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Winter Gear Storage Tips

by Jim Sullivan

Now that the cool temps are kicking in we know that most paddlers are putting away their equipment for the real cold months ahead.  It’s a good time to take inventory of what you have and what you may need to replace for the upcoming year. 

 Here’s some storage tips to keep your investments in tip-top shape:

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry your gear.  Don’t store damp gear over the winter it will get moldy
  2. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard & DWR -Restores water and stain repellency, resists soiling, impedes mildew formation and helps protect against the sun's harmful UV rays. Use this to replace the durable water repellent on the outside fabric that wears off over time and use.
  3. Protect all your equipment with Harmony 303 Aerospace Protectant or similar product. This will help protect from harmful UV and especially keep latex from drying out.
  4. Kayakers keep your spray skirt available for pool sessions. Chlorine is really tuff on neoprene, use a product like McNett Wetsuit & Drysuit Shampoo to keep the chlorine from destroying your gear and/or use old gear if possible.
  5. Check latex gaskets for wear/replacement. Look for small tears and ruff looking material.  The winter is the best time to send in your garments for fixing, not the paddling season.
  6. Remove those energy bars from your PFD pockets. Don’t attract mice, eww.
  7. Check and restock your first aid kits. Remove/replace expired Ibuprofen and the like.
  8. Don’t forget to thoroughly dry throw bags and first aid kits, these like to get moldy too.
  9. Cool/Dry locations are best. Beware of large temperature changes.  Latex gaskets can melt.
  10. Ignore all and keep paddling ;)

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Comment by Alice Jones |

My husband and I are thinking about getting a storage unit for our winter gear, so I've been looking online for some tips. I like how you explain the importance of washing and drying the gear before storing them. It makes sense why you suggested your readers to do this. When I take my gear out of storage, I'll want them to be clean and ready to go. My husband and I will follow this tip!