Unless you’re the full-time RV kind, your camping gear will spend a fair amount of time stored away. All of that stuff, any tents, poles, sleeping bags, camp kitchen gear…needs a home and can take up a lot of room. Having an efficient storage system for your camping gear not only ensures you can find things quickly when you need them, but it also saves space if you store the gear wisely.
Whether you use your basement, your garage, a spare room, or other means of storing all that stuff, here are some hacks to make the process easier.
Labels and Clear Bins are Your Friends
Get yourself some sturdy plastic bins – these can be found in your nearest department store (think WalMart or Target) – larger cities will usually have a store dedicated to storage items. Sure, plastic bins aren’t pretty, but they’re easier on the eyes than a heaping pile of random items. Bins are your organizational friends. Not only do they look neat stacked on top of each other, but when you label them properly, it’s super easy to grab that thing you’ve been looking for.
“I really loved searching through my piles of junk to find the camp utensil set.” Said no one, ever.
Use a Good Tracking System
This works well, especially when storing gear in your garage. Unlike stationary shelves and hooks, tracking systems are versatile in that you can adjust them as needed. This is helpful as you acquire or get rid of camping gear. They are easy to install and can stand the weight of your heavier gear, as well. Great for holding bikes, oars, and other oddly-shaped equipment.
Store the Big Stuff Overhead
Things such as kayaks and canoes are fun for some quality water time, but they’re often a hassle to store. Instead of storing them on the ground or against the wall (they take up a lot of space!) consider storing them overhead. If your storage area doesn’t have built-in beams, investing in a rack may be your best bet. A good rack should not run you much more than $100. If weight is an issue and you’re not sure you can lift your gear, you can use an inexpensive pulley system.
Utilize the Room Under Stairs
If you have stairs with storage space underneath, this can be an excellent place to store your camping gear. For those with basements, the space underneath the stairs is the most underutilized space in the house. You can even DIY a handy drawer system under the stairs without too much trouble. Or simply take advantage of the vertical space to hang tarps or sleeping bags on hooks. Exterior stairs are great for storing firewood underneath. Just try to store the wood a few inches from the ground to allow for good airflow.
Hang Your Sleeping Bags
Airflow is also important for storing sleeping bags. Rolling it up is good for transporting it to the campsite, but for storage, you’ll want to unroll it and hang it on a hook, or at least keep them flat. Compressing the bag in a roll for storage can damage the fibers and shorten its lifespan. Storing hammocks in this way is also ideal in order to prevent mold and mildew.