It’s Time to Store Your Outdoor Gear and Summer Toys

Self Storage Best Practices

There’s still plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors in the fall before the snow flies and winter takes over. Outdoor gear, toys, and other types of leisure gear can break down over time if they aren’t taken care of properly. If you want your camping gear, sports supplies, and other outdoor equipment to remain in excellent functioning condition the next time you need to use them, learn self storage best practices for your seasonal items.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: self storage units are not places to store anything irreplaceable, but most are safe and reliable. When these valuables aren’t being used, self storage is the best place to keep them safe and secure. Here are some suggestions on the best way to preserve your summer equipment and outdoor toys until next season:

Miscellaneous outdoor gear ready to be stored.

Self Storage Best Practices: Camping Gear

Tents can survive the weather, but they wear out rapidly if not kept properly. Mold may form on a damp cloth, and a compression bag can shorten the life of the tent poles. Follow these steps to clean your tent before putting it away for the winter:

  • Use soap and water to clean the cloth gently. When you’ve finished removing all of the dirt and odors, it’s time to give it a good rinse.
  • Let the tent dry entirely in the air by hanging it up or spreading it out on a flat surface.
  • Pillowcase the dry tent and tent poles together. The tent’s compact carrying bag isn’t great for long-term storage; it’s better suited for transport.

Watersports Equipment

Scuba equipment, surfboards, and water skis all require different care than your average pair of shoes. Water skis and scuba gear may be hosed off to remove marine debris, including salt, sand, and bacteria. The next step is to let them air dry completely.

Surfboards need significantly more maintenance. Surfboards, like any other piece of aquatic gear, should be rinsed thoroughly after use. However, before stowing the board away for the winter, its wax coating should be renewed. And here’s how you do it:

  • For best results, you should heat up the surfboard in direct sunlight for at least half an hour. Because of this, removing the wax from the board will be a much simpler task.
  • All wax, filth, and grime can be removed with a little WD-40.
  • The board has to be totally dry before a new layer of wax is applied.
  • Surfboards should be kept in a permeable bag, much as dive gear and water skis.

Canoes and kayaks, although designed for use in the great outdoors, shouldn’t be kept there while they aren’t in use. Sunlight may deteriorate plastic and composite boats. On top of that, materials and joints might be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of cold weather. Before putting them in self storage, follow these steps:

  • All hatch covers should be removed and the inside thoroughly cleaned to ensure that no moisture is trapped.
  • To prevent mold and mildew from forming inside a kayak, the float plugs should be removed.
  • Use cockpit coverings or a permeable sheet to cover the interior of the vessel to keep it clean while allowing air circulation.
  • Canoes and plastic kayaks should be stored with their hulls up, but composite kayaks may be stored on their sides or upside down.
  • Avoid storing them on the ground at all costs to avoid creating a pressure point wherever they make contact. Use a rack to hang them and distribute the weight properly to prevent warping.

Inflatable Summer Toys

Some pool toys and floats have weird shapes that make it hard to find a good way to store them. Here are some suggestions for stowing away your pool equipment.

  • Always deflate your inflatables to the lowest possible level before putting them away, since any residual air might act as a moisture trap.
  • Avoid scratches and rips by making sure everything is dry and clear of debris.
  • Spread a small coating of cornstarch or talcum powder over the goods before putting them in plastic to prevent them from clinging to one another.
  • Tightly folding or rolling may cause tension on the fabric and seams, ruining the toy for the next season. Often, you won’t realize the toy is destroyed until you spend an hour attempting to blow it up.
Patio Furniture and Grill

You’ve spent the last few months having barbecues on the weekends for your friends and neighbors, who have enjoyed sitting in your patio chairs while you cooked outside. However, after summer is done, you’ll want to store your barbecue and outdoor furnishings somewhere secure. Before you decide to store anything yourself, consider the following:


  • Disconnect the propane tank from your barbecue and keep it in a secure location on your property. You can’t keep flammables in a storage unit
  • Remove any debris and oil from the grill grates before using. You may want to have the grill nice and hot before you start scraping.
  • After cleaning your grill, put some rust preventer on the burners and grates. Finally, cover it with a custom-made cover to protect it from the elements..

Patio Furniture

  • Cleaning wooden furniture is as easy as giving it a quick spray with the garden hose and maybe some oil soap. Don’t bother putting it away until it’s entirely dried.
  • Rust and grime may be easily removed by wiping down and scrubbing metal furniture. It is possible to stop future rust damage by using sealants.
  • You may remove any dust or grime from your other belongings by shaking them out or by washing them in the washing machine.

Your house may soon become too small to store all of your summer gear, in which case you may want to look into a self-storage facility. It’s the quickest, least expensive, and least disruptive method to add square footage on the spot, for as long or short a time as you need it. If you’re wondering how much room you’ll need for storage, click on this Storage Unit Size Guide.

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