How To Store Camping Gear (In 6 Easy Steps)

QUICK ANSWER: How To Store Camping Gear

The best way to store camping gear is to give your tent and other equipment the respect it deserves ​with their own designated storage space.

No comprises here, guys – avoid clutter and confusion by keeping everyday items away. Think of this as your own special shrine to the outdoors – a place for inspiration and reflection on previous adventures.

Next, separate everything into categories such as clothing and footwear, shelter, cookware, electronics etc. This will make everything easier to find when you need to grab something fast.

Then, use storage containers to systematically pack your gear, placing bulkier items at the bottom in the same way you would your backpack. Grab a marker pen and label each container so you don’t have to double check which items are where. That’s it, you’re done.

But wait – there’s more!

Check out our full guide below on how to store camping gear in 6 easy steps. We go into detail on exactly what to do before and after your trip, and reveal our favourite camping gear storage ideas and tips – including some very useful hacks for storing camping gear in an apartment.  

how to store camping gear

​Part 1: Before You Go

As you start to build your camping gear collection in anticipation of your many trips to come, you’ll see that things pile up pretty quickly. No need to worry. Just whip your collection into shape with patience and organization. Follow these steps to foster a practical storage system:

Step 1: Designate Your Camping Storage Space

If you’ve gone camping before, then you know that one of the most stressful parts of the process can be packing. You can spend hours looking for each piece of equipment you need. Perhaps you’ve collected your camping gear over a long period of time, but have yet to establish a special storage spot. Storing camping gear items in different ​places throughout your home is not the best long-term solution.

Take stock of your home and decide what chunks of space you can dedicate solely to storing your camping gear. Whether it’s a closet, a dresser, a section of your garage, having a designated space to keep all of your camping gear, will make both the packing and unpacking processes a breeze.

Ease of accessibility is an important factor to consider when choosing your designated camping gear storage location. Ask yourself how times per year will you go camping, realistically. If camping is a regular part of your lifestyle, you’ll want your gear to be super easy to access when trips roll around. Even if you only camp once or twice a year, try to choose a spot that isn’t difficult to reach.

organizing camping gear at home

Step 2: Break Camping Gear Into Categories

Your camping gear collection is sure to contain a wide variety of items that range in size, shape, and even flammability level. These are details that can act as guidelines for how you store your gear.

For safety’s sake, take some time to identify any items that are highly flammable and set them aside for specific storage conditions. Once you’ve set your flammable items aside, move on to the rest of your gear.

One practical way to categorize your gear is by function. Depending on the size of your collection, you may have many groups. Some basic categories to start with include:

  • Shelter: this category can include items such as your tent, sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows.
  • Clothing and Footwear: you can organize camping clothing and hiking boots by season, style, or purpose.
  • Cookware: you may be able to store certain cookware items within others, such as smaller plates and bowls in a larger pot.
  • First Aid: check the dates on all first aid gear before packing it away. If you have items that will expire before your next camping trip, just keep them out and use them for daily needs.
  • Electronics: this group will contain gear such as flashlights, headlights, GPS devices, radios, and rechargeable batteries. If you use standard batteries, be sure to recycle them properly.
camping gear storage ideas

Step 3: Lay Out Storage Containers

Once your gear is organized into categories ready to be packed away, bring out your storage containers. It’s helpful to lay them all out in a way that you can see exactly what you’re working with. This allows you to strategize more efficiently about what gear should go where.

This is also a good opportunity to evaluate whether you need to go out and pick up any extra storage containers.

Step 4: Systematically Pack Gear

With your storage containers in front of you and your gear organized, you can start to pack everything away until its next use. This step requires patience in order to produce optimal results.

You can maximize space and pack logically if you simply take some time to look at the items within each category and notice their shape, size, and purpose. Rather than just trying to fit everything into a container, think about the packing process you follow for camping trips.

Store your gear in a way that packing for your next trip will be streamlined.

Step 5: Label Everything

This may seem like going a bit overboard, but it will change your packing and unpacking experiences. Whether you have a labeling machine or stickers and a pen, bring them out. Label each storage container as it gets pack to prevent any confusion.

You can write a general description or list each item within a container. Just think of how quickly you’ll be able to find things for your next trip!

Step 6: Move to Final Location

After you’ve finished packing everything away into labeled storage containers, it will be time to move your gear to its final storage location. If you through the strategizing was finished, think again.

Be purposeful with how you store the containers. Again, keep your packing process in mind. What is the first category of gear that you pack for a trip? You want that storage container to be the first within your reach.

Part 2: After Your Trip

When your trip rolls to an end and you make your way back to the daily grind, you’ll need to start thinking about organizing camping gear at home. The way you go about this is up to you. You can use a collection of camping gear storage containers or get creative and make your own system.

Walking into your home for the first time after a trip can feel overwhelming. All you want to do is relax and readjust to home life but you have your camping gear to think about.

You could just leave it in the middle of the floor and hope it unpacks itself, but taking a proactive approach might produce a better outcome. Don’t panic. The process of unpacking can be smooth and stress-free if you just follow a few simple steps.

Step 1: Unpack Your Bags

After you’ve allowed your body to rest and absorb the change of scenery, get to unpacking. The longer you leave it, the more annoying the task will feel! Dig in and get it over with.

As you unpack your bags, keep your storage categorization in mind. How have you organized your storage containers? Make piles with items according to those groups.

Step 2: Evaluate State of Gear

When you’ve unpacked everything and put it into organized piles, choose a pile to start with. Go through all of your gear and check what state it’s in. Get rid of any trash or old batteries. If you find broken equipment, decide whether it’s worth attempting to repair. You can make a new pile for repairs.

Make sure to check all of your electronics and remove the batteries. If batteries are left in, they may corrode or leak while in storage and damage your gear.

Step 3: Clean and Dry Your Equipment

The next step in the process is to clean and dry all of your gear. Take your time here. There is no need to do this all in one day. It’s a task that can be done in small bursts. When it comes to cleaning, this is what you’re looking at:

  • Clothes and Footwear
  • Tents and Sleeping Bags
  • Bedding
  • Cookware
  • Tools
  • Water Filters

Since you’ve already arranged your gear in groupings, an easy way to approach cleaning is pile by pile. Plan loads of laundry and start soaking pots and pans.

Cleaning and drying your equipment is a critical step before putting everything away until your next trip. If any of your equipment is left damp when you pack it away, you risk the development of mold or mildew. Dirty or damp equipment can even attract unwanted pests!

One piece of equipment that you’ll definitely want to clean properly is your tent. The process is just a few steps but the importance lies in following them carefully. Keep in mind that you should not wash your tent with standard detergent. It’s best to invest in a non-detergent product. You can find them at shops that sell camping gear.

Water filters are also important to clean well if you plan on using them again. Refer to the instruction manual for your specific filter before cleaning. Disinfect the filter thoroughly along with all hoses and caps. Generally, using a cleaning solution of regular, unscented bleach in water suffices.

Step 4: Prepare for Storage

When all of your gear has been evaluated for damage, cleaned, and fully dried, you can start packing it all away. Bring out your storage bins and start packing things by your designated groups. If your storage containers are not already labeled, this is a good time to do i​t.

There are two main ways to store your tent and sleeping bags. You can use hangers and make space in a closet area, or you can roll them up for storage in a container or under your bed.

The choice is yours and should be made based on the storage space you’re working with. One thing to keep in mind is that folding tents can crease and damage their waterproof coating - so, roll your tent and keep it in a cotton sack for safekeeping.

Remember to put everything back into the storage containers in a strategic way. It’s for your own good and an easy packing process in the future.

Don’t forget to use your backpack as an extra storage container.

storing camping gear in apartment

Step 5: Everything In Its Place

After you’ve packed everything into storage containers, it will be time to put it all away until your next trip. Consider the season of your next trip when you’re storing containers. If you’ll be heading camping in the summer, make sure your summer camping gear is easily within your reach.

You never know when you might come across another piece of camping gear that you would love to add to your collection. Plan ahead and keep an extra storage container in your designated camping gear area for any additions to your collection.

​Part 3: Camping Gear Storage Ideas

Storage is somewhat of an art. You have full control over how you want to go about storing your camping gear. Well your artistic flair may be telling you to wing it, brainstorming your storage plan ahead of time will probably be more efficient. Check out a few ways you can enhance your camping gear storage:

  • Transportable Storage - you can make your camping trips and packing process super simple by using storage containers that double as packing containers. Think along the lines of heavy duty plastic bins with tight lids and canvas or nylon bags with zippers.
  • Clear Plastic Bins - clear bins are an ideal way to store camping gear at home because they allow you to see exactly what you’ve put inside.
  • Small Containers - don’t underestimate the convenience of storing smaller items in compact containers like zip bags. You can keep them in larger containers while keeping your small items under control and labelled by category.
  • Closets and Under the Bed - while the garage may be one of the first places that comes to mind for camping gear storage, utilizing closets and space under the bed can be more practical. The gear will stay out of your way and be easily accessible for your next trip.

​Part 4: Storing Camping Gear In An Apartment

Being an avid camper means having a lot of gear, right? If you live in an apartment, storage can become a major challenge. Here are a few helpful tips to get the most out of your apartment camping gear storage:

  • Keep Only What You Need - it’s easy to accumulate a large camping gear collection over the years. Be honest and figure out what items you actually use each time you camp. When it comes to clothes and footwear, hang on to your essentials and donate the rest.
  • Use All Available Space - don’t forget that your camping backpack can serve as a roomy and practical storage space. Fill your backpack with items that you will pack there for your next trip anyway. Talk about saving time and space!
  • Embrace Hangers - use hangers to store your sleeping bags, sheets, blankets, and clothes of course. You can even invest in special hanging containers for camping footwear.
  • Repurpose Curtain Rods - if you run out of space in your closet, insert another curtain rod and create more storage capacity!

​Trail End

​​We think you’ll agree that’s there’s more to camping gear storage than meets the eye. If your gear is dirty and simply chucked into an old cardboard box in the garage, then you’re less likely to want to go camping again next time. And that’s just sad!  

Plus, taking good care of your gear is a great way to save money long term. So leave a quick comment and let everyone know how to store camping gear your way. =ZIP=

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