How to Store Your Skins, Skis and Avalanche Beacon Over the Summer
When it comes to summer gear storage, a few easy steps will make sure your backcountry equipment – skis, climbing skins and avalanche beacon – are ready to roll when the snow flies in the fall.
Summer Climbing Skin Storage Tips
Inspect your skins: The first step is to inspect your skins for wear and tear or damage. Check the tips and tails for worn connectors, blown rivets, bent parts, etc. Check the glue for pine needles, dirt, dog hair, etc. If the glue is dirty, take the time to clean it by removing any large contaminants by hand. Depending on the age and condition of the glue, consider renewing it with a hot iron as described in our article on how to renew climbing skin glue.
Glue savers: Remember those plastic mesh sheets that came with your fancy new skins? Well, if there is a time to put them to use, it’s for long term storage. Once you’re happy with the glue condition, just apply the glue savers (also called cheat sheets and skin savers) to the skin base, fold the skins up and stuff them in their skin bag. Black Diamond sells glue savers if you need a set.
Location: The best location to store skins is in a cool, dry and dark place – a closet, a basement shelf. The garage works too, but garage temperatures tend to rise with summer heat, and the ideal situation is someplace where the temperature remains more stable. Once the skins are packed up, I typically put the skin bag in my ski touring pack with my other dedicated backcountry gear, so everything is in one place that’s easy to find come the first ski day in the fall.
Summer Ski Storage Tips
Putting your skis to bed for the summer is simple. It’s all about clean, repair and a coat of wax.
Clean ’em: Water and a clean towel or rag will do the trick. Just wipe tops and bases down to remove any dirt and dust. Next move is to thoroughly clean the bases. We recommend an environmentally-friendly citrus solvent like OneBall Citrus base cleaner. It’ll take care of old wax, pine pitch, dirt, etc.
Repair ’em: Now is a good time to repair any base damage or get your skis ground if they are in need. The off-season turn-around time on base grinds is usually pretty fast. If you’re not going to get a full base grind, you can simply check the edges and top sheets for burrs or de-lamination.
Wax ’em: Before storing your skis, apply a generous coat of hot wax to the bases, and don’t scrape it off. A good coat of wax serves to limit oxidation and keeps bases from drying out, leaving them prepped and ready for the next season. Read our DIY Ski Waxing Tips
- Store ’em: Now, just find a cool, dark spot where they can live for the summer. Avoid compressing the camber or hanging them from the tips. Best bet is lying flat on a rack where they cannot be knocked over.
Lastly, it’s time to put your avalanche beacon to sleep, too.
Check for manufacturer updates: Go ahead and visit the manufacturers website to confirm there are no recall notices, firmware updates or other service notices related to your model avalanche beacon. Summer is the ideal time to send it in for updates or required service.
Run through a search and send cycle: Before removing batteries, run your beacon through a quick send and search cycle to confirm everything is functional. It’s also a good idea to inspect the case, straps and buckles for cracks or issues.
Remove batteries: Now it’s time to remove the batteries. Check the battery compartment for moisture and battery corrosion. Corrosion on the contacts can be cleaned with a scotch-brite pad.
- Store it: I normally keep my beacon stored in my ski pack along with my shovel, probe and skins to keep everything in one place.
Check out our Adventure Ride Essentials content for the off season!