Use it and abuse it, but occasionally give it some TLC. Quality layout blinds are rough and rugged. However, like any piece of equipment, they require basic care to keep them functional and to give you maximum benefit from their usage.
|Make sure the layout blind you choose has plenty of room for you and your gear.|
Begin by purchasing the finest layout blind you can afford. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Look at several blinds before making a choice. Determine which features best suit your needs and make your choice.
A layout is a fairly big investment in your waterfowling gear, so choose wisely. Buying the best blind you can will reduce your maintenance headaches down the road. Bass Pro carries a good selection. The Final Approach Eliminator is favored by many hunters.
Consider purchasing an extra large layout blind. The extra room is great for storing extra gear while hunting. Damaging a blind by crowding too much gear into it is a common occurrence. Damaging your layout only causes frustration when you are trying to relax and also reduces your effective hunting time.
Keep your layout clean. Allowing expended shot shell hulls to roll around in your blind will increase wear and tear on the fabric, as will soda cans, bottles ad a host of other garbage. Carry a garbage bag on every trip to the blind and use it to stash your trash until the trip is over.
Make sure you carry your stashed trash out of the blind every day. Leftover trash and food bits will only serve to attract varmints. Mice, opossums, raccoons, skunks, dogs, cats and coyotes could care less about how many of your hard earned dollars you spent on your layout. They will demolish it to get at food and garbage scraps. So, keep it clean, religiously.
Carry a few simple tools with you to make quick and easy repairs to your blind. Metals bend and break and fabrics rip and tear. Stocking a few items in your truck or ATV will go a long way towards getting you up and running again, should your blind receive damage. Screwdrivers, allen wrenches and duct tape take care of most emergencies. A few self tapping metal screws and an awl should be in the tool bag as well.
Quality layout blinds have loops for additional camo to be added in the form of straw, stubble or limbs and leaves. Renew the camo materials occasionally to freshen up the look of your blind. In the process look for any torn loops or loose stitching. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine.
Clean your blind thoroughly before storing it at the end of the season. Manufacturers' labels often mention cleaning requirements. Make all needed repairs before storing and you will be ready to go when the season arrives the next year.
Be courteous to your fellow waterfowl hunters. If you are hunting a lease or with an outfitter, never leave a blind full of garbage for the next guy to use. Sharing a blind with mice and other vermin while you are trying to enjoy a hunt is not fun. And that is the voice of experience speaking.