Whether you’re a big game hunter or a pheasant specialist, a rifleman or a bowman, one thing is for certain: your favorite thing to do on a day off from work is hunt. And as any hunter knows, no hunt is complete without proper gear – and no gear works well without proper maintenance. Naturally, keeping your hunting gear in great shape during the hunting season is important, but what’s equally important is how you treat it during the rest of the year. That’s right: we’re talking about storage.
In this guide, our storage experts here at Stor-It give you everything you need to know about how to properly store hunting gear in the off-season. Keep your stuff in great shape with our tips below, and store hunting gear of all shapes and sizes with us!
How to Store Hunting Clothes
We’ll start with hunting clothes. For most big game hunting, scent control is a vital part for any hunter worth his/her weight in dried meat – which means hunting clothes cannot have any foreign scents on them. You’ll need to take extra steps during storage to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Wash Your Hunting Clothes the Right Way
The best way to make sure that you don’t pick up any unwanted scents is by using a scent-free sportsman’s wash. Some of the more popular ones are Primo Silver XP laundry detergent and Hunter’s Specialties Scent-A-way. If you don’t have the budget for these slightly pricier detergents, you can use baking soda to wash your hunting gear. This will both absorb all the odors that you have picked up during the season
Next, always store camo gear inside-out to prevent fading. Store all of your hunting clothing in a dry indoor location to prevent the growth of mold. Also be sure to store hunting gear and clothes in a dark place so that the sun doesn’t cause discoloration – or worse, warping.
Store Your Hunting Clothes in the Right Receptacles
With these steps in mind, it’s important to remember to avoid storing your hunting gear with your other clothes. This goes back to the first issue we raised: scent. Your other clothes have noticeable scents that can rub off on your hunting clothes, which can diminish their effectiveness.
To stop this from happening, place your hunting clothes in either a plastic tote container or a scent-free bag. Keep these plastic bags and/or totes in an area where they won’t likely be found or opened. Don’t think you need a scent-free bag or tote because you are storing your hunting gear and clothes in a corner of your garage or shed? Think again. These areas have their own scents that can be absorbed by your carefully washed clothes.
If you want to go above and beyond, consider placing cedar chips, pine needles, or a natural scent wafer in with your clothes and boots. This will help them pick up the scent of the outdoors before next season.
Prep Your Hunting Apparel for Next Season
You can prep for next year’s hunting as you pack up. Sort and label bags based on what part of the season you will need them for, so when you are packing up for your first few early season hunting trips, you won’t need to rummage for the right outfit. Instead, you’ll be able to pull out the correctly marked bags, pack them in your truck, brew a pot of coffee, and get on the road. Pack the later-season coats, base layers, and heavy-duty socks together too, so when you get to that phase of the season, you can easily find your winter hunting gear.
As you prep your hunting clothes (and other gear) for off-season storage, be sure to take inventory of what needs replacing (because it’s too small, because the camo has faded, because there are tears, rips, or holes in it – the list of replacement reasons goes on). Consider purchasing your replacement clothes and gear in the first few of months of the off-season, as this will be the time when there are major deals at hunting outfitters.
How to Store Firearms
Next up are firearms: valuable, deadly, and altogether necessary items for any hunter’s arsenal. Follow these steps to store them properly.
- Make your firearms inaccessible to anyone that isn’t you. In untrained hands, a gun quickly becomes a life-threatening risk. Wherever you store your guns, make sure that they are unloaded and locked away. Only you should be able to access them.
- Keep your firearms dry. Ideally, you have a humidity and temperature-controlled gun locker to store your firearms when you are not using them. If you don’t own a locker, put a bucket of DampRid or a similar solution in your firearm storage space.
- Always store your firearms with the gun barrel pointing up. If you store your firearms with the barrels facing downwards or sideways, there is a much better chance that the metal of the barrels will warp, ruining your guns.
- At the end of the hunting season, give your guns a thorough cleaning. This is an essential step toward ensuring their functionality year after year. If you are new to rifle cleaning, do your research on how to properly clean each firearm that you own.
To keep this section from running long, we’ll conclude with a related, cautionary note: Cleaning your rifles takes a long time, so be sure to dedicate a few hours out of one of your days to break each one down and clean it properly. Don’t put it off, either. You don’t want to spend your first few free hours of next season cleaning when you could be hunting.
The Best Way to Store Hunting Gear
You may have considered storing your hunting gear in your garage or utility shed. Unless these areas are mostly empty, they’re not the best places to store hunting gear. Equipment like gas cans, cleaning supplies, paints, and other standard garage materials cans emit a pungent odor over time that is difficult to get out of anything left in the same room. Most huntable animal noses are much better at detecting foreign scents than ours, so even if you can’t smell the difference, the animals will, and they’ll surely steer clear of the area you post up in during your next hunting trip.
Instead of resorting to your garage or utility shed, keep your hunting gear in a separate, dedicated storage space. An off-site storage unit is a great way to keep your hunting gear separate from the rest of your belongings and away from other people. (Bonus: You can also stop feeling guilty about the space those extra three rifles are taking up.) Best of all, today’s top storage providers offer storage units in a number of different sizes for hunting arsenals large and small.
Looking for a Storage Unit in Southern Idaho? Look no Further Than Stor-It
Need a place to store your hunting gear in Southern Idaho? There is no better choice than right here at Stor-It. We are Idaho’s oldest and largest self-storage company, proudly offering best-in-class hunting storage at each of our 14 locations in the Treasure Valley and beyond. With everyday affordable low rates, flexible month-to-month leasing, and FREE locks, we make it easy for any hunter (or hunting group) to find a great unit. Plus, we offer 24/7 digital computerized gate access and drive-up units, so you can bring your truck right up to your unit and get your hunting gear whenever you need to.
Want to learn more about how to properly store hunting gear? Ready to store with us? Visit our locations page to check all of the great storage options we offer, and contact our team to have your questions answered and book your storage space today!