Q. Hey Gear Guy: On camp-outs, my tent is always so dirty for some reason. Whenever I lay down to go to sleep there’s always dirt and sand and leaves all over my sleeping bag and the bottom of the tent. Please help?
— Messy Merle, Farragut, Tenn.
A. Here’s what you can do: Next time you’re camping, bring along an old towel from home. Lay it down at the entrance to your tent, like a welcome mat. Whenever you go to get inside your tent, just sit on the towel and take off your boots. Leave the shoes outside of your tent (hopefully dry and safe under a vestibule, brush off your feet and then climb inside. The towel and taking off your boots before you go inside will help stop some of the junk you might otherwise track in the tent.