Goodnight, skis

Goodnight, skis

With spring run-off in full swing, it might be time to face the facts: winter is not coming back (at least for several months). Make the goodbye a little less painful by giving your winter gear a loving send-off. Writing for Adventure Journal, Abbie Barronian offers these tips to ensure your gear has a restful hibernation and will be ready to rip (but hopefully not rip) come the first flakes.

1. Give your down a little breathing room: Sleeping bags and puffies often come with stuff sacks, but that doesn’t mean they thrive under pressure. After cleaning, store bags loosely in a large canvas or mesh bag in a cool, dry spot. For puffies, wash according to instructions (pro tip: dry with tennis balls to maintain that poof), and hang or folded loosely in a cool, dry spot.

2. Wash your shells and re-up your DWR: Despite what you may believe, washing and drying water-resistant shells actually refreshes the DWR. Dirt, sweat, sunscreen, burrito leakage and beer all can take a toll. Adding a wash-in formula (like Nikwax) is a great thing to do at the end of the season.

3. Tune and wax your skis. During storage, moisture and debris can settle into little ski wounds, making them far tougher to patch come November. Also consider coating (but not scraping) your bases in a thick layer of wax, which will keep them from drying out. When you break them out for early-season turns, simply scrape off the old wax and you’re good to go. Store skis with a strap or two to keep bases apart and skis together, and make sure they’re totally dry– edges rust quickly.

4. Check your avi and backcountry gear: When’s the last time you checked your probe? Affirm all your gear is functioning properly before storing, yet again, in a cool, dry place (note: not the back of your car.) If you’re really gung ho, you can pull debris off skins with tweezers. Although skins should be fine without the mesh “cheat sheet,”make sure there’s no glue exposed and again, keep them cool: heat is the enemy of skin glue. Also, take the batteries out of your beacon – acid can corrode battery terminals.

5. Let those boots breathe: Pull the liners out to dry thoroughly and, if you’re so inclined, wipe down shells, the outside of the liner and base of the footbed with a wet towel. If you’re still rocking a little boot funk, stick a sock full of baking soda or a few dryer sheets in there before storing. Then, last but not least, buckle them down so the plastic retains its shape and be sure to read them a goodnight story. Maybe the one about that epic powder day when you got first tracks.

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