If you’ve ever rummaged around your garage searching for your long-lost sleeping bag or ventured deep into the dark depths of your closet seeking your battery-powered lantern, it’s time to get serious about organizing your camping storage. After all, prepping for an upcoming trip shouldn’t be a mad scramble as you hunt down all your gear.
Once you figure out how to organize camping gear, you’ll be ready for your next adventure before you can even say, “Campfire.” It’s just a matter of finding a proper home for all your equipment. But because that’s often easier said than done, we’re here to help.
Below, check out our guide on how to store your camping gear, where we’ve listed our top camping gear organization ideas. Follow along, so you’re ready to take on whatever camping adventures come your way.
1. Clean Your Equipment
Before diving into our camping storage ideas, we recommend washing all your gear. That means throwing clothing and sleeping bags in the washer, dusting dirt off your tents and tarps, and removing any mud from your hiking boots and cycling gear. Keep an eye out for any mildew or mold, which could wreak havoc once you pack your items away.
2. Air Out and Dry Your Equipment
Don’t store or pack anything away until it’s well and truly dried. It’s also a good idea to let your gear air out in the sun for a day or two, especially if you just took it on a trip. This is because UV light can kill most mold and spores. The sun and fresh air will also help keep your gear from getting musty or smelling bad.
Another handy trick is to tuck some dryer sheets in with your tents, sleeping bag, and backpacks to absorb any lingering smells. The last thing you want to deal with is moldy or smelly gear when you’re ready for your next adventure!
3. Audit Your Equipment
Now that your gear is clean and dry, it’s time to do inventory. What are you looking to store? Knowing how much equipment you have will help you determine what kind of camping storage you need and how much space it requires.
Are you only storing a tent and a few sleeping bags? In that case, you may only need a small, compact space, such as a closet or shelf in your garage. But if you’re a camping gear junkie with loads of equipment like climbing gear and trekking poles, you may need to look into a larger camping gear storage space like a storage unit.
During your audit, check expiration dates and don’t put anything away empty or broken. Is your gas canister still full? How much bug spray do you have left? And what about that massive hole in your tarp? It’s pointless to store items if they’re not going to be any good to you on your next trip. Make a note of anything that needs replacing and toss items that are no longer of service to you.
4. Utilize Your Gear
Take advantage of the space your gear provides. Instead of storing away empty items like backpacks, ice chests, and bear canisters, pack them with smaller items. Can you store your water bottles in your hiking backpack? And then can you put that backpack in your ice chest or bear canister? Consolidating your gear will help you save on storage space.
5. Stock Up On Plastic Bins
There are a lot of camping organization hacks out there, but one of our favorites comes in the form of plastic bins. Not only do plastic bins provide a convenient and compact way of storing your camping gear, but you can also take the entire plastic box with you on your camping trip. For example, if one box is filled with all your kitchen supplies, from your cutlery and dish soap to your pots and pans, you can simply grab that plastic pin and throw it in your trunk, knowing you have all your kitchen accessories covered.
6. Categorize Items and Label All Bins
With that said, these plastic bins are only handy if you prep them properly. This means you need to start by categorizing all your gear.
Begin making piles of all your equipment. You might have a bedding pile with pillows and sleeping bags, a clothing pile with your rain jacket and swimsuits, and a hiking gear pile with your backpacks and hiking boots. Alternatively, maybe you want to categorize your piles by season, one pile for winter excursions and another for your summer adventures. You can even go one step further and create mini-piles with accessories like toiletries that you can place in plastic baggies.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you organize and categorize your gear, as long as it makes sense to you.
Now that you have your piles determined, you can begin placing like items into their respective plastic bins (and plastic baggies). Grab a marker and some tape to label each box and plastic bag, so you know what gear is in each one. When storing your boxes, make sure their labels are facing outward toward you, so you can easily see what’s inside.
With all your bins perfectly organized, you can simply grab the appropriate bins and hit the road whenever nature calls your name.
7. Consider Pegboards
Incorporating pegboards into your storage space is another handy camping gear storage idea. This involves investing in a pegboard with some pegs so that you can hang your gear, such as your headlamps, axes, rock climbing clips, and more. This gives your gear a place to live, but it also lets you conveniently see everything you’re working with. You might realize you have doubles of a certain piece of gear or need to stock up on another.
8. Rent a Storage Unit
When it comes to figuring out how to store camping gear, you may find that renting a storage unit is the most feasible option.
Perhaps your closets are already overflowing or your apartment doesn’t have a garage. The beauty of turning to a storage unit is that you can choose the size that best suits your needs. You can rent a closet-sized one if you’re only storing a few pieces of gear, but you’ll also come across larger ones that are big enough to comfortably fit all your equipment, from your mountain bikes to your RV.
Many storage units are also climate-controlled, which means you don’t have to worry about exposing your belongings to extreme outdoor temperatures or conditions. And to top it off, you’ll come across all kinds of 24-hour units that let you access your gear at all hours, so you can zip away on a camping adventure at a moment’s notice.
Regardless of whether you’re the type who enjoys the comforts of RV camping or prefers the rugged wilderness of the backcountry, you’re going to need outdoor gear storage. Turn to us here at Stor-It for your storage and supplies.
How Stor-It Can Help
As Idaho’s largest and oldest storage company, we are the experts when it comes to camping storage. From RV parking spaces to spacious rental units, you’ll find the perfect home for all your camping gear. Our friendly staff is on hand to help you estimate what size unit is the best fit for you. Contact us today to find out more about our convenient monthly storage units. Store with us, so you’re ready for your next camping trip in the Gem State.