Storing your camping gear

As you store your equipment take time to inspect and repair any items that might need attention.  If you are storing equipment that uses batteries, remember to  remove them.  They can corrode and leak destroying the equipment in the process.  Set up your tent one last time to air out and brush out any dirt that might have accumulated while you were camping.  Hang up your sleeping bags to air out; if you won’t be using them for a while and space permits, store them unrolled under the bed along with any sleeping pads.

If it can be avoided try to limit the amount of gear you store in sheds, attics or garages.  In hot, humid climates like where we live it plays havoc with the coatings on the backpacks and sacks.  In colder climates you might have ‘guests’ that are seeking shelter for the winter.  Your backpacks make for great nest.  If you need to use your shed, attic and/or garage,  store the gear in high areas where rodents and insects will have difficulty reaching the equipment.  Make sure it is located in a dry area to prevent mildew. If you life in a cold climate make sure that any moisture in materials are expelled. Gear can be damaged from expansion when freezing; and some materials, even when dry, may crack in very cold temperatures.  

Animals are attracted to the smell of food that was present when camping. They will make quick work of your gear chewing through it to find the treasure that is no longer there. To avoid these pests, be sure to air out or wash all gear that smells of food. 

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.  Do not forget about your water bottles/packs, left over water can and will become rank.  Give them a good cleaning with warm water and a tablespoon of baking soda; rinse and allow them to air dry.

Get ready for the next trip, take note of any items you would like to take the next time you go.  Lastly, replace your consumables (i.e. toilet paper, matches, lighters, camp soap, nylon cord, trash bags etc) so you have the ready for your next adventure.