How to Properly Store Your Kayak or Canoe

Most paddlers have experienced the unfortunate event of climbing out of the water and noticing some of their gear is broken or ripped. Repairing and buying new kayak or canoe gear can be very expensive and that is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep your equipment stored properly while they aren’t being used. Whether it’s getting too cold to paddle or you’re just putting away your kayak for the week, it is important that you take every step to ensure that your equipment is properly stored. Getting as much life as possible out the paddling jackets, gloves, and whatever else you paddle with is essential to getting your money’s worth. Here are some of the ways to properly store your canoe or kayak.

One of the most obvious and often times forgotten step is to make sure that all of your equipment is dry. After a long day on the water, you climb out of your canoe or kayak, throw the gear in the back of your truck or on top of your car and make the drive home. By the time you’re home its dark out and you’re too tired to unpack all of your gear and you say to yourself that you’ll do it the next day when it’s bright out. However, the week goes on and the gear is forgotten until the next time you take it out. The damage has already been done and there is no way to reverse it except for getting repairs when it gets broken from mistreatment. Spending an extra 10 or 15 minutes after a day on the water to rinse your gear and hang it up will ensure that it’s dry and ready to be stored.

After all of the gear has dried you can begin to sort through all of the equipment and take out any items that need to be looked at more extensively. Sometimes equipment, just through general wear and tear, can need a little bit of repairs. Fixing your gear when they are showing small signs of wear are extremely cheaper than waiting and fixing larger problems in the future. Any zippers on bags or jackets need to be lubricated, even more so if they were exposed in salt water.

When getting ready to store all of your gear, it is important to keep everything together. Although this is common sense, it is an issue for paddlers when they are getting ready to take out their kayak or boat for another trip and something is missing. Store all of your gear in a large duffle bag or plastic container, main equipment in one and extra gear another.

When all of your equipment is dried and the gear is organized into a box or bag, you need to find a dry and safe place to store everything. Finding a place that is free from any chance of precipitation will prevent mold and damage to your equipment. Storing your gear in a shed may sound like a good idea to save space but if water is often times finding a way inside then it will be a damaging area for it. Finding a location where your equipment will be safe, not only from the rain, but from any other damage, whether it is animals that get a hold of it or someone stealing it. Keeping it somewhere locked and protected from water will ensure that your gear lasts.

The last and most important step to ensuring that all of kayak or canoe equipment is stored properly is finding a place to put the actual boat. While most people typically throw it wherever is convenient, it needs to be placed in a spot that won’t add any more damage. The best way to store a canoe or kayak is by hanging it with straps from a ceiling. Placing your boat on the ground risks the canoe or kayak getting deformed from the pressure of the hard surface. If hanging your boat isn’t an option, an alternative option is to lean it on its side so it doesn’t develop any dull, flat areas on its bottom.

Following these instructions when storing your kayak or canoe will ensure that your boat will stay in good condition for a long time to come, giving your plenty of time to enjoy being on the water.