Even though most of us don’t go camping extremely regularly, we need to be able to access our camping gear when it’s time to go on an adventure. Since most of us admittedly wait until the last day (or minute) to pack, it is important to know where our camping gear is, and rest assured it is ready to be used. Keep reading for our tips for storing your camping gear properly and organized.
Make Sure You Have Enough Room
First and foremost, before you store anything, you need to know what you have! If you are an avid camper, you may have loads of gear and not enough room for it. On the other hand, if you are a casual hiker that only goes out to the woods once in a while, you may only have the basics needed and have plenty of room. Assess what you have, how much you have, and whether or not it’s time to replace or replenish anything before storing your gear.
Combine Items When Possible
Most campers have at least one large bag or container and it is always a nifty idea to put other items in those. For example, if you have food storage containers and water bottles, you might be able to stash them in your big hiking backpack or in the portable cooler. If most or all of your gear can fit in something such as your rooftop carrier or a car back carrier, it may be best to store everything in that. Put smaller boxes into larger ones and consolidate whenever possible. Ultimately, try to find clever ways to utilize the space you have.
Looking to maximize space even more? Consider wall storage for your garage or shed. Pegboard storage such as Wall Control’s steel pegboard system allows you to hang gear together on your wall and saves you space elsewhere. It also allows you to have a clear view of your gear so you don’t have to go digging for it.
Sort Things into Relevant Boxes and Use Labels
Even though we do it all the time, a massive nuance is digging through boxes and bins trying to find a specific item because we didn’t organize well enough. To combat this issue, you can sort relevant items into the same boxes or bins and clearly label them. For example, instead of throwing all of your first aid equipment, kitchen supplies, and sleeping bags in the same bin when you are packing up to go home, consider separating them out instead. Transporting related items (e.g., cooking supplies) in one box or bin will also make it easier to unpack when you get to your destination.
Rent a Storage Unit
Of course, if you still lack the room needed to store your camping gear, you may want to find a local storage unit to lease. Most facilities allow potential customers to take a tour of the various units they offer so you can choose the one that you think suits your needs best. Of course, it is recommended you choose a storage unit that is climate-controlled, as this prevents your gear from being exposed to extreme cold or heat. It also reduces exposure to humidity, which can damage your camping gear in a short period of time. Many storage facilities have good security and are accessible 24/7 so you can go when you want and know your camping gear is safe.
Clean and Dry It Before You Store It
Finally, a crucial but sometimes overlooked step is that you should always clean all of your gear and allow it to dry before storing it away for the next adventure. It’s easy to get home and want to just stash everything away because we’re tired, but not cleaning your gear can lead to damage.
Of course, your clothes and sleeping bags should always be washed, but consider cleaning off your tents, tarps, bikes, shoes, and anything else that may have gotten something on them, such as mud. If your items are not clean when you store them, it can lead to major issues such as mildew and mold, which can ruin your gear and anything near it.
You may want to leave your gear to dry in the sun for a while, as the open air can also reduce any odors on the gear. Simply stated, make sure everything is washed and dried before you store it properly until your next excursion. Have fun!