Winter’s been fun, but with any luck, spring is just around the corner. This means it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to store all that cold weather stuff you drug out of hiding several months ago. We know you’ll be sad to see it go, but here are some smart storage tips for all your winter gear.
The sheer nature of winter clothing makes it so that moisture can and will cause a funk during extended storage. This means you must do what you can to remove every ounce of moisture hiding within the fabric of your winter clothing. Here’s what you do.
1. Give synthetic base layers a deep clean.
During the cold season, it’s fine to wash your synthetic undergarments with regular laundry soap. When you’re ready to put them into storage for the summer, however, it’s good to give them a deep clean with a special base layer soap that cleans, deodorizes, and conditions. This base wash keeps your things fresh and stinky-free while packed away.
2. Wash and re-waterproof outerwear.
Since dirt and oil can interfere with a coat’s ability to repel moisture, it’s a good idea to wash it at least once a season. When you’re ready to put yours away for the summer, be sure to wash it well and then apply a fresh layer of water repellent treatment.
3. Allow things to dry longer.
If the clothing you’ve washed can go in the dryer, run it through two cycles to dry instead of one. If the items aren’t dryer-friendly, hang them to dry for a crazy-long time to be sure all the moisture is out before you pack them away in a storage locker. Moisture is the enemy of many-a-stored-item, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and give your winter clothing extra time to dry.
If you pray all year for a long, snowy winter so you can ski to your heart’s content, storing your skis properly during the off-season is almost as important as breathing. Follow the steps below so you’re ready to rip as soon as the snow flies next season.
Get your skis fixed and sharpened before storing.
Don’t wait too long after your last outing to make an appointment with your favorite ski shop. They get booked fast, and usually stop doing ski maintenance and repair once bike season rolls around. Get this stuff done before storing your skis so you don’t have to worry about it next season.
Wax your skis.
Remove the old layer of wax on the base of your skis and coat them with a new, thick layer. This will keep the wood from drying out during the summer months.
Strap skis together and store them indoors.
The best way to store skis is strapped together so they don’t rub against each other and dull the edges. Keep them indoors, but avoid storing them inside a ski bag, which can hold moisture that causes the edges to rust. Wrap a strap around the skis where they naturally come together, but don’t pull too tight to avoid warping.
A word of advice: If you aren’t able to store your skis indoors at home, it’s important you store them in a climate-controlled storage space so extreme temperatures don’t cause warping and/or drying.
Your ski boots are probably the easiest thing to get ready for summer storage. This isn’t to say, however, you should drop the ball here. Instead, follow these simple steps to keep your boots in pristine condition for next year.
Invest in a boot dryer.
Most ski boots have removable liners that should be dried thoroughly between wears. At the end of the skiing season, it’s vitally important you dry these liners out completely to ward off funk and extend the life of the material. Using a boot dryer is ideal, but if you don’t want to shell out the money for one, simply remove the liners and allow them to air dry for an extended period before placing them back inside the boots.
Buckle the boots.
Anytime you store boots for any length of time, you should tie and/or buckle them up to ensure they keep their shape. Before storing your ski boots, buckle them up on the loosest setting and make sure they stand upright to hold their shape.
If skiing is life, how you store your winter gear is as important to your happiness as breathing is to living. Use the suggestions above to keep your ski equipment in tip-top shape while in storage so you’ll be ready to run with the first snowfall of the season.