How to Properly Store and Care for Your Snow Gear
Winter is waning – it’s time to think about storing your snow gear until your next ski trip rolls around. If you want your snow gear to last for many years to come, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to keep it in tip-top shape before and during storage.
Read on to learn how to properly store snow gear after the ski season!
General Notes About Storing Snow Gear
Although your snow gear seems pretty rugged, you can’t just toss it into a box and forget about it until next winter. Here are three key things to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to put your snow gear away:
- Always store snow gear inside in a totally walled-in location. Most people will generally store their snow stuff in the corner of their garage or a storage unit. These are great choices, as long as you keep your gear away from heat sources like a boiler or furnace. For plastic, waxed skis and snowboards, it’s better to err on the side of cold vs. hot when it comes to room temperature. That said, do not store your snow gear in an exposed area outdoors. This will wear it down through inclement weather and may lead to cracking due to extreme cold or warping due to heat.
- Always store snow gear in a dry location. Water will corrode your equipment, and mold thrives in damp environments. Don’t let it thrive on your snow gear.
- Do not store snow gear in a place that you or your family use all the time. The last thing you need is to create a pile of clothing and equipment you need to step around or rearrange every day. Do not store snow gear like skis, boards, and poles in places where there’s a lot of foot traffic, or store winter clothes in your regular closet.
With these general tips in mind, let’s dive into the specifics of storing different types of snow gear.
Skis and Snowboards
To make things easy, keep in mind you can prepare, care for, and store your snowboard the same way you do your skis, so the following tips apply to both types of equipment:
- Don’t use a ski bag. Ski bags are great for lugging your skis and poles around, but they are a major no-go for storage. It’s all about keeping moisture away from your skis during the offseason, and ski bags are condensation carriers. Dry out your ski bag and store it with the rest of your winter clothes.
- Fix core shots, sharpen edges, and wax your skis. Give your skis the royal treatment when the season is done. Providing the right end-of-season maintenance will help them last for years. Three major maintenance moves to cover are fixing core shots, sharpening edges, and waxing the surface of the skis. If you are not comfortable performing these maintenance tasks, bring your skis into a local ski shop and have the professionals do it for you. Not only will your skis keep better in storage, but they will also be ready to go the second you want to ski next season.
- Store everything in one place and label your boxes. There’s nothing worse than having to dig through an entire storage unit filled with miscellaneous boxes looking for your final one or two winter items. Store your skis near your other winter gear so you can get in and out seamlessly when it finally comes time to get back on the mountain.
- Store your skis upright. Storing skis upright minimizes the chances of another object crushing them and potentially warping their shape. Lean your skis against a wall and try not to put too much weight on them.
Whether you ski or snowboard, boots are a big part of your winter setup. Just like you have two boots, there are two major steps to preparing your pair for storage in the off-season.
Step 1: Dry the liners. You should dry your liners after every day of skiing to extend the life of the material, anyway. Drying the liners also stops odor and prevents other microbes from invading your boots. A blow dryer or a clothing rack will work fine for this, though you can purchase a specific boot dryer. Drying your boot liners after your final ski of the season is extra important, as this will stop mold from forming and eating away at the interior of the boots.
Step 2: Buckle up your boots. Buckling your ski boots will help prevent them from losing shape in the months that they are not being used. Buckle your boots to the settings you normally use when you ski with them. Don’t buckle them too tightly, as it may be difficult for you to fit your foot in them when ski season rolls around next year.
The number one storage rule for ski suits and other snow clothes is simple. So simple, in fact, that we’ll say it three times: dry, dry, dry. Make sure you thoroughly dry all of your clothes after each trip up the mountain – especially after your final trip of the season. The best way to ensure an efficient, thorough drying is via tumble drying, but this is only a good choice if your ski suits can fit in the dryer with some space to spare. We also recommend washing your skiing clothes before drying them, though this same fitting rule applies.
You can wash your synthetic layers with regular soap during the season, since you’ll likely be back up on the slopes quite frequently. For the final wash, however, you are going to want to wash your synthetic layers with specific synthetic special washes like Nikwax. These will keep them clean and in great condition for months on end.
Before storage, wash and reapply DWR (durable water-repellency) to your outerwear so that it will continue to be water repellent year in and year out. There is nothing worse than a top layer that doesn’t actually keep the water out.
When storing for long periods of time, let your insulated items breathe. Here’s an interesting fact: If you are storing a sleeping bag for an extended period, the best way to store it is to hang it up, not stuff it in a sleeping bag holder. The same principle applies to your ski clothing. Give the insulated layer room to breathe so that if moisture does get into the insulation during the offseason (and some most likely will), it will be able to wick itself out, rather than staying there and creating the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Once mold makes its presence known, your gear is as good as gone – and so is your next paycheck when you spend it on new equipment.
Need a Storage Unit for All Your Winter Stuff?
Whether you’re a Sun Valley skier or a Brundage bum, one thing is for sure: There is no better place to store snow gear in southern Idaho than right here at Stor-It. We are Idaho’s oldest and largest self-storage company, with a wide range of storage units to fit your needs. With 14 locations around the Treasure Valley and beyond, and more locations being built later this year, we can virtually guarantee that we have a storage spot just a short drive away from your backyard.
Here at Stor-it, convenience is our middle name. The vast majority of our storage units are drive-up – which means that you can get in and get out as soon as the first snowfall hits the slopes. We also offer FREE locks, flexible month-to-month leasing, and packing supplies available for sale. Want to learn more about how to properly store snow gear? Ready to reserve your unit with us? Reach out to our team today!