Gear storage
Display Avatars Sort By:
John Quinn
(inspector8598) - M

Locale: Northeast
Gear storage on 07/20/2008 05:36:27 MDT Print View

Between trips, how is your gear supposed to be stored? I'm referring to sleeping bags, tarps, bivys and tents. I hang these items up from hooks in my cellar. I heard by leaving them stored in their stuff sacks that it could effect the integrity of the material, DWR, seam seal, loft, etc. I can understand the loft in the sleeping bag being effected but what about bivys, tarps and tents? My cellar looks pretty weird with all this stuff hanging all over the place. What's the best method for storage?

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Gear storage on 07/20/2008 11:57:42 MDT Print View

Sleeping bags are best hung. Perhaps with a sheet loosely wrapped to keep the dust and spiders off. I hang my bags as I have space available, certainly the NF Beeline 900. The others are hung up to air out and dry, before loosely rolling in large, breathable storage bags. I even get storage bags larger than the stock to minimize compression of the fill.

It can't hurt to hang your tarps and tents. At least you know they're thoroughly dry before repacking. I hang mine from lines in my living room. Once they're dry I brush them off and shake them out before rolling up and securing with rubber bands. I don't use stuff sacks for tents and such. Too heavy.

Edited by redleader on 07/20/2008 12:02:03 MDT.

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: Re: Gear storage on 07/20/2008 12:46:30 MDT Print View

Denis:

How do you hang up your sleeping bags? Do use hangers? The openings in my bag seems too big for a hanger to work. Hangers could definitely not be used for quilts.

Edited by pedro87 on 07/20/2008 12:47:02 MDT.

John Quinn
(inspector8598) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Re: Re: Gear storage on 07/20/2008 14:10:49 MDT Print View

Peter:

I hang my sleeping bags from a tie out on the foot end of the bags. I've installed hooks in the ceiling joists in my cellar and hang the bag tie outs to the hooks. I plan on attaching a 2nd tie to the opposite side of the foot end of the bag so they hang balanced. I would assume after the second tie out is installed that a hanger could be slipped into the tie outs and the bag could be hung from a standard closet pole.

Denis:

Thanks for your comments. I like the idea of covering the sleeping bags with a sheet to prevent dust collection.

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Gear storage on 07/20/2008 14:37:16 MDT Print View

John -

thanks for the tips

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Re: Gear storage on 07/20/2008 15:11:25 MDT Print View

Typically there are loops at the foot of sleeping bags, just for hanging the bag. Some bags have two. If you can find a STURDY woman's clothes hanger, that has the two little clips on the top, for clothes with straps, you can use that hanger and put the clips through the sleeping bag loops. I bought a 48" length of fairly soft aluminum rod and made a bunch of large "S" hooks, big enough to go over a clothes pole. That way I only need two sheets (Queen size) to cover all seven bags.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Gear storage on 07/20/2008 19:18:02 MDT Print View

John:

Storing your sleeping bag: If you have the space and your cellar is free from dampness, then sure, hang your bag as suggested above. But do protect it from dust and dirt. Having said this, you can also store your bag inside the large cotton or mesh bag that comes with it. No problem at all, and no, it won't damage your bag's loft either. Just make sure that you store your bag clean and dry -- and in a cool, dry place.


Storing your tent/tarp/bivy: First, ignore the myths that get repeated ad nauseum about folding vs. stuffing. You can either hang them or store them in their stuff sacks -- either rolled, folded, or simply stuffed. Makes NO difference whatsoever.

There are really only three conditions for proper storage - namely, that you store your tent/tarp/bivy:

1. thoroughly clean
2. thoroughly dry
3. in a cool dry place away from sunlight

Moisture can result in molds whereas sunlight (UV) can break down the nylon or polyester fabric. Stored clean, cool and dry, your gear should last for many years. Hope this helps.

Edited by ben2world on 07/20/2008 19:21:17 MDT.

John Quinn
(inspector8598) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Gear storage on 07/20/2008 20:37:01 MDT Print View

Benjamin:

Thanks for thoroughly answering my question in regards to tent,tarp and bivy storage. My cellar is cool and dry, so no worries there. Thanks again for your comments.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Storing Gear on 07/20/2008 21:05:25 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/18/2013 11:06:57 MST.

John Quinn
(inspector8598) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Gear storage on 07/21/2008 05:38:53 MDT Print View

David:

I was told years ago that storing your tent, tarp or bivy stuffed or folded could effect the integrity of the fabric, DWR, seam seal, etc. And that it was best to store these items loosely hung up as to preserve the fabric. But after reading Benjamin's comments above it seems that this is not necessary as long as the items are clean and dry - - and stored in a cool, dry place. I think there is a lot of validity to his comments (mold, UV, fabric type).

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Loose and covered on 07/21/2008 19:20:11 MDT Print View

I store everything from sleeping bags to tentage in (extra) large cotton laundry sacks. The cotton keeps off dust, allows air circulation. I like using the sacks because then I have a bit more versatility in storage. Usually, I can stack them up in a closet or erstwhile linen closet. Personally, every basement I've encountered has had some kind of moisture problem, and I wouldn't store anything down there.

Yes, everything needs to be clean and dry before you store it. I have found, though, that it is indeed important to store tentage in looser sacks than stuff sacks. Point of interest: one of my friends keeps his tents in their stuff sacks. I've noticed that several of his tents stick to themselves (waterproofing seems to get sticky) when they're pulled out. I've never had that problem. Keeping the tents in his stuff sacks is the only difference in the way we care for our tents... Just my experiences, might be different than yours.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Loose and covered on 07/21/2008 22:15:39 MDT Print View

I had that problem also but it was years ago. The PU coating began to stick to itself and peel off the nylon. I think there was a. Bit of condensation that formed in the folds of the tent. There was an odor not unlike vomit also. I haven't had that problem since. I seem to use my tents often enough they don't get musty.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gear Storage -loose! on 07/21/2008 22:44:22 MDT Print View

This evening I pulled an old tent out of the attic for some scouts to borrow. I hadn't hand it out of the stuff sack for over 5 years. There was a very unpleasant smell (not mildew, I always had my boys dry it out after each use), just a bad smell. The tent has no monetary value so I thought I would wash the tent to remove the smell- being lazy I used the wash machine and soap. To do a good job- hot water. Everything was going well until I looked into the rinse water and saw some floating pieces of what looked like fabric floating in the water. After the cycle I pulled it out and saw it was the poly coating pealing off like a very bad sunburned skin.
But no smell! The scouts are just going to have less waterproofing but a good smelling tent.
I'm going to put all my tents in large cotton to help keep the smell down and save the tents from the washing machine!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Loose and covered on 07/22/2008 03:34:28 MDT Print View

Reading the above posts, stuffing or folding over a tent such that the coating side is in contact -- that in and of itself would not cause the PU coating to break down.

Methinks that whatever it was during storage that caused the PU coating to break down and become sticky would likely occur even if the tent was folded very loosely. I highly suspect that the storage condition was warmer and/or less dry than assumed. The presence of a strong smell points to mildew -- and very likely moisture at some point.

I agree with the above post that basements are often prone to moisture. Attics are usually not good places to store bags and tents either. The most critical thing is to keep the tents and bags thoroughly clean, dry, and cool.

And whatever you do, DON'T subject a tent to machine wash or dry. Manual washing and air drying are the way to go.

Edited by ben2world on 07/22/2008 03:36:25 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
storage. on 07/22/2008 10:04:42 MDT Print View

i agree with above posters about DRY, cool, and loose.

for sleeping bags, i use a very big cotton stuff sack. for tents, i also use a big cotton stuff sack.

if the tents get dirty during use, i set them up and hose them off well, perhaps with a little soapy water if necessary. and dry completely - bone dry.

store in a closet in the house, nice and loose and fluffy in a bag. no worries.

i would definitely avoid an attic or basement, unless it was a finished space plugged into the rest of the house's heat/air system. every basement i am familar with is a slighty damp, funky place. and every attic is a slightly hot, funky place. to be avoided.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Sleeping Bag Storage on 05/23/2009 18:12:43 MDT Print View

So, I've got two bags, a 15F down bag and a 0F synthetic that I want to store for several months. I've got plenty of room in the attic. I hear everyone saying "cool, dry place away from sunlight." Sunlight makes sense, dry makes sense, but cool? Why cool? Just trying to understand the reasoning here.

The attic gets really hot. What's the downside of keeping a) my down bag and b) my synthetic bag in the attic where they're going to get hot? Neither bag has a DWR treatment so it's not like something would delaminate or anything like that.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Sleeping Bag Storage on 05/23/2009 19:24:57 MDT Print View

Heat aside, I would recommend against the attic. Attics tend to have rather extreme temperature swings, which could cause any atmospheric moisture to condensate inside the sleeping bags. Additionally, the possibility of pests (rodents especially) would be another thing to avoid.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Sleeping Bag Storage on 05/23/2009 20:04:50 MDT Print View

OK, so store the bags in a place where there are no condensation issues (pretty safe on that point being in Southern California) and protect against vermin. Makes sense.

Anyone got any thoughs on the "cool" issue? Will heat damage down? Synthetic?