Whatever sport you take part in, you’ll have invested in specialist clothing, equipment and safety gear so that you can take part. If you’re a footballer, this might be as simple as a kit, boots, a ball and some shin pads.
But if you’re involved in outdoor pursuits, you’ll need more complex and expensive gear, so that you can enjoy the sport to its fullest and keep it safe. While you might take good care of it while it’s in use, it’s important not to neglect the risk of damage when it isn’t being used.
In this guide, we’ll give you a range of hints and tips on how to store sports equipment and underline why keeping your valuable kit insured is so important.
Whatever your sport, there are a few basic tips to follow to make sure that equipment doesn’t get damaged in between uses and isn’t at risk of loss or theft. These include:
– Placing equipment in a secure, lockable space that’s out of sight, such as a shed, garage or locker
– Ensuring that equipment isn’t vulnerable to the elements, whether that be heavy rain, snow, strong winds or direct sunlight
– Giving equipment adequate space, so that it’s not damaged by being squashed into a place that’s too small, or squeezed against other objects
– Keep loose objects like balls, and small items like cones and golf tees, in a bag so they don’t get lost or cause a trip hazard
Walking and trekking
One of the liberating things about walking, hiking and other trekking adventures is that they don’t require too much specialist equipment. Warm and waterproof clothing, good footwear, a decent bag and basic accessories are normally suitable for most trips, barring those at the more extreme end.
Nonetheless, a bit of organisation can go a long way to helping your kit stay in good condition for longer. For example, try not to store boots or bags at the bottom of cupboards where other heavy items end up being placed on top of them, as they might end up getting bent out of shape.
You should also take the time to give everything a thorough clean when you get home from each trip, whether it’s been a particularly muddy one or not. You may also want to consider applying specialist treatment to waterproof items to ensure they remain impervious to rain for years to come.
Going camping gives you the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, get back to nature, and enjoy a simple holiday on a more affordable budget. But there’s nothing worse than arriving at your pitch to find that your tent, roll mat or other gear is damaged – or worse, that it’s damp and mouldy from your last trip.
If your tent faces bad weather on a trip, it’s absolutely essential that you unroll it to give it a chance to dry before it gets stored away for long periods of time. It’s also important that it doesn’t get damaged in storage, whether that be through getting in the way of other things in the garage, or even getting gnawed at by critters. Keeping it in a cool, shady, dry place that’s off the ground and out of the way is therefore highly recommended.
Any associated equipment like sleeping bags, torches, kitchenware and other equipment should be kept in one place (also ideally dry and off the floor), so that it’s easier to find when you pack. Large storage boxes cost just a few pounds and will do the job perfectly.
Climbing and mountaineering
Compared to hiking and trekking, mountain-related adventures require far more equipment, in no small part because it can be much more dangerous and therefore needs a far more focused approach to safety.
For climbing, a dedicated kit storage area is absolutely essential, partly so nothing gets lost, but also so items are kept free of risk of damage. Not only are things like ropes expensive to replace but can prove extremely dangerous if used when weakened or damaged. The same principle applies to pegs, harnesses and helmets: anything that looks damaged should always be replaced.
Mountaineering adds the extra dimension of needing cold-weather gear to deal with the lower temperatures at high altitude. If this kit isn’t in top condition, the risk to safety and to health can be extremely severe. As well as being stored with plenty of space, it should be kept clean and dry, and should be checked over thoroughly after each trip to check for any damage.
Winter kit like skis and snowboards aren’t cheap to buy and maintain, so great care should be taken when keeping them stored during the summer. They should be fully dry when they’re put away and shouldn’t be placed anywhere that gets particularly hot. For example, a garage or shed with a metal roof wouldn’t be appropriate, and even a loft or an attic may not be suitable if your roof gets lots of sunlight. A storage rack somewhere cool but out of the way is ideal if you have the space.
For your clothing, helmet and so on, many of the same rules that apply to hiking gear are also applicable here. Items should be stored in a dry place without risk of being crushed by anything else; storage boxes should also be used for items like goggles that could easily break with the wrong type of pressure placed on them.
Get sports equipment insurance with SportsCover Direct
Whatever your sport, good insurance cover that protects your equipment is absolutely essential. At SportsCover Direct, we provide affordable and comprehensive sports equipment insurance policies that cover every base, such as theft, damage, hire of any replacement kit, repair costs and more. Our cover is available for more than 500 sports, including extreme sports, and ensures that you can enjoy your next trip without any worries. Take a closer look at our sports equipment insurance options here.