Your canopy looks after you every jump, are you looking after it?…
I am sure we are all aware we need to look after our gear. I want to highlight some key points to be aware of when it comes to your canopy. Canopies are made of nylon at the end of the day; they can be stained, ripped, and over time the fabric will wear.
Here are the major five hazards from which to protect your lifesaver…
1. Sharp objects
Common places where you might rip your canopy are on the truck when you are getting a lift from landing area or walking through doors to get into the packing shed. There can also be hazards on the landing area, where there may be sharp objects like thorns, tumbleweed, wire, even stones, which can tear your canopy. Be aware of these hazards after landing. Don’t drag the canopy towards you but walk towards it, to eliminate the chance of any damage.
Be aware that the truck that you hop onto on the landing area to come back to the hangar can also leak acid or oil, which can degrade your canopy. Watch how you carry and where you put your canopy. They don’t come cheap!
.. And what about hand sanitiser? Does that degrade your canopy? This is what Performance Designs had to say ..
“Hand sanitizer without added scent or lotion is mild enough to not breakdown nylon fibers. Rinse areas of heavy concentration with water. Added scents and lotions could possibly be fine but have not been tested and have more variables. Therefore better be safe than sorry”
Perspiration, basically known as sweat, is mostly water but also contains sodium chloride (salt), urea, amino acids and proteins. Salt is a threat to your canopy, because the mineral salts from perspiration dry into crystals with tiny, sharp edges that grind down and cut nylon fibers. This is similar to landing in the sea and getting salt water contamination on your canopy, just in a smaller amount. If you pack your parachute without a t-shirt because it’s a very hot day, or consider giving it to a packer without a t-shirt, think twice about whether you are ok with degrading of your canopy with sweat. Do you really want that smell on your canopy too?
Now, let’s consider leaving your canopy in sunlight. This might be just because you don’t want to pack it quickly, or may be for some other reason. Sunlight contains UV light, which will damage your canopy over time so try to minimise the exposure of your canopy to sunlight as much as you can.
When packing, choose a nice clean area. If there is not a clear, clean packing area available, packing on the grass will be a better alternative than packing in a dirty area.
Following this advice will help keep your canopy nice and clean and free from any damage. Your canopy will be in better condition for longer, and will continue to look after you through the whole season. It will also pay off later on when you come to sell your canopy.
- Look After Your LIFESAVER! - 17th May 2018
- Give your RIG some LOVE! - 1st March 2018
- Closing Loops - 13th November 2014
- Symmetry is The Key - 9th July 2014
In my travels I always get comment from people I meet, saying how helpful this packing article has been for them, how much they like it and some even use it to teach packing to their students.