GIVE YOUR BACKPACKER PRO A CHECK-UP!
During the spring before the start of your backpacking float tube season we recommend you assess how well your Backpacker Pro has fared in the off-season during months in storage. Just a few minutes and a few simple steps will confirm your Backpacker Pro is ready to go--or needs some preventative maintenance--well before you plan to put it in the water.
- do a quick inspection of the cover, seat, and stripping apron for tears that may need to be sewn
- inspect for moisture or mildew and immediately address if either is present; use a mild dishwashing soap (NO chemicals or harsh cleaners) and cool, clean water to remove mildew, as well as dirt, and hang your Backpacker Pro in a dry environment to ensure a long life; the use of a dehumidifier year 'round is ideal
- check all the zippers for both the storage pockets and the bladder compartments to ensure they operate smoothly and open and close completely--it is important to confirm the bladder compartment zippers close completely to prevent the bladder bulging through a partially closed zipper and damaging it during inflation
- check the grommets in the left side & backrest storage pockets to confirm they are securely in place
- while checking the grommets test each inflation valve for the main and backrest bladder by rotating them open (counterclockwise) and closed (clockwise) to confirm they operate smoothly and fully open and close and are not damaged
- check the function of your double action inflation pump by verifying it securely attaches to the bladder inflation valves using the adapter tubing; make sure you have extra 5/16" ID x 1/2" OD adapter tubing available from us or at any home supply store; and work the pumping mechanism with the pump pointed at your face to ensure it is pumping air on both the open and down stroke, hence, functioning as double action; inspect your pump for damage or cracks and contact us for a replacement if indicated
- conduct an inflation test by fully inflating both bladders of your Backpacker Pro to a tight consistency while storing it indoors in a constant temperature out of sunlight for 2 hours to confirm neither bladder has developed a leak; we strongly recommend you repeat this inflation test a week or two before each hike into the wilderness to ensure you don't first discover a leaking bladder after hiking several miles into the backcountry
- DO NOT use a float tube with a leaking bladder; contact us for a replacement; and note the bladders in the Backpacker Pro have a 5 year limited warranty
- make sure you still have the stripping apron, and that all buckles and the Velcro attachment function properly, and that all elastic straps are in good shape; contact us if you need a replacement stripping apron