Unless you’re an olympic skier with an endorsement deal, all of that gear that you rely on to get you down the mountain doesn’t come cheap. That’s why it’s important to take care of it. One of the best ways to make sure that your skis, boots, and winter clothing go the distance is to take the time to store them properly. The process requires a little more effort than just tossing your stuff into a storage unit, but it’s still much easier than you might think. After you’ve found the perfect storage unit, use these tips to prepare each piece of ski gear for hibernation.
Skis are the most essential part of your winter adventures. Without them, you’d be walking down the mountain. It goes without saying that they require the utmost care. Before placing them in storage, rinse them with cool water—just water, no soap—in your bathtub or outside with a hose. Gentle touch is the name of the game here, so avoid using high pressure, especially around the bindings. After the initial rinse, remove dirt and other mysterious gunk with a towel. Once the skis are dry, it’s up to you whether you want to do the tune-up DIY style or take them into a shop. Whichever route you choose to go (we personally recommend the latter in the interest of guaranteeing that the job gets done correctly), make sure your skis are properly sharpened and waxed.
After this step, your skis will be ready for storage. We recommend investing in a freestanding ski rack that you can place in your storage unit. This will keep your skis upright and won’t require you to mount anything on the wall.
Most boots come with removable liners, so the first thing you want to do is find out whether or not this is the case with yours. If it is is, remove them so that they can dry. If not, crumple up some newspaper or tissue paper and shove it into the boots to remove moisture. You can actually do the newspaper step even if your boots do have removable liners. Check the outside and inside of your boots for any dirt and grime. Spot clean and let them dry. Before placing them in a ski boot bag, buckle them. This step is easy to forget, but it’s crucial as it will help them keep their shape while in storage.
When placing the boots in your storage unit, try to avoid putting them directly on the ground in order to prevent moisture from touching them. A wood pallet is a cost effective way to get them a few inches away from any unlikely but potential water damage.
The clothes you wear skiing are tougher than the clothes you wear in your everyday life—assuming that your everyday life does not take place in Antarctica. They’re typically waterproof and are often made with materials like down or synthetic down. Read the tags on your items before washing them and consider a cleaner designed for waterproof gear. You can hand wash or machine wash as long as you’re using cool water and a gentle cycle or a gentle touch. Let clothing air dry and spray on a waterproofing agent.
Store clothing in garment bags or large cotton laundry bags. The key is to ensure that the fabric can breathe. Like the rest of your gear, never place jackets, pants and other clothing and accessories directly on the floor of your storage unit.
In addition to following these steps, take the time to choose a storage facility that values you as much as you value your stuff. A great storage facility will offer features like optional climate control, excellent security, flexible lease options and above all, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your ski gear is in good hands.