Every camper needs to learn how to store camping gear during the off season. You might use your gear all summer, but where do you keep it during the winter? We’re coming at you with our best methods for keeping your camping gear in great shape — and ready for your next adventure.
Clean Your Gear
First things first. After every camping trip — even just an overnight — start by cleaning your gear. When learning how to store camping gear, this is one of the most important steps you could take. Here’s what we recommend.
Air Out Your Tent
Before packing away your tent, always air it out. Mildew can cause some of the biggest damage to tents. If any part of your tent is wet, it can mildew and mold over time. Set up your tent outside, let it air and dry out completely. Clean off any dirt or mud. If it’s really dirty, wash it with soap and water. Once it’s clean and dry, it’s ready to be put away until your next adventure.
Wash Your Sleeping Bags
Does your sleeping bag look clean? It’s probably not. Even if you’ve only used it for one night, it should still be washed. Your sweat or bits of dirt can create a problem over time. Take it to a laundromat or throw it in your front loading washing machine.
Clean Your Portable Stove and Dishes
Sort Your Gear
Now that your gear is all clean, we can get into the nitty-gritty of how to store camping gear. We recommend starting with grouping your gear into categories. Create a “cooking” group with your dishes, dry food, and portable stove. Make a “shelter” group, which should include your tent and sleeping bags. A “ground” group is for your sleeping pads, cot, and stakes. A “first aid” group should include first aid items, bug spray, sunscreen, and water purifiers. Once it’s all sorted, place them into crates or plastic tubs. We don’t recommend using cardboard boxes, as plastic tubs are sturdier and more protective.
Organize Your First-Aid Kit
Part of knowing how to store camping gear is organizing your first-aid kit after every visit to the wild. Is anything expired? Do you need more bandages or medications? Take inventory of what you have and what you need, adding it to your kit before packing it away.
How to Store Your Tent and Sleeping Bags
Roll your tent, don’t fold it. If you fold your tent repeatedly, it can eventually tear or cause damage to the waterproof coating. Here’s a helpful tutorial on rolling a tent. On the other hand, rolling a sleeping bag can actually ruin the insulation over time. It’s best to hang your sleeping bag in a closet or lay it flat under your bed.
Rent a Storage Space During the Off Season
If you live in an apartment or small space and don’t have room to store your tent and camping gear, a storage space is a great option. At TMS Self Storage, we offer a variety of storage sizes — even as small as 5×5, which is similar to a small closet. Our units are climate-controlled, keeping humidity away and your gear in great shape all year long. With this option, your home or basement doesn’t have to be cluttered with gear. It will be in one convenient location, ready for when adventure calls. Contact us today to talk about renting a storage unit for your camping gear.