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How to Store Kayak Outside in Winter

Kayaking is a thrilling outdoor activity that allows you to explore serene waters and get closer to nature. However, when winter arrives, it’s time to think about proper storage for your kayak. Storing your kayak outside during the winter months requires some careful considerations to ensure its longevity. In this article, we will provide you with useful tips on how to store your kayak outside during the winter season.

1. Choose the right location:
When selecting a spot for outdoor storage, it’s essential to find a location that offers protection from the elements. Look for a spot that is sheltered from strong winds and direct sunlight. If possible, choose an area that has some form of overhead coverage, such as a shed or a canopy. This will help prevent snow, ice, and rain from accumulating on your kayak.

2. Protect from the ground:
To shield your kayak from ground moisture, elevate it off the ground. A sturdy kayak rack or a pair of sawhorses can be used to keep your kayak off the cold and damp surface. This will prevent any potential damage caused by prolonged exposure to moisture.

3. Clean and dry your kayak:
Before storing your kayak, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and dried. Remove any dirt, debris, or saltwater residue from both the inside and outside of the kayak. This will prevent mold and mildew from developing during storage. Allow your kayak to air dry completely before putting it away.

4. Cover your kayak:
Invest in a high-quality kayak cover or tarp to protect your kayak from the elements. A good cover will shield your kayak from rain, snow, and harmful UV rays. Ensure that the cover is securely fastened to prevent it from blowing off during strong winds.

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5. Protect it from critters:
Winter is a time when animals seek shelter, and your kayak can be an attractive spot for them. To keep critters away, consider using deterrents such as mothballs or strong-smelling substances like peppermint oil. Additionally, you can place a tarp or netting over your kayak to deter nesting animals.

6. Regularly inspect and maintain:
While your kayak is in storage, take the opportunity to inspect and maintain it. Check for any signs of damage, including cracks or leaks. Repair any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening. Lubricate the kayak’s moving parts, such as hinges and rudders, to ensure they remain in good working condition.

7. Rotate the kayak:
If possible, periodically rotate your kayak during storage. This will prevent any pressure points from developing and ensure even weight distribution. Rotating the kayak will also help to prevent warping or deformation over time.

8. Consider a kayak storage bag:
For added protection, consider investing in a kayak storage bag. These bags are specially designed to protect your kayak from scratches, UV rays, and dirt. They also provide insulation, which can be beneficial in extremely cold climates.


Q: Can I store my kayak outside during the winter without a cover?
A: While it’s best to invest in a kayak cover, you can store your kayak outside without one. However, it is crucial to ensure your kayak is elevated off the ground and kept in a sheltered location.

Q: Can I store my kayak upside down during winter storage?
A: Storing your kayak upside down is a common practice and can help prevent water from accumulating in the cockpit. However, make sure to follow all the other storage guidelines mentioned in this article.

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Q: How often should I inspect my kayak during winter storage?
A: It is recommended to inspect your kayak at least once a month during winter storage. This will allow you to catch any potential issues early and take appropriate action.

Q: Can I store my kayak in a garage during winter?
A: Storing your kayak in a garage is an excellent option, as it offers protection from the elements. However, ensure that the garage is well-ventilated and not subject to extreme temperature fluctuations.

Q: Should I remove the kayak’s accessories before storage?
A: It is a good idea to remove any detachable accessories, such as seats, paddle holders, or fishing rod holders, before storing your kayak. This will prevent them from getting damaged or lost during storage.

In conclusion, proper storage is crucial for maintaining the longevity and performance of your kayak during the winter months. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your kayak remains in excellent condition and ready for the next kayaking season. Remember to choose a suitable location, protect your kayak from the ground and the elements, regularly inspect and maintain it, and consider investing in a kayak storage bag for added protection. With these precautions in place, you can confidently store your kayak outside during winter.