Mud Season Gear Care

Spring is mud season in Montana. As the winter snow pack melts with the warmer temps we typically see this month, dirt roads, trails and river bank pathways become a slick mess of mud. It’s almost impossible to get outside without getting dirty. Gear from vehicles and campers to boots and clothing needs special care this time of year.

First, a note on mud season etiquette. If a trail or road is super muddy and you don’t Have to get m down it, don’t. This is the time of year when trails and roads can be damaged very easily. Trail erosion is a growing issue, and with more and more people out using the trails around Bozeman they can be beaten up badly this time of year. If it’s too muddy, go somewhere else. Everyone thanks you!


When you drive back into town, it’s a good idea to hit the car wash if your vehicle is muddy. Getting it off before it has a chance to set up will make clean up easier and minimize any chance of corrosion. Be sure to get wheel wells and the under carriage as well. Spend the time now before you get home and get settled.

Once you do get home and are unpacking, sweep out any mud from your camper. Pop the camper up and let things dry if they got wet. If you have an awning, pitch that to make sure it’s clean and dry before storing it again. It’s very important to make sure things are dry before storing them to prevent mold growth. It’s always a great idea to keep a rug in the camper for mud season, brush that off and make sure it’s clean before putting it away.

If you were tent camping be sure to either hang your tent up or pitch it in the yard when you get home. Sweep all dried mud and dirt out, and make sure it’s completely dry before storage. Taking the time to clean things right away ensures that the next time you go to use your gear it’s ready to go.


Good footwear is crucial during mud season. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing – camping, hiking, or hunting, keeping your feet dry and comfortable is key. Mid to high top boots are preferable over low top sneakers and trail runners. Rubber boots are very handy to have this time of year, especially around camp if things are muddy. For hiking boots, make sure they have a waterproof, breathable membrane like Gore-Tex or eVent.

Mud season is tough on footwear, so take time to treat them well. Applying leather conditioner will help keep the leather moisturized, flexible, and in good shape. It also helps repel water and mud. When you get back from your trip, clean built up mud and dirt from your boots. Pull the insoles out and let them dry completely.


Rain gear and warm layers get a workout during mud season too. As they get worn everywhere in all conditions, be sure to keep them clean to function their best. Waterproof jackets can lose some of their water repellency (also known as DWR) when dirty. Brush off any caked on mud and wash the garments as they get really soiled. Jackets and insulation layers work best when they’re dry and clean.

Mud season can be hard on your outdoor gear. But with some preemptive measures and a little work, you can keep your equipment working at peak efficiency all spring long.


Share Post

Read More