Tips for Storing Camping Equipment

Tips for Storing Camping EquipmentYour camping equipment is made to withstand the stresses of the backcountry, but it sometimes does not do well in a closet. Dampness, mold and even stacking up some pieces of your gear can cause serious problems that could turn up unpleasantly on your next trip. Take extra time when you store these items to make sure they stay ready for future outings.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Dry all fabric gear, especially if your trip was damp or rainy. Hang up clothes, sleeping bags and tents, and let shoes dry in a well-ventilated area. Check for dampness in stoves, cookwear and your pack, too. If the inside of your tent was damp the morning you packed it, set it up and let the inside dry.
Step 2
Clean excess dirt from tents, boots, packs and any other soiled piece of gear. If you use water, make sure to let the gear dry before storing it, as described in Step 1.
Step 3
Hang up packs and sleeping bags, and put any clothes you will store on shelves. Keep tents and shoes off the ground, as well, especially if you store your gear in a basement or cellar.
Step 4
Un-stuff sleeping bags and clothes. Keeping synthetic- and down-insulated bags and outerwear compressed can break down the insulating fibers. They will eventually lose overall warmth, and cold spots that have lost insulation altogether could appear. Shake out and hang any insulated bags or garments.
Step 5
Inspect and thoroughly clean stoves and kitchen gear. Throw out any food trash. Remove fuel pressurizers from liquid-fuel stoves and empty fuel bottles. Clean the stove according to manufacture instructions, and make sure all of its fittings, seals and surfaces are in good working order.

Tips & Warnings

Most camping gear benefits from a dry storage environment, so choose a place in your home that's free from excessive moisture. If you store your gear in a basement or other damp place, check it often to make sure it is staying dry.
Even if you check your stove before storing it, you should also check before taking it on an outing. O-rings can crack and metal can corrode during storage.

Article Written By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from The Ohio University. He has been a professional writer since 2008, specializing in outdoors content and instruction. Johnson's poetry has appeared in such publications as "Sphere" and "17 1/2 Magazine."

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