Effectively Storing Your Camping Gear
Have you ever wondered how to properly store your camping gear during the long winter months so it’s ready to go when you are?
At The Hideout: Elite Motor Storage™, we offer several different car condo unit sizes to house any recreational vehicle—everything from SUVs to trailers to Class A motorhomes. We also offer short-term, outdoor storage rentals as a secure place to store materials. But it’s important to take the time to organize and store your camping gear before you need it for your outdoor adventures.
Follow the tips below to find out how to store your camping gear like a pro!
CLEAN AND DRY
Before storing your camping gear, all tents, sleeping bags, and clothes should be washed and completely dried. Also, consider cleaning tarps, shoes, bikes, and anything else that could’ve gotten dirty—even if it’s just wiping dirt off or airing out. Of course, you should try to clean and dry everything immediately after a trip to avoid damage (think mold or mildew) to your camping gear, but definitely before long-term storage.
You can spot clean your tent with mild soap and cold water. To dry, pitch it outside in the shade. Letting it sit in direct sunlight for too long can damage the fabric and waterproof coating. If you don’t have space to pitch it, find a spot to hang the tent until it’s totally dry.
Check the manufacturer’s label to make sure, but most sleeping bags and pads can either be washed in the machine or by hand with mild soap and warm water. Hanging is a good but long way to dry sleeping bags. If you put them in the dryer, throw in a couple of tennis balls to stop clumping.
Don’t forget to wash your eating utensils and cookware too. Even if you rinsed everything off at the campground, when you get home wash it with dish soap or throw it in the dishwasher. You don’t want to risk any bacteria on the things you eat off of.
ORGANIZE YOUR CAMPING GEAR
First things first: Organize your gear by use. Keep items like tents and sleeping bags together, cooking supplies together, and first aid products like medical kits, sunscreen, and bug spray together.
Get plastic bins to store your camping gear in. Not only are they water-resistant to protect your items from moisture, but it makes it easy to neatly stack in storage. Clear bins allow you to see what you have; however, gray or black bins can offer extra protection from UV light.
Regardless of the color of the bin, label each one with a number, color, or whatever system works for you. Keep a master list of the “inventory” you have either on your phone or by the door of your self-storage unit.
Try not to store tents and sleeping bags in their bags for a long time. The compression can damage the insulation of a sleeping bag and folding a tent repeatedly can tear the fabric or ruin the waterproof coating. Instead, loosely roll and store these camping items in a bin, or large cotton or mesh bags to allow the fabrics to breathe.
STORE IN A COOL, DRY PLACE
After organizing, you want to make sure to store your camping gear in a cool, dry place. Moisture can damage just about anything—everything from flashlights to fabrics.
Before anything else, make sure everything is totally dry before you store it. Plastic bins will help protect your things, but one way to ensure a cool, dry spot to store your camping gear is by renting or buying a climate-controlled self-storage unit.
At The Hideout, we offer climate-controlled car condos so you can keep your gear safe from extreme hot or cold temperatures and humidity. Our facility is accessible 24/7, so as soon as the weather warms up, your camping gear will be clean and ready to go with you! For more information, send us an email or call us at 239-213-8029 today!