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Gear Storage 101: How to Properly Clean & Store Your Stuff


Good equipment is an investment, so it’s important to ensure the longevity of it by storing it and cleaning it properly. Here are some tips on how to keep your gear in good condition while it’s in storage.

Backpacking & Miscellaneous Gear

It’s best practice to clean and dry most camping stuff while putting it away for the season. Sleeping bags and tents have manufacturer cleaning instructions, and usually a modest amount of soap and warm water will do the trick.

The main thing to remember is to dry everything out before storing, otherwise mildew could develop. If you use a dryer for sleeping bags, putting in some tennis balls during the cycle can prevent it from clumping. An easy way to dry a tent is to set it up outside, but try not to let it sit in the sun, as UV rays can damage the waterproof coating.

When everything is ready to store, find a cool and dry spot. Plastic bins work well, and so do ventilated attics or basement shelves.

A peg board is a great way to store rock climbing gear, backpacks, and other miscellaneous items that can hang out of the way.

Mountain Bike Storage

Mountain bikes are made to get dirty, but dirt sitting on a bike for months can cause rust and degrade quality, which is why cleaning your bike before storing it is a must. Take off anything detachable, like light mounts or bottle cages, and scrub off all the grime with a soft, mildly soapy sponge.

After it’s clean, make sure to lube the chains, dropper post levers, brake and derailleur assemblies, cables, and levers. It’s also a good idea to use suspension-specific lubricant on the seals located on the front forks, rear shocks, and dropper post. You’ll also want to keep the dropper in the upright position, not down.

Lastly, keep your tires heavily inflated. Storing on flat tires means they’ll lose traction, so fill your tires with more air than you tend to ride with but less than the maximum pressure, which is printed on the sidewall. Cold days will make the pressure drop in the tire, so check back every few weeks. If you have tubeless tires, give them a spin each time you inspect the pressure. This jostles the sealant inside so it doesn’t become solid.

Store Your Ski & Snowboard Gear

When it’s time to say goodbye to the slopes in the springtime, you’ll want to store your snowboard and skis properly, too. For snowboards, unmount the bindings to prevent bends from undue pressure. Skis don’t require binding removal. Next, wipe down the ski or board and bindings with soap and water.

You’ll want to wax the base. Heat up the wax with an iron and drip it along the length of the underside. Smooth it out with the iron and let it dry. As with most gear, you’ll want to store it in a cool and dry place.

In the off-season, gear needs a place. While the house might be fine, sometimes it’s nice to get a breather from all the gear hanging around unused. At StorQuest, we know that an epic journey requires awesome gear care, so we offer climate-controlled units, 24/7 rentals and support, and a range of unit sizes. Make room for awesome® today!

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