Having good quality equipment is essential for enjoying outdoor activities and adventure holidays. Unfortunately, many lovers of climbing, hiking, mountaineering, skiing and more, don’t know how to store sports equipment properly. So follow these outdoor gear storage tips to avoid having to replace kit early.
Below we take a look at outdoor gear storage tips and organisation. All with the goal to keep your equipment in the best possible shape for as long as possible.
Camping has seen a huge resurgence of interest during the pandemic. Whether it is the chance to re-embrace nature after lockdown or just an option for cheap adventure holidays, there are more people camping than ever before.
Good storage of equipment, especially the tent, is a vital aspect of enjoying camping. There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving at a camp site to realise you have forgotten your poles (Annette!). Also a tent that falls apart at the first gust of wind because it has been stored poorly is no good to anyone.
Camping equipment is designed to stand up to the elements. So it is hardy, but poor storage shortens the lifespan significantly. Store your tent on a sturdy shelf off the ground, in a clean and dry place.
It’s also a great idea to keep a large storage box where you can place all of the camping equipment you need to take with you. For example, torch, lantern, penknife or multitool, sleeping bag, mattress and portable stove, lighter, etc.
Top tip: Your tent should always be put away dry. If you’ve packed away wet, make sure that you unpack it to dry it out. The best way to do this is to take it outside on a hot dry day. You should also wipe any dirt off the bottom and wash the tent if it got excessively muddy using something like Nikwax tech cleaner.
Hiking doesn’t require a great deal of specialist gear. Beyond hiking boots, waterproof jacket and trousers and a backpack, there’s not usually much that needs storage. Although map and compass need extra care to avoid they do not get damaged.
But getting the outdoor gear storage right is still essential. If you leave your boots or backpack with something heavy on top of them their shape can become distorted or materials damaged. Hiking in gear that rubs or falls apart can ruin a trip, or even leave you in the wilderness without the right kit.
So how to store sports equipment? First, clean your boots thoroughly after your hike and apply an appropriate treatment if required. Also ensure that they are dry before they are put into storage. The same goes for your waterproof clothes and backpack.
Top tip: Put anything else that you take with you on hikes in the same place. That way you won’t forget walking poles, maps, compass or first aid kit.
Skiing and snowboarding gear is bulky and not easy to store at home. You should clean and wax (leave the wax on) skis and snowboards for summer storage. Even if only putting them away for a few weeks between trips ensure they are completely dry and if they need waxing do it before you put them to stop them dry out more.
It is best to store skis and snowboard somewhere dry without excessively hot temperatures. With this in mind a shed is not ideal and nor is a loft/attic. It’s a great idea to invest in a ski/board storage rack to keep them safe and secure.
Don’t forget about the rest of your winter gear that might only see the light of day on skiing holidays. For the most part how to store sport equipment for ski gear is the same as hiking. Wipe of dirt, dry it out and store it somewhere dry without loads of heavy stud stacked on top. Remember if you sweat on it mould could grow if you don’t clean before storage.
With more delicate items like ski goggles put them in a case or a box to avoid damage. As with all outdoor gear storage tips, utilise the kit you have, for example, protect your goggles by storing them inside your helmet.
Top tip: if you’re storing the gear of multiple skiers, it’s cheap and easy to have customised stickers printed to use for labelling. You can print name labels to make sure everything is clearly marked. This can save you a significant amount of time when packing and sorting kit in resort.
Unlike some outdoor pursuits, climbing is very gear-heavy. Not only that, but it is absolutely essential that your equipment stays in top condition. Cranking up a face with weakened ropes, or a worn climbing harness is an obvious recipe for disaster.
It is a great idea to set up a storage area for your climbing gear, giving every item an unique spot. Use a peg board to make it easy to hang up all of your equipment. Make sure everything is raised off the floor.
Top outdoor gear storage tip for climbing: For simplicity of use, it’s a good idea to organise nuts, cams and quickdraws in size order.
Mountaineering requires even more kit. So knowing how to store sports equipment for mountaineering is very important. You should keep it safe, clean and dry to ensure it stays in tiptop condition. Spend a little time when packing away and will save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
A lot of mountaineering clothing can be easily stored on a rack. It’s advisable to store everything together so that it’s all in one place and easy to locate. Accessories such as helmets, hats, gloves, clothing and footwear should also have their own space so that they can be easily accessed when needed.
Top tip: it’s a good idea to keep ice axes, belay devices and carabiners away from children. They aren’t toys to be played with.