Storing Outdoor Gear for Winter

Woman at campsite in cold weather gear
Photo by Julian Bialowas

Quiet nights, brisk morning air and coffee over the fire... after you've enjoyed one final camping trip for the season, it's time to get your outdoor gear ready for winter storage: 

Tent

Waterproof  it: open it up and spray with water repellent. Check for tiny holes and patch them.

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags can usually be washed but check the care instructions before cleaning. Many contain down or fiber filling and may require different care methods. 

Wash sleeping bags separately on a gentle cycle. Add detergent and partially fill with warm water. Submerge the sleeping bag in the water to expel air, then allow the washer to finish filling.

Periodically stop the washer, open the lid, and press air from the sleeping bag to  ensure thorough cleaning. Tumble dry at regular temperatures. Consider adding a clean tennis ball to the dryer to fluff up the filling.

If your sleeping bag is too bulky for your washer, we'll be more than happy to get it ready for the season. 

Backpack

Water repellent is a good here, too. Look out for holes where water can get in and soak your items. If you have a leather backpack, it may crack and crumble if it gets wet too often or sits in the hot sun for a long period of time. It's best to apply some saddle soap and moisturize the grains on occasion while at home.

Boots

Slightly worse than sleeping in a puddle is walking in one all day. Waterproof and store boots in a dry place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, since squishy feet can lead to illnesses.

Rainwear

Slickers and overboots can be your best friends in the wild. But these items can develop odors and bacterial films which can cause infections if they sit too long. If you're wearing a plastic poncho, make sure it is completely dry before folding it up and packing it away for the season. If you prefer canvass, make sure the water repellent is refreshed at least once per year.

Now that the camping season has concluded, store your adventure items with love. Taking good care of your gear will help it take care of you.

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