How to Best Store Your Hunting Gear

How to best store your hunting gear - man hunting in front of a lake with animals around him.

There’s nothing quite like a fun and successful hunting trip. A pastime that’s often passed down from generation to generation, hunting has always been a rewarding way for families across North Dakota and Minnesota to enjoy the great outdoors. But while hunting is a relatively simple concept in theory—find your target, shoot your target, repeat—it demands skill and requires the proper gear to do so effectively and safely.

If you’re an avid hunter, your gear can quickly add up. From clothing to your weapon of choice to your collection of other equipment, finding space and figuring out how to best store your hunting gear can be a challenge. Thankfully, Five Star Storage is here to help. With storage facilities across North Dakota and Minnesota, we know a thing or two about hunting storage.

Hunting Clothing Storage

Depending on what you hunt and where you decide to do it, there are a plethora of clothing options available to you. And chances are you own different hunting clothing for different weather. From turkey vests to pants and an endless variety of camouflage coats and jackets, properly storing these bulky items is something you’ll have to do every season. How should you best do it?

How to Wash Your Hunting Clothing

Before storing your hunting clothing for the offseason, you should wash and clean your clothing. Needless to say, storing your clothing before removing the months of dirt, grime, and sweat is a bad idea.

However, don’t use standard detergent when washing your hunting clothes. That’s because standard detergent is scented. While the scents smell nice, and you might not even notice it yourself if it’s mild, the animals you’re hunting certainly will. Wearing hunting gear with a chemical scent is like bringing a giant neon sign that says, “I am a hunter, and I am right here.”

Instead, use scent-free detergent. Available wherever you buy other hunting products, scent-free detergent washes your clothes without leaving behind a chemical smell that will scare animals away (and rightfully so). Do note that scented detergent can stay in a washing machine for a few cycles, so if you want to be extra careful, you can run a few standard loads through using scent-free detergent before your hunting clothes.

Storing Your Hunting Clothing

Once your hunting clothing is clean and scent-free, the next step is to keep it that way for the long haul. Store your hunting clothing in either large zip-seal bags or a clear plastic bin. Or opt for both and store your zip bag inside a plastic bin.

Remember, the name of the game is to keep your gear scent-free over the offseason. To that end, consider using additional scent-killing spray to get rid of any residual scents left in your containers as well.

How to Store Your Gun and Bow

If you believe in the adage that “a man is only as good as his tools,” a hunter’s gun or bow is the single most important tool that a hunter uses. And when it’s not in use, storing it is important to keep it ready for the next hunt.

Safe Gun Storage

Guns are powerful and dangerous if handled incorrectly. As a result, secure gun storage is crucial to keeping you and your hunting party safe. A gun safe is the best way to store your hunting rifle. Be sure to keep it locked so that children can’t play with it and to reduce the chance of an accidental discharge in any capacity. Alternatively, ensure that your gun is locked with a trigger lock. In addition, unload your gun before you store it, wherever that might be.

If you are uncomfortable with storing your firearm at home, consider storing it at Five Star Storage. Unlike some other storage facilities, we don’t have policies against firearms or ammo for our regular units. But just as you would in your home, be safe: Use some form of safe or a trigger lock, unload your gun before storing it, and store the gun and the ammo separately.   

Compound Bow Storage

If you’re the type of hunter who prefers a little more physicality in your hunt, bows are a great option. It’s important to store bows correctly so they last as long as possible before replacement. There are two main types of bows: compound bows and traditional (or recurve) bows. For both types of bows, you ought to wax strings (and compound bow cables) before storage. This will help them from drying out, becoming brittle, and breaking.

Compound bows can be stored with their strings still attached. If you use it regularly, storing it on a bow hanger makes it easy to access. Otherwise—or if you just want some added protection—invest in a bow case. The bow case shell can either be soft or hard. Inside, they generally feature a foam layer in which to keep your bow, as well as extra storage space for arrows.

You can also get a case for a traditional bow or hang it on a hanger. However, before storage, you’ll want to unstring your bow. In addition, you should unstring your traditional bow if you aren’t using it for a few weeks; when strung, recurve bows are under immense stress, and they can be damaged if strung for too long.

Other Hunting Gear Storage

The amount of additional gear available for hunters is a never-ending rabbit hole. Each piece of gear will have its storage quirks, but below are some other common items that you probably use.  

Blinds and Treestands

Storing your blind depends on the type of blind you have. For a cloth blind of some variety, it’s best to use the bag it came in. If you got rid of the bag in a hasty effort to get rid of clutter (a commendable act), you can alternatively utilize a large plastic container, like one for a Christmas tree. For wood blinds or other specialty blinds that you can’t simply fold, use a truck and transport it to your nearest self storage location, where you can rent month-to-month for only as long as you need to.

You have a decision to make when it comes to treestands. If you have treestands, you can leave them in place if you intend to come to the same area to hunt—but ensure that they aren’t damaged. If you remove them, you can store and reinstall them later. It’ll be more work, but it will be less of a risk of damage. Either way, keep an eye on them (repairing as need be) in order to keep yourself safe.

Electronics

While hunting is a great way to connect to the outdoors, it doesn’t mean that electronics don’t have a part in your hunting. Properly storing your electronics is important. Start by storing them in a dry place that won’t have extreme temperature oscillations. Remove batteries from flashlights, cameras, and GPS units—this will prevent corrosion and damage to the electronics themselves. And, though this may sound silly, don’t needlessly leave valuable electronics out in the woods. Sometimes, the most important part of storing your items is bothering to do so in the first place.

For Your Hunting Needs, Choose Five Star Storage

Hunting gear can take up a lot of room in your home. Gun safes, bow cases, and plastic bins with your hunting clothing—it can add up quickly. If you need more space for your hunting gear or a headquarters near your hunting stomping grounds, Five Star Storage can help. With month-to-month leases, affordable prices, and premium storage units and customer service, you can easily get the unit you need. Visit one of our North Dakota or Minnesota self storage facilities online or in person today!

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