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How to Store a Canoe Outside

Canoeing is a popular outdoor activity that allows you to immerse yourself in nature and explore serene waterways. However, when not in use, it is essential to store your canoe properly to ensure its longevity and prevent any damage caused by the elements. In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to store a canoe outside, along with some frequently asked questions.

1. Find a suitable location:
When choosing a location to store your canoe, consider finding a spot that is well-protected from direct sunlight, rain, and extreme temperature fluctuations. Look for a shady area, preferably under a tree or a canopy, to shield it from harmful UV rays. Additionally, ensure that the location is dry and not prone to flooding.

2. Clean the canoe:
Before storing your canoe, it is crucial to clean it thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and a soft sponge or cloth to remove any dirt, debris, or algae from the exterior. Rinse it properly and let it dry completely. Cleaning the canoe not only keeps it looking good but also prevents any mold or mildew growth during storage.

3. Protect the canoe from UV rays:
Exposure to sunlight can cause the color of your canoe to fade and weaken the material over time. To protect your canoe from harmful UV rays, apply a UV-blocking protective spray or wax. This will help preserve the canoe’s appearance and extend its lifespan.

4. Cover the canoe:
Invest in a high-quality canoe cover or tarp to shield your canoe from rain, snow, and other elements. Ensure that the cover is made from a durable, waterproof material and fits your canoe properly. Secure the cover tightly to prevent it from being blown off during strong winds.

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5. Elevate the canoe:
To prevent water from pooling and causing damage, elevate your canoe slightly off the ground. This can be achieved by using foam blocks or sawhorses. Position them strategically under the canoe to distribute its weight evenly. Elevating the canoe also allows air circulation, preventing moisture build-up.

6. Secure the canoe:
To prevent theft or any accidental damage, secure your canoe with a sturdy lock or chain. Attach it to an immovable structure, such as a fence or a post. This will deter any potential thieves and give you peace of mind.

7. Check on the canoe regularly:
Even though your canoe is stored outside, it is important to check on it periodically. Inspect for any signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, or holes. Additionally, ensure that the cover is intact and hasn’t been damaged by animals or weather conditions.


Q: Can I store my canoe directly on the ground?
A: Storing your canoe directly on the ground can lead to water pooling, which can damage the canoe. It is recommended to elevate it slightly using foam blocks or sawhorses.

Q: Can I store my canoe without a cover?
A: While it is possible to store your canoe without a cover, it is highly advisable to use one. A cover protects your canoe from rain, snow, UV rays, and other potential damage.

Q: How often should I clean my canoe during storage?
A: It is a good practice to clean your canoe at least once every few months during storage. This helps to remove any accumulated dust, dirt, or mildew that could potentially damage the canoe.

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Q: Can I store my canoe outside during winter?
A: Yes, you can store your canoe outside during winter. However, it is essential to take extra precautions, such as covering it adequately and protecting it from heavy snowfall, ice, and freezing temperatures. Consider moving it to a sheltered area if possible.

Q: Should I deflate an inflatable canoe during storage?
A: If you have an inflatable canoe, it is recommended to deflate it during storage. Make sure it is completely dry before deflating and storing it in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight.

In conclusion, storing a canoe outside requires careful planning and maintenance. By following the steps mentioned above, you can ensure that your canoe remains in excellent condition and ready for your next adventure on the water. Remember to invest in a good quality cover, clean your canoe regularly, and check on it periodically to prevent any damage. Happy canoeing!