There is an irony about outdoor gear like backpacks, skis and hiking supplies. Even though they have helped you to experience real adventure and have survived rainy nights and raging campfires, improper storage during the off-season could cause them a lot of harm.

When you are not out on an expedition, it is important that you organize your outdoor gear accordingly so it remains in tip-top shape for when you need it again. The tips below are exactly what you need to ensure you use safe and responsible storage.

1. Understand why you need to keep your gear safe

If you really hope to keep your outdoor gear secure, it is important to understand what you are protecting. The fact that you enjoy time outside in the elements is great for your physical and mental health. Some experts even say that time spent in nature reduces your chances of feeling anxiety or depression.

By keeping your gear in good shape even during the off-season, you can ensure that it remains in the same condition you left it in, so you don’t need to have it fixed or to buy new stuff, and you can just get out there and enjoy nature again. One of the reasons people give for not going outside is the excuse that they don’t have the proper equipment at that time. With smart storage, you won’t be able to say that!

If you are a digital nomad or you have a profession where you need to keep your outdoor gear in working order, then you will especially realize the importance of proper storage and organization.

2. Sort your items

In order to remain truly organized and have the ability to find what you need when you need it, it is a good idea to sort all your equipment, so similar items are stored together. Keep your snow gear in one section, backpacks and hiking gear in another section, and so on. It is a wise idea to keep all these belongings in a dry area where water won’t leak and lead to mold. You also may want to keep your items out of direct sunlight so they don’t fade.

3. Discard what you don’t need

As the years go by and you find yourself on countless adventures, you will likely outgrow and upgrade some of your equipment, leaving you with items you no longer need. After the end of each season, identify the pieces of equipment you no longer plan to use and remove them from your collection. If the gear is still in good working order, consider donating it or passing it on to your kids so the items can still get some use.

4. Keep pests away

It is also important to keep pest prevention in mind when storing your gear. If fleas or ticks were able to make their way onto your clothing during your adventures, they can stick around and harm you, your family and your pets. Make sure to shake everything off, wash your equipment, and inspect it before storing it away. Also, remember that rats and larger pests can easily get into cardboard boxes, so consider using plastic storage containers that can be properly sealed.

5. Create additional space

If you and your family are always up to some kind of adventure, then there is a good chance you are running out of space for storage. Instead of throwing everything into a closet, you can try to create additional space. For instance, you can add shelves to the garage and closets that will keep stored items off the floor.

Garage Interior with Shelves
Garage Interior with Shelves

In the garage, you can add a hanging rack where you can store some of your sleeping bags and other lightweight equipment. If you are really crunched for space, consider replacing your furniture with ottomans and other items that include storage room so you can pack some stuff in there as well.

6. Consider a self storage unit

If you have exhausted these options and find that you still don’t have space, it may be time to consider renting a self storage unit. The units can be affordable, and you can store all your outdoor gear in one so it is not taking up space at home. Put your stuff in plastic containers to keep out moisture and take an inventory of the items stored there so you can ensure you don’t leave anything behind.

There are many tactics you can use to properly store your outdoor gear and be sure it stays in great shape. Consider these tactics and get ready for the adventures of the new year!


You can reach out to StorageCafe's editorial staff by sending an email to [email protected].

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