If you are poor at organizing camping goods and gears then it is most likely that necessities won’t be found while they are needed most. On the other hand, if you are not good at packing and storing camping items, then you must be ruining the precious space by stacking items in disorienting ways. No matter what, if campaign goods are not stored and organized properly, then it is not going to end well.
Camping is all about living off-grid, away from the crowd, municipal services, and most importantly, with minimal resources. This is why storing and organizing is more important while camping compared to living in the community. When all of your teammates know where to find a particular good without asking someone else, then you can assure that it was packed well.
Camping Storage Ideas
Here are some ideas for storing and organizing camping goods so that you can make the most of your time enjoying nature rather than fishing through piles of bags. Most of the ideas are gathered by my own experience or my camper friends. Some ideas are learned the hard way. Whatever the source is, if you are an amateur and passionate camper, then these ideas will help you out in your upcoming camping.
1. Store on a Budget
Let’s start with a storage solution with the things you already have. The motto of perfectly organized camping goods is to ‘make room for every item and put all the items in their own rooms’. There are tons of the latest campaign goods coming by every day in the market. However, it is not mandatory to use those to store or organize camping goods.
You can repurpose old containers and jars and still can perfectly solve storage problems for short term camping. For example, using tic tac boxes to bring spices, safety pins, bobby pins, rubber bands, and even medicines. This tip is applicable in many ways.
Some campers bring pancake mix in a ketchup bottle, keep broken eggs in a container to make scrambled eggs, use pencil cases to keep silverware, and so on. Just think of space-saving ways of using used containers, boxes, and ziplock bags that make items easily found.
2. Labeling Packs
When every pack and box are labeled, then there is no chance of fishing through all the baggage to find toilet paper rolls. Use a sticker or a permanent marker to name the containers. This way there will not be any item left astray. In fact, all the goods will be packed or stored neatly.
3. Utilize Transparent Containers
There is a reason for using see-through containers. In a big container, where multiple items are packed, finding one thing will be easier without opening the lid. Such as dry food, instant food, and powdery beverages are usually located in one box. If you need the utensils, then by looking at the sides one can tell if it contains any utensils or not. The same goes for spices, emergency kit, toiletries, camping gears, and any other items you can name. If the container is transparent, then storing multiple items in it becomes convenient.
4. Use Collapsible Items
Invest in a collapsible trash can, bucket, chair, tables, and stools if you can. I am mentioning these names as these are most commonly used in camping and are also easily found. In a word, invest in camping gear that is collapsible and multipurpose. This design just makes things more space-saving and travel friendly.
5. Racks and Organisers
These are not mandatory for backpacking, but using organizers is a clever choice to store camping goods and gears neatly. Using a fabric shoe organizer hanger is convenient to arrange kitchen wares and food items close to the stove. In-car camping, using organizers just allows more product to accommodate in small spaces.
6. Hacks for Car Camping
If you are an RV truck camper, then this tip will make you smile for sure. Try to use the vertical space of the vehicle as the floor space is limited for circulation. Using pegboard, wall shelves, hanging organizers, and magnetic hooks and strips are handy to store regular items. The vertical space of the car can be used in many ways so that you can accommodate more items even in the congested space.
7. Hacks for Backpacking
Storing is the most challenging for hikers and backpackers. As you are given an extremely limited space to store necessities, there is not much that can be done to organize it. This is how I used to think once. However, if smartly packed, then a backpack can be more useful than it seems.
Make sure to use all the pockets of your backpack. Keep emergency items like a flashlight, torchlight, whistle, compass, GPS, water pot in a fanny pack and carry it everywhere you go. Learn to roll clothes, not fold them. Rolled clothes take less space and are easily found.
8. Use Separate Bags for Partners
Family campers prefer loading all the clothes in one bag. This is a grave mistake as the whole bag is ruined when you can’t find the other pair of socks. So, use duffle bags instead of a big suitcase and label the owner’s name on the bag. Let the kids learn how to deal with their belongings even in the camp.
9. Priority Based Packing
Always pack depending on the priority. Those goods we need often should be easily accessible and found. So, medication kit, emergency kit, toilet supply bag, snack items should be kept on top of their dedicated containers. Over time you will also find the items that you carry to the camp but never use. Do a favor and eliminate the names of those items from your list. You will be relieved at how much space those goods were taking in the bag for no reason.
10. Save Space to Save Time
Always pay attention to pack light. When you carry fewer items at the campsite, there will be less hassle of storing those. Bring clotheslines to hang used or washed clothes rather than bringing loads of clothes. Needless to mention, the fewer clothes you own the less time you will spend to wash, dry, and fold them. On the other hand, the clothesline is a handy item to air out shoes, dry out washed clothes and wet towels, and even hang gears and food that you want to save from critters.
11. Prepare Emergency Kit
Emergency kits are those items that we use on an emergency basis. Make separate bags or boxes for medical dispensers, toilet use, and rescue items.
- Medicines to relieve headache, toothache, pain killer, gastric, tummy ache, burns, cuts and scrapes, and so on are must-haves.
- Toilet paper rolls should be kept in a coffee tin to keep it dry and clean. Soap, handwash, towel, detergent, toothbrush, etc should be stored in this bag. So that anytime anyone can grab and go taking this bag when nature calls.
- Compass, flashlight, headlamp, knives, match sticks, ropes, etc items should be kept in a box. If you are traveling far from the camping ground, always carry this kit with you.
12. Storing Utensils and Food
It is better to use different coolers for storing food and beverages. Beverage and food require different temperatures to stay edible for a certain duration.
- Using two coolers just makes the process controlled.
- If you are using a single cooler for food and drink, then the drinks should be stored on the bottom and food should be stored on the upper side.
- Use iced bottle water instead of ice cubes. There will be fewer drippings at the bottom.
- Use small dispensers of salt, pepper, and other spices rather than large containers. Always overbuy food items for camping. Prefer choosing ready-made food; if anything goes wrong then those will be enough to save a life.
- If you are a solo camper, then there is no point in bringing multiple utensils at the camping. If you can grow the habit of eating directly from the pan, then there will be no need to carry bowls and plates.
13. Separate Camping Goods from Household Goods
Avid campers should use an extra set of gears for camping only. There is no harm in using gears we use at home in the camp, like kitchenware, electric lamps, batteries and so on. But using separate gears for camping helps you to stay prepared for the trip ahead of time. Storing camping goods becomes less fussy when all the items are already packed. All you need to do is, make a list and tick marks on the items you would like to bring.
14. How to Store Camping Items at Home
Storing campaign gear at home in an organized way helps to make you prepare for the upcoming trips. It also helps to keep the goods and gears in a good condition for a longer time. Here are some tips to store and organise camping goods at home.
- Always clean and dry camping goods before storing them. Clean the tent, poles, trash can, and every other item from dust and dirt. Then leave them in the backyard to dry and then store these in dedicated separate bags. Otherwise, all these items will form molds before the next camping trip.
- Turn off the electronic items and remove batteries before storing these. Left in batteries will leak and ruin the device altogether.
- Scrub the utensils off from oil build-up and food stains. Wipe them clean and store them in ziplock or plastic bags. Even bugs cannot enter those pots when they are stored at home.
- Air out sleeping bags, hammocks, and boots before storing if washing is not possible at that time.
If you look around then you will find even more effective ways to store and organize camping goods. The main rule of staying organized throughout the camping duration is, return the item to its dedicated place as soon as you are finished with it. If all the members of the camp can follow this rule then there will be no issues regarding mismanagement or poorly organizing camping items.
Lastly, I want to add that staying organized is not only important for camping, but for office, home and in every other place. If you can master this skill, your life will get better eventually. Follow my ideas and have blissful camping next time.