Who wants to waste time organizing their outdoor adventure gear when they could be spending time in the great outdoors? Not us! Luckily, the more camping and hiking gear storage ideas you have, the easier it is to get outside and the more likely you are to pursue your favorite outdoor activities.
Organizing your hiking gear allows you to find everything you need for your next adventure without stress and mess. A well-organized gear storage system has many benefits! In this post, we’re sharing sustainable and efficient hiking gear storage ideas for each piece of gear you own.
Hiking Gear Storage Ideas for Different Types of Gear
Outdoor adventures require a lot of gear. Whether you live in a large space with proper storage or you have limited space, these hiking gear storage ideas should help you get right on track!
Designate a drawer, closet shelf, or storage bin for your outdoor clothing items. A dresser in a spare room is a great place for your outdoor clothing items your might not utilize every day!
Store seasonal clothing items away when not in use to save space. Only keep your current great outdoors clothing items easily accessible. Pack seasonal items away in plastic totes. Store them in the attic, garage, or basement and rotate accordingly.
Shoe racks are great places to store shoes you use regularly. The wire kind that hang vertical in a closet are great for saving space and keeping the ground free for other items.
Store seasonal footwear in a tote under your bed. This leaves them easily accessible for vacations and unprecedented weather, but out of the way and clutter free.
Hang your empty backpack by its straps in a cool, dry place. If you don’t have a wall hook in your closet, you can hang it on a hanger or slide it onto a shelf.
Be sure to make sure all snack items are removed from your pack before storing. You wouldn’t want any critters trying to nibble their way in! Additionally, season-specific packs such as biking hip packs, large backpacking bags, and dry bags can be stored inside one another and places in a tote.
Plastic storage bins are a great place for cooking gear to hang out all year long. Creating a camp kitchen tote makes it easy to pack everything you need for any camping trip. Simply place the entire bin in the car!
In the off-season especially, camp stoves, pots and pans, and extra fuel canisters should live away from heat sources and out of direct sunlight. Putting smaller items, like utensils and cooking tools, inside a plastic bag or inside one of the pots and pans helps to keep your plastic tote organized.
First Aid Kits
A First Aid Kit should live inside your hiking backpack. It should really only come out to be replenished and moved to another bag you may be using.
Go through your First Aid Kit and clean it out regularly. Remove any trash, expired, or soon-to-expired medications from your First Aid Kit and replenish the stock before storing for the off-season.
Headlamps are one of those smaller items that should live in your hiking pack all year round. Having your bag packed with the shelf-stable essentials make its easy to his the trail on a whim.
Store headlamps away from heat sources such as sunlight, wood fires, and home heating systems. Remember to remove the batteries for long-term storage. In the winter, when we are doing less hiking, our headlamps live in our utility closet as back up light sources!
Storing your sleeping bag between trips in a loose mesh sack is best. Do not store your sleeping bag in a compression sack. Storing your sleeping bag rolled up or stuffed threatens the integrity of its fluff and insulation.
Sleeping bags should be hung by their loops when not in use for long term storage after being washed and air dried. They can also be hung over a hanger, but this can also threaten the integrity of its fluff and insulation where it is bent over the hanger.
Tents should be stored loosely in a cool, dry place. Your tent must be completely dry before storing or mold will grow on the taped seams and fabric.
Before you store your tent for the season, set it up at home and let it dry out completely. Setting it up on a sunny afternoon is bound to do the trick! If your tent was stored wet for an extended period of time, wash it first and then let it dry. It’s always good practice to respray for waterproofing at the start of each season.
Large Outdoor Items
If you’re someone who has larger outdoor items such as paddle boards, bikes, and other personal water devices, try hanging them. Hang these items from the ceiling of your basement or garage to make the most of your storage space.
If this isn’t an option, lean your paddle board or kayak on its side up against a wall. Bikes can be stored using a vertical wall rack or a floor rack to prevent tipping and damage.
Tips for Organizing Your Recreational Gear
Organizing your recreational gear is the best way to stay ready for an adventure. Having easy access to your gear makes it easier to get out there at a moment’s notice. These gear storage tips will help you better prepare for a lifetime of adventure!
Group Similar Items Together
Store similar items together in the same storage bins. At our house, we have all our camp kitchen gear in one tote, our biking gear in another, and everything we need for backpacking (including our larger backpacks) in another tote.
Knowing that we can pull a storage bin out and have everything we’re looking to pack right in one place makes it easy to get out often without leaving anything behind.
Label Everything Clearly
Label your gear totes! Knowing what items are in which totes is a necessity when trying to pack for your next outdoor adventure.
We suggest using painter’s tape to label the top of the bin and the sides with what kind of gear is inside. You can even list out the exact items in the tote if you position your tape vertically.
Use Clear Storage Containers
This suggestion is controversial. We love a clear storage container for knowing exactly what’s inside but I prefer dark colored totes.
We store our gear in dark colored totes to prevent direct sunlight from affecting our gear. Direct sunlight can play with a piece of gear’s structural integrity as well as its coloring.
Store Gear in a Cool, Dry Place
You’ll want to store your gear in a cool, dry place. Somewhere temperature-controlled is generally best! A spare room in your living space, hallway closet, or basement storage space is generally adequate.
Some gear can be ruined in extreme conditions. Too much heat or too much cold can damage outdoor equipment. Additionally, moisture promotes mold and mildew growth so finding a dry area is also very important.
Inspect your Gear Regularly
Inspect your gear at the start and at the end of every season. After it’s sat for an extended period time, your gear could have damage from storing conditions. It’s best to know this early so you can replace or repair in time for your first adventures!
After a season of use, gear might be more worn out than you anticipated. Checking to see what imperfections your gear has sustained before storage can allow you the opportunity to save up for new gear or appropriately plan to repair it.
Space-saving Hiking Gear Storage Ideas
For those who live in small apartments or simply don’t have a spare room or storage closet to dedicate entirely to hiking gear, you’ll want these space-saving tips!
Use Vertical Space
Stack totes. Utilize closet rods. Find the perfect shelf bins. Create Vertical Space with wall-mounted racks. Mount ceiling hooks. The possibilities are endless!
Capitalizing on wall and ceiling space is the best use of space. Don’t forget to invest in a step stool to get it all down though.
Store Gear Under Your Bed
Self-inflating sleeping pads need to be stored unfolded with their valves open. We find that under our bed is the best location for this item! Under the bed storage doesn’t stop here…
Add storage bins that fit between the two items to make the most of this space. These containers are long and thin making them great for tent poles, trekking and ski poles, and sometimes even camp chairs!
Use Behind-the-Door Organizers
Behind the door organizers aren’t just for shoes. They make great storage for hats, headlamps, and other smaller items.
Behind-the-door basket and shelving storage also create great options for apparel and other mid-sized outdoor gear.
Hang Gear From the Ceiling
Hanging bikes, backpacks, snowshoes, and snowboards from the ceiling saves a lot of floor space. It also leaves some of our most expensive items off the ground, protecting them from potential flooding or animal encounters.
Ceiling storage hooks can be purchased at just about any hardware store and can be used to store a wide variety of items. This is an outdoor gear storage solution for every family’s needs.
Use Clear Bins to Stack Gear in Closets or on Shelves
Clear is all the rage so you know what’s inside without opening it. Unless your clear bin will be sitting in a dark place, we recommend using a dark-colored bin.
Regardless of color, plastic storage bins are perfect for stacking and making the most of your space! Buy bins in varying sizes to account for both larger items and smaller items you need to store.
Do you live in a really small space? If the answer is yes, you might want to rent a storage unit to hold all of your outdoor gear.
Find one close to home, or on the way to the highway, so you can easily access your recreational gear when you need it. Set your storage unit up like a gear closet and enjoy having a space where you can store and work on your equipment without setting up shop in your living room.
Gear Closet Design Tips
A lot of outdoor enthusiasts dream of having the perfect gear closet. I know I’m one of them! If you’re looking to designate a specific area in your home to your gear, there are a few things you should consider.
- How Much Gear Do You Really Have?
Is a hallway closet enough or do you need to set aside a spare room for the best use of space? Knowing how much space you need is the key to selecting the appropriate gear storage area.
The more outdoor hobbies you have, the more space you’ll likely need in your gear closet. You don’t want items scattered throughout your living space. Having everything you need for outdoor recreation in one space is the key to staying organized and tidy!
- What Can You Build Out?
Think of your gear and what would allow easy access and organization. Wall-mounted racks such as shelving, cubbies, overhead storage shelves, and peg boards are popular hiking gear storage ideas. It’s a great way to take full advantage of the space you’re given.
We love wall-mounted racks because they leave plenty of floor space. Large plastic storage containers can slide perfectly under mounted shelving and closet rods to take full advantage of the space provided.
- Organization Area
Consider saving space for a table you can pack on. Whether you’re packing a duffle bag for your car camping weekend or meticulously making weight for a backpacking trip or a duffel for car camping, you’ll cherish this easily accessible organization area.
This is the perfect space for organizing small things before placing them in their appropriate storage bins. Make sure to make the most of all available space by using a collapsable table or creating a storage space under the table as well!
Storing Outdoor Gear Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
The easiest way to make the most of your camping storage ideas is to give it a try, and be willing to adjust down the line when there’s something you don’t like.
There are so many ways to organize your hiking and camping gear. Hiking gear storage ideas include the what, where, and how. What item are looking to store where and how are you going to do it?
We’ve provided a variety of different hiking gear storage ideas and tips so you can easily access your favorite outdoor gear for season after season! Get out easier and more often to a variety of incredible locations. Are there any gear storage ideas you’re just dying to share? Let us know in the comments.
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