When you store ski gear for the end of the season, here are a few simple things you can do that will not only save you a lot of time when next season gets underway, it will keep you safe.
Why Prepping to Store Ski Gear For Summer is Important
Prepping your skis, snowboard, and backcountry avalanche gear for summer storage will ensure everything remains in great condition.
You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your avalanche gear and education. Therefore, you want to keep your gear in the best condition so you can use it for several seasons.
Store Ski Gear with Storage Wax
When you pull your skis or snowboard out of storage, you do not want them to be bone dry. Therefore, we clean and dry the skis or snowboard and apply a regular, all-temperature wax.
We’ve been using Mountain Flow Wax. This is a plant-based ski wax, so more eco-friendly and it has a great pine scent. Once your wax is cooled and set, store the skis for the summer and scrape excess as needed when you pull them out next season (at least that’s how we do it).
Strapping Your Skis Together
Next step in storing your ski gear, is to strap your skis together with ski straps. Do not strap them in the middle, which engages the camber. Instead, strap your skis at the tail and tip only.
Ski or Snowboard Boot Storage
To prepare your ski or snowboard boots for storage, pull the liners out and let them dry completely. Next, insert them back into your boots and store your ski or snowboard boots buckled. If you take the time to store ski gear properly, your equipment will not lose their shape and will make it easier for you to get right back into it next season.
Ski or Climbing Skin Storage
Pull out your skin savers or cheat sheets and place them back on each skin. If you have lost them, buy new Cheat Sheets at Black Diamond.
Why do we do this? Because it will ensure the skins are not stuck together all summer, leaving you with a challenging problem come the start of next season. In addition, it keeps the skin glue in the best shape possible.
Storing Your Transceiver or Beacon
Before you pack your transceiver or beacon for storage, ensure it’s working properly and has no cracks in the casing. Check that there’s no drift in the transceiver signal. This section is probably one of the most important parts of your ski gear storage.
If your transceiver is more than three or four years old, call the manufacturer to see if there is any signal drift or updates for your device. Why is this so important? If your beacon or transceiver drifts too far out of the 457kh transmission, it’s harder for other transceivers to pick up your signal.
Many of you may already know that you should take your batteries out of your beacon or transceiver before storing it. Why? Because batteries can be corrosive and ruin your transceiver.
Therefore, remove the batteries, make sure attachment points are clean, and tape a set of new batteries to the outside of your transceiver. This way the next time you pull out your pack, you will not have to search for new batteries. We take the batteries from our transceivers and use them in our headlamps.
Check Your Rescue Gear: Probe and Shovel
Check your probe, especially the connection points, to ensure they are not cracked or chipped. If damaged, you may be able to get them warrantied. If not, replace them.
Also, check the cable inside the probe for any fraying. The last thing you want is to pull the probe and the wire snaps, leaving you in a bad situation.
With your shovel, check the connection point where the handle attaches to the shovel. Ensure there’s no cracks. Is the blade straight? Are there burrs on the edge of the shovel? If so, take the time to file down any burrs or sharp edges as they can begin to damage your avalanche backpack.
Avalanche Airbag Backpack and Air Canister Storage
Check your avalanche backpack for any holes or tears. Patch these before storing your pack.
If you have an avalanche airbag backpack, store your pack fully put together with the canister. This way, you will never head out at the beginning of the season without your air canister intact.
Check the pressure in your canister first to ensure it is at the proper level. If it needs to be refilled, do that before you put your avalanche airbag pack away.
Are you interested in further improving your snow safety knowledge and staying sharp for your next backcountry adventure? Check out our current course offerings:
We are proud supporters of the American Avalanche Association. A3 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to professional excellence in avalanche safety, education, and research in the United States.