Outdoor gear and recreational equipment can deteriorate over time if not properly stored. Therefore, knowing how to properly store camping gear, sports supplies, and other outdoor equipment is a must if you want your gear to be in good working condition next time you need to use it. Check out these self storage tips to keep your recreational equipment in good shape!
How to Store Camping Gear
How to Store Hiking Equipment
How to Store Sports Equipment
How to Store Watersports Equipment
How to Store Snowsports Equipment
How to Store Camping Gear
Between being exposed to the elements and having to stand up to repeated packing and unpacking, camping gear is prone to a lot of wear and tear. If you’re wondering how to store camping gear to keep it in good shape, check out these storage tips for some of the most common pieces of equipment.
How to Store Tents
Though they’re made to withstand the elements, tents will wear out quickly if they aren’t stored correctly. The best way to store a tent is to keep it in a loose bag in a cool, dry place. Extra moisture can cause mold to grow on the fabric, and an overly tight storage bag can wear out the tent poles. So before you put your tent into storage, make sure to clean it using the following steps:
Gently scrub the fabric with soap and water. Once it’s free of stains and odors, rinse it off.
Hang the tent on a clothesline or lay it over a flat area, and let it air-dry completely.
Loosely bundle the dry tent inside of a pillowcase alongside the folded tent poles. The small bag that tents come with actually isn’t ideal for proper tent storage and should only be used for travel.
How to Store Camping Furniture
Most camping furniture, including hammocks, folding chairs, cots, and collapsable tables, are built to sustain rough handling. However, proper camping furniture storage can extend the lifetime of these objects so you can get the most out of them. These items don’t require high maintenance, but there are a few general tips you can follow on how to store camping chairs, cots, and other furniture.
Set up your camping furniture as you would use it. Then, wipe down canvas fabric and plastic surfaces with a wet rag. Use soapy water, if necessary, to lift caked-on dirt more easily.
Leave your items set up to dry, since folding them immediately after washing can lead to mildew growth.
Once dry, put your camping furniture in any coverings they may have and store them out of direct sunlight. Heat can damage the material and promote bacterial growth.
How to Store Camping Cookware
Portable propane stoves and grills are essential pieces of camping equipment, but improper storage can lead to rust or broken parts. And while it’s important to clean your camping stove after every use, things can slip through the cracks, making safe storage tricky. To store camping cooking gear correctly, follow these easy steps:
Remove the burners and boil-over plates before cleaning your camping stove exterior with warm water, dish soap, and a soft sponge. Use a brush with firmer bristles to remove grease or melted-on food.
Once it’s completely dry, store your camping stove in an air-tight plastic bag to block airflow to its fuel lines and prevent any dust or bugs getting in.
To prep your grill for storage, use a scraper and dish soap to get any cooked-on grime off the grates. If you plan on storing your grill outside through the fall and winter, make sure you winterize it first.
How to Store Camping Gas
Improperly stored gas isn’t just inefficient—it can also be dangerous. Leaking fumes can be detrimental to your health, and exposed gas can be a fire hazard. While flammable materials like gasoline can’t be kept in a storage unit, there is a proper way to store it. Learn how to safely store camping gas by following these simple steps:
Inspect the gas canister for damage. Dents, deep scratches, and other non-cosmetic issues could be a sign that your canister is no longer safe for use.
Dispose of the unused gas at a local waste disposal site if you find significant damage, and purchase a replacement.
If your gas canister is in good shape, you can store camping gas safely by tightly sealing the canister and placing it in a cool, dark place.
How to Store Camping Electronics
Like most electronics, the best way to store camping electronics is to keep them in a climate-controlled storage environment with minimal moisture, which could corrode the internal components over time. Follow these steps to prepare your GPS, portable generator, and other camping electronics for storage:
Check the manufacturer site or instruction manual to see if there are any specific directions for storage.
Take out the batteries to prevent corrosion.
Use a dust rag and/or a can of compressed air to remove dirt, which can damage the electronics’ internal components over time.
Put the electronics back in the original packaging before storage, if possible. If you don’t have the original packaging, put them inside a cardboard box since plastic containers tend to contain moisture. Add a couple of packets of silica gel to keep them extra dry and store them in a dry place off the ground.
How to Store Sleeping Bags
Proper sleeping bag storage is not only important for maintaining the integrity of the bag itself, but also for your own health and hygiene. Like any other kind of bedding, sleeping bags trap dead skin, sweat, and dirt. Therefore, to correctly store sleeping bags, you’ll first need to clean them.
Wash your sleeping bag by following the instructions on the label—typically, you’ll use warm water on gentle with down-safe detergent. Make sure the bag is entirely unzipped before you run it through to ensure an even clean.
Squeeze all the excess water out and air dry flat in a low-humidity area with zero direct sunlight, since warmth can cause mildew to grow on wet surfaces.
Store the sleeping bag in a loose mesh sack, instead of in the storage bag it came in, also known as a “stuff sack.” The mesh sack allows the fabric to breathe and diminish odor build-up. “Stuff sacks” should only be used to save space when traveling.