Camping is an increasingly popular way to vacation now, with 75 million active camper households in the U.S.! If you took advantage of our equipment tips in Conquer the Great Outdoors with These Six Camping Must-Haves and are ready to pack up your gear until next time, read on to find the best tips for successful storage.

Treat your gear like your clothes

You don’t put laundry away while it’s dirty and wet, do you? The same applies for camping gear. Set up your tent when you get home in your yard—or living room for city-dwellers—and give it a thorough cleaning with soap and water, then let it air dry before packing it away to ensure it doesn’t develop mildew. You can even throw a few dryer sheets in the tent and sleeping bags to keep them smelling fresh.

Take back the power

Remove batteries from flashlights, lanterns, radios and other equipment that you’re putting in long-term storage to avoid corrosion and leakage. Keep them stored in a plastic bag and tape the bag to the item so you don’t have to go crazy looking for batteries before your next trip.

Get tote-al storage

Storing your camping equipment in totes not only protects it from moisture, bugs and other unwelcome critters, it also makes it that much easier to transport and stack. Transparent totes are ideal so you can see what’s in each without digging around, but it’s wise to label each with a packing list that’s taped to the outside to make things easier.

Utilize the Russian nesting doll practice

The only thing better than totes is totes (and bags) in totes. Put like items, such as bug spray, citronella and anti-itch cream, together in quality, zipper-sealed bags, then label them something appropriate, like “mosquitos,” and put them in totes with other grouped bags. Not only will it make your storage more organized, it will make finding exactly what you’re looking for on your next outing a snap!

Use it!

The best way to keep your camping gear in fighting shape is to take it camping! Not only will this ensure it doesn’t degrade due to misuse, but it will also give you a better idea of what needs to be replaced or upgraded.

Now that you know the right way to treat your camping gear after your trip’s over, find a safe, convenient place to store it. No garage or attic? No problem. Contact the experts at Gotham Mini Storage the leading Manhattan mini storage provider, and move your belongings into a secure, climate-controlled storage unit today!