4 Tips for Storing Your Outdoor Gear
Let’s be honest – buying outdoor and camping gear can get expensive, even when it’s cheap. Whether you are using it only a couple times a year, or you have high quality equipment you use often, the last thing you want is to have your investment – and your plans - go down the tubes by storing it improperly.
CLEAN AND DRY
It’s fun and exciting to set up the tent on your campsite the FIRST time at the beginning of your trip. But not so much after you’ve hiked or kayaked a bunch of miles, spent half the day tearing down camp and loading your vehicle, then driven hours to get back home. However, unless you are positive your tent is clean and dry before you leave camp, setting it up a SECOND time is a must once you are home. That goes for the rest of your equipment, too. Folding, wrapping, or bagging anything that has even a bit of dampness to it is a recipe for a mildew induced disaster. You will thank yourself the next time when you don’t have to sleep in a musty smelling sleeping bag or zip yourself inside a moldy tent.
You would think that equipment made for living in the outdoors would be invincible, but it turns out it isn’t. How your pack you camping equipment away can have lasting effects. Positively or negatively is determined by you. You know those bags your sleeping bags come in? Don’t use them for storage. First, it is much safer to put your sleeping bags in plastic storage containers to avoid having pests take up residency in your warm and cozy bag. Second, having them loosely folded in a tote helps avoid permanent compression. Air is an insulator so compression detracts from warmth. Oddly enough, your outdoor equipment is also susceptible to UV rays. Not only should you avoid drying your gear with fabric in direct sunlight for too long, but you should also store it in dark-colored totes. The more exposure to UV, the more faded and brittle the fabric becomes.
ORGANIZE ORGANIZE ORGANIZE
Taking an afternoon now to get your gear organized will pay off in dividends later. Bins are great for more than just your fabric items. Consider a certain color of bin that you will use only for your outdoor equipment. Then start grouping like items like your kitchen/campfire cooking gear. Use large plastic zipper bags to corral smaller items to cut down on chaos. Put your utensils in one, your toilet paper in another, your spices in a third, and so on. It makes everything easy to grab but also keeps things clean and dry in the event of a rain shower. Then label. Not just the word “camping” on the outside with a sharpie. Whether handwritten or printed, tape a list of contents to the outside. Plastic page protectors taped to the outside let you remove the list and change it as needed. These lists help you find what you need in an instant. Adding to the bottom of the list related items you don’t have in the container but need to add before the trip makes getting ready to go a breeze.
You have everything cleaned, packed, and labeled. The storage bin system makes prepping for a trip so quick and easy! But now you have half a dozen plastic totes, a kayak, hiking poles, mountain bikes and helmets, bike and kayak racks, and so many other things that don’t quite fit in your apartment, condo, shed or garage. Now you also know that because of UV light, heat, and humidity, your garage and your shed aren’t ideal for your gear anyway. Not to mention it is nearly impossible to navigate around around a car, tools, lawn equipment, and kids’ toys. So now what? A climate controlled storage unit just might be the answer. Sixty5 Self Storage gives you easy in-and-out access for grab and go trips. Your storage unit will be well-lit, humidity controlled, even temperatured, and you even have unlimited access to an extra-large elevator for that kayak. Plus keeping your outdoor gear out of the way sure will help make your spouse one happy camper.