Storing Seasonal Outdoor Gear: Cleaning and Maintenance

Published on 7/3/2023

As the seasons change, so do our outdoor activities. Whether it's skiing, hiking, camping, or biking, we often find ourselves with a collection of seasonal outdoor gear that needs proper care and storage. Cleaning and maintaining your gear before storing it away not only ensures its longevity but also guarantees that you'll be ready to go when the next season arrives. In this blog post, we'll explore the essential steps for cleaning and maintaining your seasonal outdoor gear, so you can store it with confidence.

  1. Assess and sort your gear: Before you start cleaning, take some time to assess your outdoor gear. Separate it into different categories based on the type of activity or the materials used. This will help you identify the specific cleaning and maintenance requirements for each item. Inspect each piece for any visible damage or signs of wear and tear. Addressing these issues early on will prevent further damage and costly repairs down the line.

  2. Follow manufacturer's instructions: Manufacturers often provide guidelines for cleaning and maintaining their gear. Check the tags, labels, or instruction manuals for any specific instructions. Different materials and equipment require different cleaning methods, so it's important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations to avoid damaging the gear.

  3. Cleaning clothing and fabric gear: Most outdoor clothing and fabric gear can be machine washed, but it's essential to use the appropriate detergent. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as they can affect the fabric's performance. Zip up all zippers and fasten any Velcro closures to prevent snagging. Treat stains individually before washing, and ensure that all pockets are emptied. After washing, air dry the items thoroughly before storing them to prevent mildew.

  4. Cleaning footwear: Outdoor footwear, such as hiking boots or ski boots, should be cleaned thoroughly after each use. Remove any dirt, mud, or debris by brushing it off with a soft brush. For more stubborn stains, use a mild soap and water solution and a soft cloth. Rinse the boots with clean water and dry them naturally, away from direct heat sources, which can damage the material.

  5. Equipment and gear maintenance: Cleaning equipment, such as camping gear, tents, or backpacks, requires a slightly different approach. Start by removing any loose dirt or debris. Use a mild soap or specialized cleaner, depending on the material, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Rinse the gear thoroughly, ensuring that no soap residue remains. Allow the equipment to dry completely before storing it. Check for any damage, such as tears or broken zippers, and repair or replace as needed.

  6. Proper storage techniques: Once your gear is cleaned and dry, it's time to store it properly. Consider the following guidelines:

  • Store gear in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Avoid storing gear in plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and promote mildew.
  • Use breathable fabric bags or bins to store clothing and fabric gear.
  • Hang items that need to maintain their shape, such as jackets or sleeping bags.
  • Keep footwear in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Store equipment and gear in designated storage containers, properly organized and labeled for easy retrieval.

Cleaning and maintaining your seasonal outdoor gear before storing it away is essential for its longevity and performance. By following the manufacturer's instructions and implementing proper cleaning techniques, you can ensure that your gear remains in excellent condition throughout the off-season. With a little extra effort, you'll be ready to hit the trails, slopes, or campsites as soon as the next season arrives. So, take the time to care for your gear, and it will continue to serve you well for years to come. Happy adventures!

Sick of your extra stuff taking up your space? Rent your very own storage unit at AA Personal Storage in Parowan UT by signing up hassle free online at or call 435-447-4777 and get your 3rd MONTH FREE.