The very best way to care for your drum long term is bear grease treatment twice a year AND keep your drum covered in leather all the time!! So for a budget solution our split leather is perfect. We select 6 to 7 sq ft pieces and this is plenty to wrap your drum with. It can then live inside a canvas or plastic bag…..but the leather will protect your drum.
A natural hide drum is always moving with humidity changes. During high humidity a drum skin absorbs moisture from the air and the skin expands. The tone goes down and if really humid a drum can go flat. When really dry the opposite happens and the skin shrinks and the tones gets higher. A drum wrapped in leather is protected from these two extremes. Over the years we have learned that when we are at a powwow and end up in a weather extreme, if we want to properly show/play our drums we put a bunch in drum bags or wrapped in leather. Even if it has been cold and rainy for 2 days when we pull a drum out of its leather protector the tone is perfect and strong.