How to Safely Store Outdoor Gear & Toys in Self-Storage

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Summer’s officially over…what a bummer!  But fall is an awesome season and there’s still lots to enjoy and do outdoors before the snow blows in and winter takes over.

This time of year, we have many customers swap out the contents of their storage units for the season change, moving fall and winter items back home and moving in their summer gear and equipment. We also have many new customers looking to rent extra space just to store their summer stuff, like camping gear, fishing equipment, kayaks, canoes and all those fun inflatables (which are not just for kids anymore).

Self-storage is the perfect solution for storing these types of items (which can be very costly) and it’s a great way to help keep them protected from damage while they are not being used.

We know we preach this a lot, but it’s really important to take care when storing your stuff in a self-storage unit. These items have value to you (sentimental or monetary), and it would be a shame for something you love or enjoy to break or become unusable, especially when it was just sitting around not being used.

So, to make sure your outdoor gear and summer toys are safety stored until you need them again, here are tips for how to best store them:  

1. Camping Gear

  • Organize items by use in order to more easily find them next season – For example, items for shelter (tent, tarps, etc.), items for sleeping (sleeping bag, blankets, & pillows), & cooking items (portable stove, Firestarter and matches, utensils and dishware.).
  • Sleeping bags - It’s not always best to roll them up and shove them back in the sack they come in as this isn’t great for the insulation, especially if it’s a higher end sleeping bag.Ideally, it’s best to hang them with your clothes, or lay them flat under a bed. If this isn’t possible, loosely roll and tie a rope around it or place it in a breathable bag. Remember to avoid plastic as this trap’s moisture.
  • Tents - Make sure they are empty and completely dry and free from as much dirt and debris as possible both inside and outside. Avoid folding them tightly as this puts strain on the fabric, which is often quite thin and can rip. Fold it loosely instead and be careful when placing it with the tent poles as they can rub and poke at the fabric, wearing it down and possibly tearing it.
  • Hiking gear - As with most things, its best to totally clean these items off as best as possible before storing for long lengths of time. For boots, clean the outside and inside and consider applying a waterproof coating to protect them and get them ready for next season.

2. Kayaks and Canoes

  • Although these items are meant to be used outside, it isn’t ideal to store them outside during the off season. The UV rays from the sun can wreak havoc on plastic and composite vessels. Plus, cold temperatures can be quite harsh on the materials and their joints. Even keeping them in a shed or a garage is better than having no shelter at all.
  • Make sure to clean out the inside and outside and remove all hatch covers, leaving any compartments open to air so that no moisture is trapped.
  • For kayaks, ensure the float plugs are removed so that any excess moisture can escape.
  • If possible, use cockpit covers or a breathable sheet to cover the inside of the vessel to keep the inside clean, but also allow air circulation.
  • Store canoes and plastic kayaks upside down, and composite kayaks with the hull up or on their sides. If possible, do not store any of these on the ground as the point where they touch the ground will be a pressure point. If you’re hanging them, use a rack and make sure that the weight is evenly distributed to avoid warping.

3. Inflatable Summer Toys (kiddie pools, inner tubes, rafts, waterslides, etc.)

  • To store inflatable items, always let out as much air as possible as any remaining air will get trapped and can allow moisture to stay inside.
  • Make sure all items are completely dry, and free from debris to avoid scratches and tearing.
  • To avoid the plastic sticking together in storage, lightly coat items in a thin layer of cornstarch or talcum powder.
  • Loosely fold or roll to avoid stress on the material and seams as all it takes it one tear to render the toy useless next season…and often you don’t know it’s ruined until you spend an hour trying to blow it up.

4. Fishing Gear

  • Clean and dry all parts of your fishing rods and gear to avoid moisture sitting on them and rusting your gear.
  • Take apart your reels to thoroughly clean and take the opportunity to grease and oil any necessary pieces so that they don’t seize up in the offseason.
  • If you can, you should take apart your rods and keep them in a sleeve or bag as they are very long, and you do not want them to get bent in storage. Let’s be honest – the only bend you want to see on your rod if from a beauty of a catch.
  • Store fishing rods vertically to avoid stress or bending and keep them indoors. A shed or garage is fine, but inside where its warmer is best as many fishing poles are made of fiberglass and graphite and harsh temperatures can wreak havoc.
  • Store your lines in loose coils to avoid stress and keep them clean.
  • Clean, sharpen, and store your filet knives in an appropriate case to protect them and others.
  • Sharpen and replace any rusty or bent hooks and place them back in your tackle box.

We hope you find these self-storage tips helpful as you get ready for fall. If you have any questions about self-storage or would like to store with us for your seasonal storage need, feel free to email, text or call us!.

Your friend in self-storage,

Storage Solutions


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amer hashem (Milton)
a month ago

Very reliable storage. A good solution to park your car and keeping it protected from all weather conditions. Although a bit remote location.. but the price and the service was worth it.

Riley Rogozynski (Woodstock)
a week ago

I went in to find out some information on storage units for when I move in a couple weeks and was happily surprised by the customer service I received. I had looked at a few other storage facilities in Woodstock but their customer service was terrible compared to Jared's from Storage Solutions. He was professional and understanding of my needs and was ready to help anywhere he could. I will definitely be spreading the word to any of my friends looking for units!

Jennifer Sibbitt (Milton)
a week ago

Staff are very friendly and helpful. The facility is well maintained, clean and secure. I highly recommend Storage Solutions!

Janet Kennedy (Woodstock)
2 weeks ago

Great rates for a clean, secure, well lit place. Really good staff and a company that cares. New facility and the competitors are pretty tired looking and charging the same rates (if not a bit more).

Abeer Nauman (Milton)
a day ago

Very friendly staff. Always great service. Would highly recommend.

Lindsay Munro (Milton)
4 months ago

My husband and I recently relocated from the US and needed a place to store all of our belongings while we secured a new home. The folks at Storage Solutions advised us on the right size unit for our needs, at the right price. They were kind and helpful with all of our "first-timer" questions. We were very confident in the security of the place, and had absolutely no issues. I would highly recommend and use them again if needed.

Ashley Kelly (Milton)
a month ago

Been storing office and personal items for years. Have had various size units. Prices are great and staff has always been helpful.