Unless you live in (or travel to) some nice tropical destinations during winter times, and you do not own a dry suit, then, like most of us, you will have to set your gear aside for a few months, most likely from December to April.
Temperatures fall below 15 degrees in the Adriatic, and below 10 in nearby lakes and rivers, so even though an exception can be made here and there, and there are many who dive on annual St Nicholas day, for example, it may be the smart thing to wait for the water surfaces to warm up a bit prior to your next dive.
So, in order to have fully functional equipment ready for the next season, it is highly recommended you store it properly.
Storing Scuba Gear For Winter
Needless to say, one should always rinse and dry the equipment after every saltwater dive, as the sea water corrodes metal parts of your equipment, and sand and small stones can enter parts of the gear as well.
If you dive in swimming pools, be wary that it is not the same as fresh water, and the chlorine from the water can damage the gear.
So for storing our scuba gear for winter, we should start with rinsing everything in lukewarm water and leaving to self-dry, away from the direct sunlight.
When rinsing the suit and BCD, do it inside and out, then hang to dry, preferably on a hanger.
Keep in a dry ventilated room out of the sun. Ideally, store the gear somewhere where it can bread. If you are not that lucky with extra space in your living area, dry everything well and put in a storage box or dive bag. If your girlfriend has cats, hide the bag from the cats.
Regulators should be checked and serviced regularly. Before storing them for winter, wash and dry them, coil gently and keep in a dry place.
Computers, torches, cameras and other technical equipment should have batteries removed before storing, and if using rechargeable batteries, they should be fully charged.
Keep scuba tank stored in an upright position, and emptied at 50bars.
Returning to action!
It is a smart habit to start the season with a shallow dive to ease into more complex dives, and also to check if all your equipment works properly after a long layoff.
Do you have any other advice on storing the equipment? Leave your thoughts in the comments.