April 26th, 2013
If it’s warm during the day and cold in the morning, it must be Spring. Time to dress in layers, look for spring fruits and vegetables like peas and strawberries, and wonder if you should pull out shorts and sandals just yet.
It’s also time to pull out all of the stuff you put into storage last Fall!
And it’s time to get your boat or motorcycle or watercraft ready for summer play, if you have them. And pull out your camping gear. There’s so many fun things that Summer will bring.
No matter if you prefer charcoal or gas, nothing screams Summer like food cooked outdoors. Pull your grill or barbecue out of storage and gently wipe off the dust and dirt. Check for any damage that might have happened over the winter.
For gas grills, carefully check the fuel lines and the gas jets. Something might have crawled in there during the winter and laid eggs. When you’re sure they’re clean, hook up the gas canister and test to ensure you’re getting even heating.
Here is a great PDF guide for charcoal grill lovers, and how to get your grill ready for Spring.
And the most important item is to get out and practice so when Summer hits, you will be the Grill Master!
Pull everything out for inspection. You’ll want to look for mold or mildew on the tent, air mattresses and tarps. You may want to get your sleeping bags professionally cleaned as they’ll have accumulated a lot of dust. Try setting up the tent to make sure that all of the poles and straps are still in good shape. Also look for any rips or tears in the tent. You don’t want mosquitos sneaking in.
If you bring an axe or knife, sharpen them. Test all of your cooking gear. And check out your mess kit to ensure there was no rust or damage.
For all motorized vehicles, you will want to clean and polish the pretty parts. Then you will want to make sure that the engine is ready. And finally, if you use a trailer, give it some tender lovin’ care as well. Sounds easy, right? So why does it seem so overwhelming? Break it up into smaller tasks, and next thing you know, you’ll be all ready for the lake or the twisties.
For boats, wipe down the exterior, and power wash the bottom. Then look for any scratches or gouges that should be repaired. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Wooden boats require a lot different care than fiberglass. Then change spark plugs and check fluid levels. If you disconnected the battery or any other electronics, hook them back up before starting up the motor. Review your safety equipement to see if you need to replace anything.
For motorcycles, spring maintenance is a little easier. You need to check the pressure in the tires as well as the fluid level. If you unhooked the battery, hook it back up. And if you ran the carb out of gas, you may need to pump some into the fuel bowl before starting. And definitely change your oil if you hadn’t in the Fall.
The best tip is to make certain all of your registrations and permits are current. Not much would be worse then going out and getting pulled over for expired tags.
First, pull everything out and give it a good inspection. Did everything survive the winter storms? Even if the furniture was in a shed, it probably got dusty. So wipe down the furniture and cushions with a damp rag, and then let it dry thoroughly before putting it all together. Pull out your umbrella and patio heaters. Check the umbrella to make sure all of the parts are in good shape. Hook up the gas tank to the heat lamp, and clean out any ash from around the regulator. Then fire it up and check to ensure the flame looks like the manufacturer’s guidelines state.
What will you pull out first?