How to Properly Store Your Winter Gear

By Powderhound Matt May 5, 2015
We beat up our gear all winter long. Here's how to store and "summerize" your skis so it's ready to rock and roll when the snow starts to fly in the fall.
How to Properly Store Your Winter Gear

It’s the most depressing moment of the winter for this Powderhound... the day I have to pack up my skis. But, I remind myself, this isn’t a goodbye to my gear... it’s simply a “see ya later.” If it’s stored the right way, it will be ready to go for that first powder day next season! 

Proper storage is something most people don’t think about when they take their gear to the garage. But, there are a few little things you can do right now that will make a big difference heading into the next season. I talked with the pros at Rossignol, Smith, Eider and Podium Ski Services to bring their knowledge directly to you.


Skis, we beat them up all season long. By May, you’ve skied over rocks, maybe left them in the Thule box a little too long, or just put them through basic wear and tear. Some people put storage wax on their skis before putting them away, but Jeff at Podium Ski Services says, that is just an unnecessary step. Instead, Jeff says, get them tuned up and ready to go for next season... right now! Many ski tuners become bike shops over the summer, so Jeff says you should call your shop before taking your skis to get tuned. You can call Jeff at 435-658-2100. Do it now, and avoid the mad rush in November... they may even get a little extra TLC. When they’re done, store them in a dry area with consistent temperature. No crawl spaces, no attics.


They’re sweaty. And gross. They’re sweaty-gross. And you probably plan on just tossing them in your boot bag and calling it a day. Bad idea. The pros at Rossignol say, you need to first remove your liners and let them dry out. Next, inspect the toe and heel. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, take them to a technician for a visual inspection. Once all that is done, reinsert your liners, buckle your boots completely, then store them in a cool, DRY place. Dry... now there’s a climate your boots aren’t used to.


This is a good time to get those checked out as well. Rossignol suggests this maintenance every year, or every 30 days of skiing. Whichever comes first. Jeff on the other hand says you can also wait till the fall to get them tested. Your weight may fluctuate between now and November. Doing a test in the fall will be more accurate.


It’s tempting to just leave these guys on your helmet and call it a day. But according to the folks at Smith, that’s the last thing you want to do. First, take them off your helmet to keep the elastic bands from stretching out over the next few months. Second, clean them off thoroughly and dry them before putting them in a protective case. This will guard your lenses, and keep the dust at bay.


Last but not least, your coat and pants. Between snickers bars, snotty tissues (you know it’s true) and lip balm explosions... it’s time for a cleaning. You might think washing your ski gear will strip the weatherproofing qualities, but the team at Eider says, that is not the case at all. The exterior faces normal wear and tear and UV exposure, the inside can get a bit funky from your skin and sweat combo. Both of those things affect waterproofing and breathability. Washing your clothes actually helps restore the Durable Waterproof Resistance on the exterior... especially the areas where you see the most wear.


So, here’s what you need to know. According to Eider, you should never dry clean your gear. They say, the chemicals are too hash. Instead, make sure you empty everything out of your pockets, cut off all ski passes, or whatever else may be stuck to your gear and zip up all pockets. If you have a stain, pretreat that before throwing it into the wash. You want to wash them in a delicate cycle, with cold water on a slow spin. Make sure there are no other articles of clothing in the wash. Try to find a gentile detergent made for outerwear.


Finally, dry them on low heat to reactivate the waterproofing (if label advises it) otherwise, hang them and let them air dry. To see if weatherproofing was restored, drizzle a little water over the fabric and see if it beads up. If not, you can buy a spray like Nikwax and spot treat the areas that need a little weatherproofing.  Once dry, store your gear in a cool dry place.


And that’s it! Your gear will be happy and ready for next season. Now try to find something fun to do like one of these hikes that Ski Utah's Snow Travelista recommends, and let the countdown to next winter begin.