We know what you’re thinking, “But Colorado is about to get hit with yet another snow storm!”, but the time has come to start wrapping up ski season and digging into springtime activities!

Here are 3 tips for closing out winter and kicking off spring:

1. Wash your gear!

Clothing and gear can get pretty, hm, funky over the course of the ski season. Now is the time to grab your down items (jackets, sleeping bags, etc.), soft/hard shell layers (ski pants, jackets), and thermal base layers and give them some laundry day love.

Thermarest Vila Double Quilt means double the bodies and double the need to clean it after winter hut trips.

When it comes to cleaning down, don’t hesitate. YES, it is safe to wash your down apparel and gear. According to ALLIED Feather & Down,  “Washing your down products correctly will help maintain the loft and resiliency of the down and help to add life to your down product”.

So all you die-hard riders out there with beverage, sweat, and food stains, this one’s for you! ALLIED suggests:

Step 1: Wash on cold with a mild detergent – preferably one made for down products.

Step 2: If possible use an additional rinse cycle without detergent.

Step 3: Dry on low until the down inside is thoroughly dry. And for those worried about “too much heat”, ALLIED says “with low heat, it is almost impossible to “over dry” your down product”. Using dryer or tennis balls will help your gear regain it’s loft.

Keep your down jackets (like the Black Diamond Forge Hoody) looking fresh and performing best with occasional washes.


To wash soft shell-style apparel, consider what The Spruce has to share. In the end, use a mild detergent, re-waterproof it with an in-wash waterproofing agent (like Nikwax), and hang to dry.

As for base layers (wool, synthetic, etc.), you have a few options. While companies like Nikwax offer various options, your traditional detergent can prove just as effective. We’d suggest washing regularly on warm or cold and air dry.

2. Store winter toys

Sadly, snowshoes, skies and boards just won’t be the go-to gear as the weeks continue to pass. Store your boots in a dry place and make sure to buckle/lace them up for the summer so they keep their shape/mold while in storage.

If you want your gear to last, like this rad ride from Coalition Snow, make sure to store it the best way possible.


For skis and boards, make sure they are dry and add a coat of summer wax to keep them protected during the off months. Check out EVO’s how-to for more details!

The off season is also a great time to gather all the gear that needs warranty or repair attention. Don’t wait until the next winter season is within sight – do it early so you’re not missing out on next season’s powder days!

3. Start planning for warm weather adventures!

The San Luis Valley and surrounding mountains are full of opportunities to play and explore – now is the time to start making your adventure destination list! 

Check the map, pack the gear, and get ready for some fun!

Whether you’re the type to close your eyes and pick a random spot on the map or you have a “life list” of destinations, now is the time to start dusting off the summer gear – bikes, boats, climbing harness and shoes – and pick some tried-and-true and new-to-you locations to explore.

Whatever adventures are on your to-do list this year, follow along the URG Outings page and our Upper Rio Grand Guide Facebook page for destination and gear features, meet-ups and fun live feeds!