Home » Organization » How to Prepare Camping Equipment for Long Term Storage

To store camping gear properly requires making sure that it is clean, dry, protected, and organized. Anyone who has done some camping in a tent probably recognizes that musty smell that a tent may have if it was stored wet enough for mold to grow. The smell is annoying and some people have an allergic reaction to mold spores. It is better to avoid that musty mold problem by storing things properly.

This helpful guide gives tips on how to store camping gear so that the next time you want to go camping you can easily take exactly what you need out of storage and it will be in a nice condition.

A Cool, Dry, Place to Store Camping Equipment

Pretty much everything used for camping does better when stored in a cool, dry place. That means putting things away in a hot attic is not a good idea. Putting things in a basement or garage is not good either because of the exposure to cold, perhaps freezing temperatures, and excessive moisture.

The best solution is to rent a climate-controlled storage space. These units maintain the temperature and humidity at nice levels in order to avoid damage to stored items caused by heat, cold, and moisture.

Organizing Your Camping Equipment Before Placing it in Storage

For smaller items, clear containers and clear plastic bags, which seal well, are very helpful. Use labels to mark the containers. Use a permanent marker to label the bags as needed. If the contents might be negatively affected by moisture, you can use silica gel packs of various sizes (the kind that says on the pack “do not eat”) to place within the bags and in containers. These silica packs absorb moisture from the air. They are available online for a low cost at Amazon.

When packing things in the rental storage unit, pack the larger things first and then add the smaller things on top of them. When packing the containers, put things together that are used together such as cooking utensils, cup, and plates.

If you only use portions of the camping gear for different kinds of trips then pack the most frequently used things last, so they are the first things that can be taken out of storage when needed. Make an inventory list of what you have and what things you need to replenish or replace before your next trip.

Preparing Cooking Stoves and Kerosene Lanterns for Storage

DISCLAIMER: Any type of combustible fuel cannot be stored in a rented storage unit. This includes propane tanks, butane, alcohol, lighter fluid, kerosene, solid fuel like Sterno®, lighters, and fire starters.

Anything that contains fuel of any kind that is flammable is not allowed to be stored in a rental unit. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for each kind of flammable item to safely store it elsewhere.

After the fuel has been removed, clean stoves and lanterns. Dry them. Any metal parts can be sprayed with cooking oil and then put in a plastic bag with the air sucked out to protect them from rust. Wrap glass globes for lanterns that have them with paper to protect them from breaking and pack them in a sturdy box. Clean all cooking equipment, plates, cups, and eating utensils before packing them in clear containers.

Preparing Tents for Long Term Storage

Tents should be clean and dry before being packed. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for cleaning. Remove all dirt from the tent stakes and brush the dust off of everything. Pack a tent in a cotton bag instead of a plastic bag. This allows the tent material to breathe. Use sheets of paper between the folds of the tent before placing it loosely in the cotton bag. Usually, the bag the tent came in when it was purchased is too small to use for this purpose.

Pack the tent poles and stakes separately from the fabric to avoid any accidental punctures. When using a tent again, if possible, take it out of the bag and open it up to place it in the outside air for a few hours to freshen it up.

Preparing Sleeping Bags for Long Term Storage

Shake dirt and dust off that collected in the folds. Air out the sleeping bag by laying it flat or by using a hanger. Do not put a sleeping bag in direct sun because sunlight can damage the nylon material.

Some sleeping bags can be washed in a machine that is a front-loading washer. Others, like ones filled with down, need to be dry-cleaned. Sleeping bags can be packed in the bag that they came in once they are clean and dry.

Preparing Battery-Operated Devices for Long Term Storage

Take all the batteries out of any device that uses them. This avoids potential damage from corrosion and leakage. Batteries will discharge over time. When ready to go camping again, take fresh batteries or recharged ones along.

We’re Your Storage Solution!

Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. We have storage unit facilities across Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, New Jersey, and South Carolina. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your unique storage situation.