How to Store Hiking Backpacks : Mother Of All Gears

I know that feeling when the weather turns cold, or the winter days set in, and the idea of hitting the trails just doesn’t seem as appealing. But do you know like other hiking gears, hiking backpack also needs some attention for packing.

I know the importance of properly storing my backpack when it’s not in use, especially when it contains all the essentials I’ve packed for my adventures.

So be simple while packing your backpack. If you understand this you don’t need to read the whole article.

First of all empty your backpack then clean it with soapy and warm water. Warm water will help you more to extract dirt and stains from the backpack. Then rinse it and let it dry. After drying fill it with some clothes or place it where it doesn’t get dishaped. And in last cover it plastic bag and store it for next season.

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How to Store Hiking Backpacks?

Properly storing a hiking backpack is a crucial step in ensuring its longevity and readiness for future adventures.

As a passionate hiker, I’ve learned valuable practices that not only protect my trusty companion but also keep it in prime condition for the trails that lie ahead.

Let’s look at the each step of process in detail.

Empty The Backpack

To clean your hiking backpack, start by emptying all the contents and shaking it out to remove loose debris.

Check all the pockets and secret compartments of bag before dipping in to the soapy water.

I remember last time while cleaning my backpack I just washed my phone. So I hope you will not do that.


After months of trekking through various terrains, your backpack might have accumulated dirt, sweat, and even some unexpected stains.

If your backpack is machine-washable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a gentle wash.

Otherwise, hand washing is a safe alternative. I also mostly wash my hiking backpack with hands. Use a mild detergent and lukewarm water to scrub away any stubborn stains, being gentle on the fabric to avoid damage.

By giving it a thorough clean, you not only maintain its appearance but also ensure that no lingering odors or residue attract unwanted pests during storage.

So pour some normal hot water and add a mild detergent in it. A soft brush or an old toothbrush can be handy for cleaning these nooks and crannies.

For odors, add a cup of baking soda to the water or use a solution of water and vinegar to eliminate any lingering smells.

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Rinsing and Dry out

After cleaning, rinse the backpack thoroughly to ensure no detergent or cleaning solution remains. Hang it upside down in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely.

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for an extended time, as this could fade the colors and weaken the fabric. To ensure its longevity and avoid the dreaded mold or mildew growth, I make it a point to let my trusty companion “air it out.”

To expedite the drying process, I ensure that all zippers, compartments, and pockets are left open. This enables air to reach every nook and cranny of the backpack.

I have learned the hard way that even the smallest damp spot can lead to mold growth, so it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to thoroughly air it out.

Remember other than cleaning, don’t just toss your backpack aside and forget about it. Give it the opportunity to breathe and air it out properly.

Your backpack will thank you by being ready for your next adventure, mold-free, and eager to accompany you on many more incredible journeys. Happy hiking!


After thoroughly airing out my backpack, I begin the folding process. I always do this gently, as I want to avoid putting any unnecessary stress on the fabric or zippers.

It’s crucial to treat your backpack with the same respect and care that it has provided you during your hikes. I make sure all zippers and pockets are closed to protect them from potential damage.

While folding, I follow the backpack’s original seams and contours, replicating its natural shape as closely as possible. This approach not only helps prevent creases or wrinkles but also ensures that the backpack retains its proper form and maintains its structural integrity.

If my backpack has a removable frame or support system, I take it out before folding to avoid any undue pressure on it. I also make sure to remove any loose items or gear that may be inside the backpack, giving it a clean slate for proper folding.

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Storing and Filled with soft Items

Once my backpack is folded and shaped, I begin the process of filling it with soft items. I prefer using clothing or towels that are clean and dry, as this not only ensures the backpack remains in pristine condition but also keeps my gear fresh and ready for my next adventure.

By using soft items, I create a cushioning effect that helps protect the backpack’s structure and contents, reducing the risk of any potential damage.

I pay close attention to evenly distribute the soft items inside the backpack, making sure to avoid overstuffing it. Balancing the weight helps to prevent strain on the seams and zippers, which can ultimately lead to deformations or even tears.

Plastic Bag Cover

Once I’m certain the backpack is in pristine condition, I gently slide it into the dust cover or large plastic bag, making sure it fits comfortably without any excessive squeezing or pressure.

The dust cover or plastic bag acts as a protective barrier, shielding the backpack from dust particles that may settle during its time in storage. Dust can accumulate on the surface and inside the pockets, potentially leading to wear and tear or making it less pleasant to use when I’m ready to hit the trails again.

Before placing my backpack inside the dust cover or plastic bag, I ensure it is completely dry and free from any debris. This helps prevent any moisture from being trapped inside, which could lead to mold or mildew growth over time.

Storage Location

The ideal storage location for my backpack is in a dedicated area inside my home. It could be a closet, a spare room, or even under the bed.

The key is to choose a spot that is shielded from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause the fabric to fade and weaken over time.

By selecting a cool, dry place, I provide the optimum conditions for my backpack to rest peacefully, free from any potential harm that might arise from environmental factors.

This storage practice helps maintain the backpack’s overall quality, ensuring that it’s ready for the next adventure without any unwanted surprises.

With proper care and attention, storing my hiking backpack in a cool, dry place becomes a routine that ensures its longevity and keeps it in prime condition for all the exciting journeys that lie ahead.

Knowing that my trusty companion is waiting patiently for our next escapade brings me comfort and anticipation for the trails to come.

By incorporating these best practices for backpack storage, I’m able to preserve my hiking gear in excellent condition, allowing it to accompany me on countless adventures for years to come.


Whether it’s a brief break from hiking or the off-season, knowing that my backpack is well-maintained and protected fills me with anticipation and excitement for the next journey.

Proper storage not only extends its lifespan but also ensures that it remains a reliable and cherished companion on all your future hikes. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on new trails, forge unforgettable memories, and conquer the great outdoors with your trusty backpack by your side. Happy hiking!

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