We all do love our toys and we want to keep it safe, clean and always ready for the next jump. Either to increase the life expactancy of our skydive equipment or to keep it in perfect shape for the next sale when downsizing. There are dozens of advantages to keep your skydive rig in good condition. Of course all the manufacturers of skydive equipment, especially the producers of the skydive harness-container-systems have worked on that topic. We want to share a short summary about the recommendations of the skydive harness manufacturers like UnitedParachuteTechnologies (UPT) – Home of Vector, Aerodyne, SunPath and many more. What do they say about safe-keeping your rig.
Everyone know how it is when flirting with the tandem girls in between each jump, joking with the guys and everyone is mentally choosing his favourite. Then, out of hell, you can quietly hear the 3 miniute call for the next load. Everyone is running to his rig, puts the harness, helmet and altimeter on. Next picture is you sitting in the plane.
No! We assume that you check yourself and your skydive equipment with a proper gear-check before each jump. We do not want to talk about yearly inspection services or each inspection of your skydive system before the next jump.
Statements of the Manufacturers
We want to talk about the producers recommendations for a safe storage and care of your skydive rig (skydive container harness system). It is not important here how it is called, care, storage or maintanence, what is important is that following those guidelines will help to extend the life expactancy of your harness and container system which will keep you safe and happy.
The system should always be kept dry (45-70% relative humidity) and cool (10-15° Celsius, 50-60° Fahrenheit), in a container through which light will not pass. – Firebird Skydiving
Firebirds recommendations are very precise like stated above. But also Aerodyne states something similar which is shown below.
When the parachute is not in use it must be placed in a carry bag and stored in a room where the temperature is between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius and the humidity between 15% and 70%. – Aerodyne Research
Of course we all try to jump as much as possible so that it is not necessary to take out the parachute out of the container. Anyway, there is a reason for stating this in a skydive rig manual. The reason is the fabric of which a container is made of – NYLON. Nylon is a very durable fabric but is still susceptible to damage from several sources. Also those sources are almost similar in all container manuals. The following is taken out of the manual of a Vector V3 by UPT.
Sunlight-The ultraviolet rays in sunlight quickly and permanently weaken nylon. Keep your Vector 3 out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Structural weakening of nylon may not be immediately noticeable. Prevention is the key.
Acids-Acids damage nylon. Keep your Vector 3 away from hangar floors, dirty car trunks and similar areas where acids may be present. If such contamination does occur, immediately and thoroughly wash the rig with plenty of warm soapy water. Until a rig can be washed, baking soda will quickly neutralize most acids. If acid damage occurs or is suspected, a rigger should thoroughly inspect your Vector 3. Pay attention to where you place or store your rig. Oils and Grease-Most petroleum compounds do not weaken nylon; they simply stain it. A rigger using the properpetroleum solvent should promptly remove such stains.
Water-Water will not structurally damage your Vector 3, but prolonged agitation in fresh water weakens webbing or may cause some fabric and tape colors to bleed. Salt water may damage nylon and cause hardware to corrode if not promptly and thoroughly washed off with plenty of fresh water. Your rig will maintain its new appearance longer if it is kept dry.
Soil-Soil may damage your Vector 3. Brush off the soil after it has dried and gently wash with warm soapy water. Be sure that the soil is not in the cable housings, Booth 3-Ring release or reserve ripcord pins or loops. Consult a rigger if your rig is heavily soiled or extremely dirty.
Sand-Fine sand will weaken and cut webbing and fabrics of all types. Prolonged exposure to sand will shorten the life of the entire parachute assembly. One way to minimize the damage done by sand is to use a packing mat while packing.
Abrasion-Nylon quickly frays if dragged over concrete or other rough surfaces. Do not drag your rig on the concrete while packing.