Ski & Snowboard Gear 101

Winters in Canada are usually met with dread and a yearning to hibernate until spring—no more! There are many fun and exciting ways to spend these cold months, but perhaps the most exciting of them all is hitting the fresh winter snow on the slopes. Before you spring for that season lift ticket, you have to get the right equipment and clothing to stay warm and safe. Follow this handy guide and you’ll go from bunny hills to black diamonds before the ground starts to thaw!

  • Layers are the name of the game. With local temperatures as low as -31° C, you’re used to the cold. But being cold on your four-minute walk from the work parking lot and being cold for eight hours on a mountain are two different things. Invest in quality, sweat-wicking long underwear to stay warm and dry and layer with a comfortable long-sleeved shirt and active-wear pants. And remember, when it comes to warmth and comfort, jeans are not your friend.
  • Protect your head. Concussions and skull fractures aren’t limited to football players. When you’re going down a hill 5kph, it’s easy to wipe, hit a hidden patch of ice, or simply lose your balance. Don’t let the image of fluffy white snow fool you, hitting your head will hurt and can cause serious damage. Play it safe and strap on a helmet before you push off—a bruised ego is better than a bruised skull.
  • See things clearly. Between snow rushing at your face and the harsh glare of the winter sun off pristine white, it can be difficult to see well on a slope. Not only will the right pair of goggles provide protection from the sun and snow, they will stop your eyes from watering due to wind and momentum.
  • Pick the right jacket and snow pants. Waterproof, waterproof, waterproof. If you’re a novice skier or boarder, you’re going to spend a lot of time on your back and knees! What level of insulation you want is really a personal preference and depends on how warm your inner layers keep you. Leave some extra room to accommodate those layers—or better yet, wear the layers when you go shopping—and make sure you have full range of motion without an oversized, baggy feeling.
  • Keep your digits warm. Don’t make this the winter you get frostbite: Get a high-quality pair of waterproof gloves. While mittens will keep your hands warmer, they’ll limit your ability to adjust your gear or strap in on your board. If you still struggle with dexterity and coldness, add a layer of liner gloves beneath your normal ones.
  • Make your feet comfortable. Believe it or not, thicker socks are not ideal with ski or snowboard boots. Opt for socks that are thin, so they don’t bunch up; high, so they don’t slip into your boot; and sweat-wicking, because your feet will get very hot.

Now that you know how to pick the right accessories for your mountain adventures, you’re ready to hit the trail with the pros. When the snow finally lets up, you’ll need someplace safe and convenient to keep your stuff until next season starts. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find the perfect place for all your gear this year.


5 Ways to Hack The Snow This Winter

For some people, the magic and wonder of first snowfall never really wears off. For others, each snowflake is a little inconvenience falling from the sky, making shoveling the driveway the ultimate showdown of man versus nature. Whether you love snow or could live without it, we’ve compiled a list of five tips and tricks that will help you win this winter!

  1. Spray Your Shovel with Non-Stick Cooking Spray. To keep the snow from sticking to your shovel, spray it with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease it with vegetable oil. This trick is guaranteed to make your shoveling job a little easier.

 

  1. Make Your Own Bicycle Snow Tires with Zip-Ties. Do you find your bicycle gets stuck in the snow often and wish you had snow tires? You can make your own! Just fashion zip ties all around your tires—your bicycle will be snow-ready to safely take you where you need to go in no time.

 

  1. Prevent an Icy Windshield with Vinegar. Spray a mixture of vinegar and water on your windshield to prevent it from frosting. With this simple hack, you’ll shave time off your morning instead of shaving ice off your car!

 

  1. Use Bubble Wrap to Keep the Cold Out. With snow comes chilly weather! Attach a sheet of bubble wrap to your windows for easy insulation. Just cut the bubble wrap to size, spray some water on the window and press the bubble wrap in place with the bubbles facing the glass.

 

  1. Put a Cloth Down for Speedy Snow Removal. Drape a cloth over your car’s windshield or your home’s steps when it first starts snowing and just remove it when it’s time to leave the house. You’ll be safely out the door and in the car faster than you can say “shovel”!

With these five tips and tricks, you’ll be more than prepared to brave the cold months ahead! Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to find the perfect place to safely keep your warm-weather belongings during the snowy season!


5 Bicycle Storage Tips to Ride Through Winter

With the cold weather settling in and the holidays rapidly approaching, it’s about time to put away your bicycle for the winter. Before you stow your wheels for the season, here are five things you should know to ensure your ride will be in top shape and ready to hit the road when you take it out for a spin in the spring.

  1. Clean it Up. Thoroughly clean your bicycle. Leftover grime can cause corrosion over an extended period of time. Start by brushing off any dirt and then use a wet rag to wipe it down. Make sure it is completely dry before putting it into storage to avoid rust from forming.
  2. Make it a Smooth Ride. Use a lubricant on the chain, handles, cables and any other bending parts to protect against damage in long-term storage. This will ensure your bicycle parts will be ready to move with you once it comes time to ride again!
  3. Maintain Temperature Control. Avoid storing your bicycle in an environment where the conditions fluctuate, and instead opt for a climate-controlled space. Constant changes in temperature invite moisture and can cause damage to the frame, including cracking and rust, and deterioration of rubber tires.
  4. Pump Your Tires. Make sure both tires are full of air before storing your bicycle. Over time tires can lose pressure and, if left deflated, can distort the rubber.
  5. Lift it Up. Hang your bicycle off the ground using a rack or a hook to keep the weight off the tires. Standing it on its wheels on a concrete floor can cause damage, including weak spots in the rubber, especially if left this way for extended periods of time. If you have no way to suspend your bike off the floor, keep a mat or rug under the wheels and make sure to come in and pump your tires full of air periodically.

Now that you know how to properly store your bicycle for the off-season, you need a place to put it! Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to find a safe spot for your two-wheeled ride this winter.


10 Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home for Halloween

The arrival of fall means colder weather, changing leaves and best of all, Halloween! The weeks leading up to October 31 are a guaranteed good time when you get into the spirit. Whether you are throwing a party, getting ready for trick-or-treaters, or just want to show off your festive spirit, we’ve compiled 10 fun and easy ways to decorate your home for Halloween.

  1. Abandon Your Living Room. A white sheet can be used for more than just the classic last-minute ghost costume. Drape white sheets over your couches, chairs, and coffee tables to give your space a creepy abandoned house look. Add cobwebs for good measure!
  2. Skip the Pumpkin Guts. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of carving pumpkins this year, stick some orange tissue paper and a battery-powered candle in a jar. Draw a spooky face on the jar with a marker and you have yourself a mess-free alternative to the traditional jack-o-lantern.
  3. Hatch Spider Eggs. This hanging spider nest decoration is sure to give you the chills! Put a white stocking over a Styrofoam or whiffle ball, then use a glue gun to attach fake spiders and complete the look.
  4. Floating Witch Hats. Thread fishing wire through the top of a witch hat with a sewing needle. Hang it from the ceiling and repeat until you have an assembly of magically floating witch hats hovering over your head.
  5. Use Candles. When decorating, the right lighting is critical in achieving the perfect creepy vibe. Place candles around your house in groups or on candelabras for an eerie vintage look.
  6. Create Your Own Haunted Village. Paint some wooden birdhouses to look like a haunted village. The tiny scene is perfect for displaying on a window ledge, a fireplace, or as a table centerpiece.
  7. Kill Your Fake Plants. The perfect Halloween look really comes together when you pay attention to the small details in your home, even the plants! Spray paint your fake plants black to make them look like they’ve died.
  8. Turn Your Lawn into a Graveyard. For outdoor decor, take cardboard and make tombstones to place on your front lawn or in your garden. Get creative and customize the tombstones however you would like!
  9. There’s a Fly in my Soap! To add some Halloween flair to your bathroom, drop some fake bugs to your liquid soap pump. You can also add fake eye-balls, fingers, or any other creepy-crawly things you can think of.
  10. Scare Your Neighbors. Use black paper to cut out silhouettes of scary scenes and attach to your windows. The silhouettes will stand out when your indoor lights are on at night.

Now that you know 10 easy ways to decorate for Halloween, you’ll need to find more space for your spooky swag once November rolls around! Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find the perfect place for all your Halloween décor today.


6 Attic and Basement Storage No-Nos

When looking for an easy storage solution, most people consider their attic or basement first. While your own home may feel like the safest spot to stow your belongings, you might actually be risking irreversible damage to many of your items. We’ve compiled a list of six things you should avoid storing in your attic or basement so they stay in the best shape possible!

  1. Electronics. With the potential of flooding and leaks in most attics and basements, it’s best to avoid storing your electronics there, especially over a long period of time. Moisture easily finds its way inside electronics, leaving them glitchy or completely non-functional. CDs, records and tape recordings are also susceptible to damages when placed in extremely cold, hot or wet environments.
  2. Flammable Items. Attics and basements don’t tend to be insulated very well. In cold temperatures, items like paint often lose their original color and consistency, ruining your plans to refresh your living room. More importantly, storing flammable chemicals like paints, propane tanks, or gasoline in spaces that reach high temperatures in the warmer months is a serious fire hazard.
  3. Antiques and Artwork. Keep your valuable, irreplaceable and sentimental antiques and art pieces safe! Wooden furniture and items made from natural materials do not fare well in spaces without temperature control. Real wooden furniture may rot with exposure to moisture, and can also expand and crack in fluctuating temperatures. Extreme temperatures can also cause paintings to melt, fade and curl.
  4. Fabrics. With temperatures rising and falling and the threat of water damage, your attic or basement is not the ideal place to keep fabrics like jackets, or wedding dresses. If you have any leather clothing, it needs to be kept in a colder environment to avoid it developing musty smells and to keep it looking its best. Delicate fabrics, such as wool, often fall victim to unwanted critters looking for a new home or a snack.
  5. Important Documents, Books, and Photograph. Treasured books, precious photographs and important information damaged by moisture or heat can be lost forever. Words become illegible, images fade and stain, and paper curls. Paper can even grow mold under these harsh conditions.
  6. Holiday Decorations. If you store your holiday decorations in an attic or basement during the rest of the year, you might want to move them to a safer location. Holiday decorations tend to be made of, or covered in, plastic, paint, varnish or waxy coatings, all of which are susceptible to heat damage. Candles easily melt in warm temperatures, plastics can warp and fade, and string lights may become brittle over time. Make sure your decorations stay in top shape so they can spread holiday cheer for years to come!

Now that you know which thing shouldn’t be stored in your attic or basement, you need to find an alternative space where you know they will be safe! Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage who can help you find a protected and temperature controlled solution for all of your belongings.