All technical equipment have a shelf life, so they are best friends. So don’t expect your equipment to last forever! I’ve heard stories of people who bought an outfit a few years ago, they had to stop practicing mountaineering because they came from the children, and after the children grew up enough, he or she decided to put his hand in the cookie jar with that old equipment that was stored. But soon after the first use… the equipment ripped!
The durability of equipment in General, depends mostly on 3 factors:
- When it was manufactured
- The use that you are giving
- If the product has been in contact with abrasive surfaces as chemicals, UV rays or moisture during storage.
In my case, I practically live in tents, sleeping all year in sleeping bags equipments and spend the day wearing jackets and boots. My equipment therefore have a much shorter lifespan than those who use less frequently. To give just a few examples of my annual use of equipment:
-Boots of trekking will last up to 4 months. That talking about the best brands!
-My tents last, on average, 6 months because they are exposed to extreme conditions.
-My clothes are swapped 2 or 3 times a year. The constant wear and abrasion of ice or of branches in the Woods just with the technical clothing.
-My bags last on average 10 months. Always have a back and I’m constantly loaded with them!
What happens to the unused equipment.
Waterproof Jackets-begin to lose the treatment after 3 or 4 years if you don’t use any. The treatment applied on the nylon so that it becomes waterproof ends up wearing if standing still.
Tents -lose your waterproofing treatment after 7 or 8 years moves. In some cases the heat sealed seams start to highlight the glue and appear to be “breaking”.
Trekking boots–when they are stored for more than 2 years without use, usually begin to fall apart, starting by the sole glue.
Backpacks–are equipment more last if you didn’t use any. However keep the backpack that received only 1 or 2 times use can result in tissue decomposition due to fungi. In some cases there are backpacks that were never used and feature fungi, because they were stored in wet locations.
The trick here is: use your equipment, it does not last forever!