is over, it's the end of summer and you're not planning on using your bag for some time...

First of all, follow the instructions below and check that your bag is nice and clean.
Then attach all the backpack straps making sure nothing drags on the floor - it would, after all, be a shame for it to get dusty en route to the cupboard!

To store it, choose a dry, shady space so the sun's rays don't speed up your bag's ageing.
If you only have room in the cellar, and it's damp, try to store your bag on a shelf, avoiding contact with the walls. Then it will be protected from the damp until the fine days return!


How to look after and repair a trekking backpack

How do you repair a hiking backpack?

You're all set to hit the trails but...your bag has a broken clip or zip, or maybe even a hole! Don't worry, we explain it all below.
And if your bag can't be repaired, don't forget all our backpacks are guaranteed for 10 years!

Good news, you should be able to solve this problem in under a minute without any special equipment as our bags are designed to be easy to repair!
The most difficult thing is working out which type of clip you need to replace:
- The chest clip
- The hip belt clip (38 mm)

You may also need the following clips or buckles for a trekking backpack:
- Lid clips (20 mm or 25 mm depending on the bag)
- Clips for side compression straps (20 mm or 25 mm depending on the bag)
- Clips for tightening straps under bag (25 mm or 10 mm)
To learn how to fix a broken clip or buckle, check out our video tutorial!


How do you repair a ripped bag or a hole in a backpack?

The fabric used to make rucksacks is normally reinforced, particularly the bottom panel which is very prone to abrasion. Despite this, however, wear and tear, or a sharp object can create holes.

Here are our solutions:
For a small hole in the fabric of the bag: if you want a quick fix that doesn't require any particular skill, opt for a self-adhesive repair patch: make patches by cutting out two rectangular pieces with rounded edges, each two or three centimetres bigger than the tear. Then, stick one patch on the inside of the bag and the other on the outside, keeping the fabric nice and flat.
You can also go for a more personalized, sew-on patch, as a reminder of your adventures.

For a tear: Contact a professional stitching repair service. Repairing a large tear requires a certain level of sewing competence and, of course, appropriate equipment as the fabric is much tougher and thicker than that used for ordinary clothes. If the incident occurs mid-adventure, you can use safety pins or a self-adhesive patch from your repair kit until you can repair it properly.


How do you repair the bottom of a backpack?

For a hole at the bottom of your bag:
if the hole isn't too big you can also apply a self-adhesive repair patch. Otherwise, we recommend taking it to a cobbler who'll be able to offer a better solution to make it last longer.

But to prevent this from happening, make sure that you don't overload your bag - it's not good for your bag or your back!


Here are all our tips so that your backpack can accompany you for many great years to come on the world's trails.

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