Jul 20, 2008 at 4:36 am #1230244
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?Jul 20, 2008 at 10:57 am #1443664
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.Jul 20, 2008 at 11:46 am #1443669
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.Jul 20, 2008 at 1:10 pm #1443677
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.
Thanks for your comments. I like the idea of covering the sleeping bags with a sheet to prevent dust collection.Jul 20, 2008 at 1:37 pm #1443680
thanks for the tipsJul 20, 2008 at 2:11 pm #1443681
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.Jul 20, 2008 at 6:18 pm #1443697
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
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.Jul 20, 2008 at 7:37 pm #1443708
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.Jul 20, 2008 at 8:05 pm #1443714
nmJul 21, 2008 at 4:38 am #1443743
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).Jul 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm #1443847
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.Jul 21, 2008 at 9:15 pm #1443879
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.Jul 21, 2008 at 9:44 pm #1443884
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
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!Jul 22, 2008 at 2:34 am #1443905
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
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.Jul 22, 2008 at 9:04 am #1443937
.May 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm #1503162
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
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.May 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm #1503164
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
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.May 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm #1503171
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
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?
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