Storing Gear

5:06 p.m. on July 7, 2010 (EDT)
129 reviewer rep
142 forum posts

What is the best way to store your tent when not using it? Just in it's stuff sack? Same question for sleeping pads: will closed-cell sleeping pads do ok if they are stored rolled up when not in use? I know that sleeping bags need to be stored loosely, so I was wondering if this rule applied elsewhere.

6:08 p.m. on July 7, 2010 (EDT)
33 reviewer rep
202 forum posts

Hey Ghost,

I always lay my tents out for a day or so after a trip to make sure they are completely dry then put them in the sack and up on a high shelf in the closet; no bugs, no moisture up there.

Not sure about the sleeping pads.

7:24 p.m. on July 7, 2010 (EDT)
Tipi Walter
295 reviewer rep
1,444 forum posts

Ya gotta pull out the tent after a trip and have a place to air dry both the canopy and the fly. After about 4 or 5 days I roll it back up and stash it in its stuff sack. Ideally, sleeping pads should be unrolled and opened, and this works for the main pad until the next trip. But if you have 5 or 6 pads, it's hard to keep them unrolled and inflated with the valve opened unless you stash them under your bed(watch out for the house cat), or out on a shelf in a shed. And yet I don't always do it and right now have several pads rolled up in stuff sacks near permanently. Just having them laying around unrolled can lead to punctures . . . . ya never know.

9:04 p.m. on July 7, 2010 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,572 forum posts

Closed cell pads (e.g. blue pad) can be rolled, but if you use a strap to keep it rolled up the outer layer of the pad may compress under the strap, if bound too tightly. Inflatable foam pads should be store unrolled. Tents and other fabric gear must be dry before stowing, but otherwise can be packaged as desired. Down gear or other gear with insulation layers should not be compressed when placed in storage. Avoid storing items with rubber or rubberized coatings (e.g. seam sealer, coated rip stop, etc) near laser jet printers and electric motors, as these devices emit ozone which can degrade rubber compounds. Store leather items in dry places, where airs circulates. Store fluid carrying vessels with caps off to discourage mildew growth. Protect all items from direct sunlight. Do not apply leather conditioning products or water proofing products to items prior to storage, as lotions and sprays can react with the element of the equipment if not given sufficient time to breathe after application, and likewise may contribute to an environment conducive to mildew growth.


12:23 a.m. on July 8, 2010 (EDT)
935 reviewer rep
301 forum posts

I always keep my inflatable pads rolled up and stored in their stuff sack. Been doing this for yeas and years with no ill effect whatsoever.

Tent gets crammed into a stuff sack as well. No rolled or folded, but just jammed in there. They're called "stuff" sacks after all!

Sleeping bags are stored in over-size, cloth stuff sacks.

All gear is stored on a gear shelf in a spare room.

1:11 a.m. on July 8, 2010 (EDT)
1,477 reviewer rep
1,347 forum posts

Yeah, it seems the rule of thumb is pretty much that anything which "compresses" tightly for backpacking should be stored "uncompressed" for long term storage. And the key is that everything be dry to prevent mildew.

5:53 a.m. on July 8, 2010 (EDT)
129 reviewer rep
142 forum posts

Thanks, all! I have a RidgeRest pad, so I guess I can just leave that rolled up. I will make sure to always dry everything out prior to storage.

10:32 a.m. on July 8, 2010 (EDT)
235 reviewer rep
649 forum posts

Tents should taken care of just like sleeping-bags after your trip they should be hung/laid out to dry the stored loosely in a breathable bag.

Inflatable pads should be should be also dried and then loosely rolled so the internal insulation is uncompressed.

12:15 p.m. on July 8, 2010 (EDT)
D&G in the Smokys
75 reviewer rep
306 forum posts

When I get home, I make sure there is not grit in/on my tent and make sure it is DRY then I stuff it in the stuff sack and put it in my camping things bin. As for sleeping pads, I have a self-inflating and when not in use I just leave it unrolled with the valve open underneath my bed, as I would [leave under the bed] with sleeping bag.

The link below is a thread from the Gear Repair tab; Alicia has a pretty good setup for storage ideas [picture included].

July 10, 2020
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