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Cleaning Your Backpack Post Camino

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Topics' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I've just returned from our second camino. Both times my wife and I started in St Jean and were successful in reaching Santiago. With two caminos behind us, there is lots of sweat, dirt, debris that has accumulated on all parts of my Osprey Atmos 50 L backpack. I saw a thread over two years old that suggested cleaning it in a washing machine. Not sure about that. Has anyone tried to clean theirs at a dry cleaner? What are other ways to "deep clean" a backpack inside and out? This will not be our last camino so I'd like to clean it now and put it in storage for our next one.

    Thanks - BROWNCOUNTYBOB
     
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Bob - Congrats on completing your second Camino. We look forward to hearing about your journey.

    I was in a similar situation as you not long ago having made two international trips this year backpacking. Along with the dirt, I also had a fair amount of grease on my Osprey due to it getting transported in the belly of some Guatemalan buses. It may sound too simply, but soap and water really cleaned it up leaving it looking almost like new. I washed it a couple of times by hand, but it seems to have done the trick. With the grease, just some good old fashion scrubbing took it out. Not sure if this qualifies as a "deep clean", but I'm very pleased with the outcome. It travels with me to Mexico next week, so it may be hitting the suds again in the near future. Buen Camino!
     
  3. Canadian Wander

    Canadian Wander Well-Known Member

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    I have found that use of a bucket of warm soapy water and a stiff brush works great. And since one has some small concerns about 'hitchhiking' bed bugs, once the bags were dry, I sealed them in a plastic bag, and left on the back porch...the -25 cold would sort out any potential critter issue.
     
  4. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    To answer the question about dry cleaners: I sent my pack to a dry cleaner after the Camino and they did a great job for $20.
     
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  5. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comments. My wife is going to the dry cleaners this week to see if they will clean both backpacks, then we will store them for caminon #3 !
     
  6. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Bob, I've always just taken the metal stays out of my packs and thrown them in the washing machine. Mine have both had velcro tabs securing the stays inside that are easy to open so they can be removed. Easy peasy to put back in as well. I had an Asolo Elle and now a Gregory Amber.
     
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  7. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob :)

    Part of the “Trick” might be trying to avoid getting them too dirty in the first place – My own rucksacks usually remain reasonably clean even though I often sit on them when I take a rest when walking Camino’s or other long walks, but then just brush them off.

    However I also use one of my own Rucksack Pro-Tector’s getting them to and from the starting / finishing points of my walks, so at least they don’t get dirty during transit :)

    http://www.pro-tector.co.uk/

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  8. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Rob, yes, we used large cloth cotton bags before checking these into the cargo holds of planes (Santiago to Madrid, Madrid to the US). It was amazing to me how filthy the cloth bags became in just a few flights. And of course, the outer bag protects the many backpack straps from getting tangled in the conveyer belts, etc.
     
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  9. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    That’s right Bob – But mine have the added advantage of that you can use them as a water resistant liner in your rucksack when walking in wet times :)



    But it was for the very reasons that you posted that happened to my own rucksack (Getting a strap caught in an airport carousel and ripping the entire carrying system off the rucksack) that prompted me to design my Rucksack Pro-Tector’s and then start to have them ethically made in Nepal :)



    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  10. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My wife dropped both Osprey backpacks off at the dry cleaner's today. A bit pricey to clean ($36 each), but they will be cleaned inside and out and worth the investment to have them clean and ready to go for our next camino.
     
  11. The fattest Arse

    The fattest Arse New Member

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    I liked the comment about leaving them outside in -25 deg - that would certainly do for any bugs. For those of us fortunate enough not to have the -25 then 30 seconds in the microwave will sort out the bugs too.
     
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  12. Canadian Wander

    Canadian Wander Well-Known Member

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    Few critters survive a night in the garage in Canadian winter!
     
  13. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, in California, I have some mice that the cats are never able to catch. So sometimes when I leave my pack in the garage it gets undesired holes in it.
     
  14. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Uncle Hanny, we lived in the San Francisco Bay area for three years in the early 90s. Our kids were young and I bought a very nice Eureka tent and we went camping several times. Many years later after I retired, I decided to drive from Indpls to Montana to visit my brother. I pulled out my tent and other camping gear (that I stored in the garage) and was greatly disappointed to see several holes that mice had chewed through the tent. I was able to repair with a patch kit. Bob
     
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  15. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    BROWNCOUNTRYBOB I lived in Sunnyvale for 29 years before moving to Fresno and I had no "mouse" problems with my equipment. I did have some "kid" problems with it when one of my daughters discovered scissors and wanted a back door on a nice tent that I had pitched in the back yard.
     
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