Tips for Storing Your Camping Gear
As old man winter shuts the door on the season, it’s important to make sure that what you store now will bloom again in the spring — still functional, critter less and not smelly.
Make Sure Gear is Easy to Access
Unless you only plan to camp once every few years, the attic isn’t the best place to store camping equipment. No matter where you clear storage space for your gear, the one rule of thumb is to make sure it’s easy to access.
Make Sure Everything is Clean and Dry Before Packing
There are only two real musts before packing things away: clean everything and make sure it’s dry. If not, it will attract pests and create mold or mildew.
Vacuum Out the Tent
The tent is the hub of camping activity so it’s not uncommon for crumbs and dirt to get inside. The best way to make sure the tent is completely cleaned is to set it up in your yard and vacuum it out with a handheld vacuum or shop vac.
Invest in a Few Clear, Portable Bins
Clear bins with lids will keep your gear protected and dry, make everything easier to transport and keep things organized.
Hang Sleeping Bags Instead of Rolling Them
Most people roll up their sleeping bags and stuff them in pouches, but this won’t let the sleeping bag breathe. Instead, turn it inside out and hang it up in the back of the closet.
Remove All Flammables & Store Separately
If you have kerosene in lamps, lighter fluid or any other flammables, these need to be emptied out and containers need to be stored separately. It’s always safest to store flammables in a spot away from your house, like a shed or detached garage.
Batteries should also be removed before putting up electronics and tools. If left inside, there is a possibility they will corrode or leak.
Compartmentalize & Label
Camping enthusiasts and professional movers know the power of compartmentalized packing. There are a lot of smaller bits and pieces involved with camping equipment. Nesting (putting smaller containers inside a larger container) makes it easier to get everything together and go.
Store Gear Under Your Bed Not in the Garage
Tents, camping chairs and sleeping bags are the perfect winter spot for pests. That’s why we advise that you store camping gear under a bed instead of in the garage.
Clean Your Cookware
That little bit of crustiness in the corner of your favorite pot can slowly grow into an intelligent life form over the next few months. Give your cookware another really good cleaning and let it sit out to dry for a few days before packing it up. If you store your stove with your cookware this is a good time to inspect and clean it.
If you’re a regular camper, like myself, you probably have an air mattress — whether it’s one you blow up with a pump or a self-inflating gadget. These are great for camping; they bring luxury to the outdoors. You wouldn’t go camping without it… so how come your impromptu house guests have to sleep on the floor? Your guest will be much more impressed about you whipping out a padded sleeping mat at 3am for them to crash on.