Another gear storage question

8:42 p.m. on April 3, 2011 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

I searched for a bit on this one and saw lots of good stuff, but no answer to my question.


I'm short on space, and need a good place to organize my gear. I had a closet, but that went out the window when my sister in law moved in with us a few weeks ago after a big life change.


I have access to a shed, but it's an unfinished shed, and I'm trying to get everyone's opinion on this idea: I want to dry wall the shed and put in some minor insulation to semi-finish it. I also may put some sort of a ceiling up since right now it is just open exposed beams. The whole area will be maybe 120 square feet, and my dad is a contractor so I can get the materials easily enough.


I want to set up a wall of cubbies - like 18 inch squares that stack upon each other and screw into the studs for stability, and I can use those cubbies for gear.


Do you all think critters and bugs would be too big of a concern for me to bother with this? I don't feel like having things chewed on or getting out to a remote location to find a whole in my tent, but I want an organized space that can be just for me and my gear.


I also want to decorate the walls with lots of maps of the areas I hike in, since I've got a bunch to spare.


My other thought is that after making the cubbies, I could always buy some plastics tubs with lockable lids that will fit into the cubbies and the gear could go inside those - they are like $5 from Target. It may be worth it to do that because I can't afford to replace gear.



8:57 p.m. on April 3, 2011 (EDT)
271 reviewer rep
1,866 forum posts

I like the cubbie idea, "But" not just the critters but ventalation for the space. How much of your gear has o-rings or has some type of coating that could mildew or disinigrate with time...That you have to add in even if it is a finished space..Humidity of the shed..just something to think about. I do like the locking tubs tho personally..

9:53 p.m. on April 3, 2011 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

ya I'm not sure how humid it would get in there, but I can't imagine it would be much better than in the apartment. The only part we A/C is the bedroom, and the gear isn't stored there.


Do you think keeping them in the tubs would help with some of that? Maybe it would require a regular airing out - I could take the tents and such out now and then when not being used to breath.

10:02 p.m. on April 3, 2011 (EDT)
271 reviewer rep
1,866 forum posts

Yeah that would work..Your dad being a contractor have him look at the shed. He will know of it will have enough ventilation..Is it possible to Insulate the floor with something? I know my workshop in the back has 6 inch's of cedar chips..Then subflooring.Then I put a sealent over that...

I think the tubs with a once a month airing would be great...but I do like the cubicle idea...As long as you can keep dirt or dust out..options are our down fall.LOL

11:07 p.m. on April 3, 2011 (EDT)
29 reviewer rep
29 forum posts

Two biggest problems I've had with storing gear are vermin (primarily rats) and mildew.

Using bins, avoiding storing any type of food and regular checks to ensure the shed doesn't become a rodent condo should take care of the first.

The second issue is largely dependent on climate. I live is fairly humid area, so I'm careful to store sleeping bags hanging in large cotton bags, and tents and packs hanging where they can get some air. When I lived in the tropics, I had a portable dehumidifier that I rotated to different closets and storage areas to try to keep the mold under control. Folks in the South may benefit from a similar strategy.

4:46 a.m. on April 4, 2011 (EDT)
62 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

Abman mentioned anaerobic breakdown of polyurethane waterproof coating in one of his posts, so that has me thinking about mesh bag storage for tents as well as the usual sleeping bags. I just need to find some netting type material to make big enough bags.

We have trouble with storage space as well, so good luck with that.

For some reason, mice or rats have been eating our RidgeRests, or making insulation with the pieces (you see, ultralight is crossing the species barrier). So watch out for that, perhaps.

Personally, I wouldn't rely on a system that needed periodic 'airing out' of gear - I am not that dependable.

When does your sister-in-law move out?


6:26 a.m. on April 4, 2011 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

no forseeable future for the move out, but that's okay by me at the time for financial reasons.


The large cotton bags thought makes me think of a cool idea. I usually hang my sleeping bags from hangers when they're inside and safe, and I wouldn't want them to be in a compression sack for long periods of time if kept in the shed. So maybe I'll create a way to hang them from hangers out there, but put a zipping garmet hanger around them, like the kind that are used for suits and dresses.


What was the cotton bags you would use for yours capitoldan? The good thing is I live in Maine, and while the summers can have some humid days, we're pretty much guaranteed a good 9 months of pretty low humidity and heat.

8:59 a.m. on April 4, 2011 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,975 forum posts

I store my stuff in an unfinished garage,  Stuff like coated nylon will tend to mildew stored in totes that lack ventilation.  Wool is about the only thing you need to be concerned with as far as bugs go – try storing in a steamer trunk with some cedar planks.  Rats and mice are a concern; they can make nests amid your gear, as well poop on it or shred it for nesting.  Rodent proof the entire structure, including sealing the crack under the entry door with a weather strip/sweeper.  If you have large items like family tents, consider constructing a pine box for each of these items, which can also serve to transport said gear and use fireside for bench seating and gear storage. I don't trust my down articles to outside storage; I store them in the base of my platform bed.


10:33 a.m. on April 4, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Go to   Bring-up 'sports & outdoor equipment'.   Type in 'nylon mesh bag'.

You will see several nylon mesh bags offered ...


Notice the volley-ball storage bags; also the decoy bags by "Final Approach".

These will work for a variety of storage issues wherein adequate air-flow and ventilation are of concern.

While visiting Campmor in Paramus, New Jersey several years ago, I bought several mesh bags of various sizes.   They were manufactured by Cerf Bros Bag Co, of St. Louis; and that company recently was acquired by another company.  I use one of these regularly, a blue-nylon mesh duffel / gym bag.   Comes in handy for putting in wet swim trunks, sweaty socks and T-shirts upon my regular visits to the local YMCA.   Prevents forgetting leaving these items in a standard (enclosed) gym bag, and the wetness / dampness becoming a 'problem'  (stinky-poo's ).




... At my signal ... unleash HELL !!  -- (Maximus Decimus)



8:48 p.m. on April 4, 2011 (EDT)
171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts

In any case, Edis right. Down is a no-go for outside storage. Everything textile for me. That includes climbing gear. Big plastic sealable bin are what I use. After drying everthing.

2:41 a.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,330 forum posts

Hi,  Here's what been working for me.

Sleeping bag's esp down.  The large cotton bags are nice for volume but cotton absorbs moisture. I use  cheap mesh laundry bags which themselve don't absorb moisture.  Can bought on Ebay for $8.00 for 4.  I then put large plant hooks  in the ceiling and hang my bags to keep them out of the way of critters, ie of of the floor or any where rodents can get to them.  Personally I've never had mice or rats go after a Down bag or the mesh laundry/storage bags.  I have had them go after anything and everything made of cotton.  It seems to be there favorite nesting material.  Hang your cheap colman type bags that are cotton lined or put them into large plastic containers.  The few all synthetic bags I've had I've had no problems with rats or mice, but I'd still put them in containers.

Tents.  Some people like lockable plastic storager bins.  I don't.  The reason is that since tents are synthetic they need to off gas.  Some more than others though they have gotten much better in recent years, but a new tent still needs to off gas.  Some people belive the cause sticky tent disease is because of moisture.  From my experiance even if you store a tent in a manner that moisture is not a problem you can still have  sticky tent disease due to off gassing.  I store my tents in either army duffel bags and or tote bags that can be left open so as to off gas.  I don't know of any newely made tents that have the sticky tent problems other then the flies on the TNF ecwt tents.  I myself have a tent that had sticky tent disease.  A (Garuda) Dana Design Trikaya.  Both ends have vestibuls.  When I unrolled the tent after a couple of years the vestibule rolled tightest on the inside of the roll was much more sticky than the vestibule rolled up at the end of the roll.  What this told me was the inside could not off gas as much as the outside.  Any tent that I'm now worried about (getting sticky tent disease) I now hang in mesh laundry bags like my sleeping bags and hang from the ceiling.  All other tents I have stuffed in bags that are larger than their original pack bags a have openings so they can breath. If I've been camping in wet conditions I set my tent up when I get home with a dehumidifier in it for 24 hr's.

Any outside structure that is not insulated will build up moisture.  It is best to fully insulate anything used for storage.  If your dad has access for the materials then fully insualte and drywall (or other wall covering)the thing.  I've used uninsulated sheds and the such and not only have lost gear but other stuff as well.   I live by Seattle and moisture is always a problem.  Dehumidifiers on timers are wonderful.  Some dehumidifiers can be set for a percentage of humidity in the air so they don't run 24 hrs.  Get one that you can hook a drain hose to so you don't have to check it every day.  Just make sure you check the drain hose once in a while as they will  occasionally clog.  To help with this make shure the hose of of the ground.  Make your shed critter proof.  I know it's a pain but it can be done.  The cheapest place I've found for plastic containers is Goodwill Stores.  You should be able to find good used dehumidifiers on craigslist.  If your going to use the cubbie hole idea try and get your storage boxes first and build the cubbie holes to the size of the boxes.  I built some shelves once so that I could just take 4 bolts out and  the shelves were removable but still in one piece.  Great if you don't own your own place.

Anything that is dry and does not off gas can be kept in lage plastic storage containers.

So far this works for me.  Hope this helps

April 25, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Gelert Tents Newer: Tarp desert setup?
All forums: Older: Linville Gorge 3/18 - 3/20 Newer: PIF Solo tent