Gear Storage Ideas

Whether you’re putting your boating gear away until next weekend, or next year, there are steps you should take to protect your investment. Here are some ideas to help you do it right.

Gear Storage Ideas: Make Sure It’s Dry

Make Sure It’s Dry

You come home from boating, it’s late, you’re tired, you forget to unpack and dry out your stuff. The next time you use it you may find a moldy, mildewed, stinky mess. Of course, depending on where you’ve been boating, say in salt or silty waters, you may need to rinse things with fresh water first. Rinse coolers and water containers and leave them open to dry.

Neoprene garments take some special attention, especially shoes and gloves. How to Clean and Deodorize Neoprene Wetshoes is full of tips on keeping these items sweet smelling and sanitary. Don’t forget things like throw bag ropes and cam straps; spread them in a dry place to air out before putting them away. If you put your tent away when there was still dew on the beach, you better pull it out of the stuff sack.

If you do end up with stinky stuff, there’s no need to throw things away. Both MiraZyme and Sink The Stink gear deodorizers use proprietary enzyme and microbe compounds that don’t just mask odors, but rather neutralize them. And they really work; reclaiming even that nasty smelling pair of water shoes your significant other banned to the barn.

Store It Properly

A plastic kayak stored bottom-down on sawhorses or a garage floor can “oil can”, or dent in, the hull. Prop the boat on its side, or better yet get it up off the floor with the Kayak/SUP Hanger. Keep bugs, dirt and debris out with a cockpit cover.

Latex dry wear seals are damaged by UV radiation; keep them out of sunlight. Don’t store your dry wear near combustion sources like home furnaces; they generate ozone that also damages latex. Take the time to clean oils or sunscreen from the seals and rub in 303 Protectant to protect against oxidation and deterioration. Hang drysuits in a dry, dust-free space with the zippers open. If you can, also hang dry wear and splash wear.

Clean sand and debris from inflatables and coat with 303 Protectant before storing. For some reason, rodents like to burrow into rolled up inflatables. Too often we’ve heard stories of a raft, cataraft or IK that has suffered horrendous damage. If you must store your boat in an area that rats and mice can enter, suspend the boat or put it in a critter-proof container.

Organize It

Keeping the gear you use for a particular type or season of boating in one place makes it much easier to get ready for the next trip. Put things it in a plastic tub, or Canyon Box, with a label on top listing the contents. A mesh duffel bag is good for storing layering pieces, helmets, gloves and footwear.

We provide you with gear checklists. Don’t run the risk of getting to the put-in without your sprayskirt or oars! You can print these off as is or open them up in Microsoft Excel to personalize them.

Repair It

As you put things away, check them over for anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. It’s super frustrating to get ready for a trip and find some vital piece of your gear that’s broken and unusable. You can repair a lot of things yourself. Go to the NRS Learn pages for clear instructions and videos for common repair jobs.

And as always, give us a call, 877.677.4327, or drop a line to with any of your gear questions.

Boat Often & Boat Safe!