As we get ready for cozy nights and more time spent inside, it’s time to properly store your outdoor camping equipment to be ready for next summer!
Whether you live in a manufactured home without a garage, a small apartment or a tiny house, you may have trouble properly storing all of your outdoor gear while also conserving space.
The following are a few tips that I use to keep my largest and most important gear in top shape while also keeping it organized.
Steps for Preparing Equipment for Storage
1. Sleeping bag
If you have a natural or synthetic down sleeping bag, store it uncompressed on a clothes hanger or loosely tossed into a big bag.
When you store it in a stuff sack, moisture, dirt or the natural stickiness of the fill will clump together and compromise the “loft,” aka its fluffiness, and inhibit its ability to trap your body’s warmth.
2. Sleeping Pads
Most of your body heat leaves from the ground, so keeping this item at peak condition will lead to more comfortable nights on the trail or in a deer camp.
Simply inflate your pad all the way and store behind a couch or under the bed. This will keep the internal structure, valves and seams from excessive stress.
3. Camp Stove
Nothing worse could befall your outdoor kitchen setup like a ruined stove. At the end of each camping season, it’s essential to thoroughly clean your stove of grease and food. This will preserve the gas valves, grates and finish of your stove.
Once cleaned, dried and disconnected from the gas, store in a garbage bag or large Ziploc and put it in a plastic bin for a clean cooking surface next spring.
How to Organize
Generally speaking, everything you bring to live outside fits into three categories: cooking, sleeping and the activity you will do while camping.
With that in mind, you can pretty much break everything up into 3 plastic tubs to keep things stored and ready for your next excursion.
I put all “sleep stuff” into one, cooking and food in another and whatever I need for hunting, fishing or anything else in the other.
In your sleep bin, store your sleeping bag and sleeping pad stuff sacks so you remember to grab the from their proper storage areas.
Also include your tent, stakes and any tool you would use to set up camp. I also put my small camp chairs because they involve relaxing, so it’s easy to remember where they are.
In the cooking bin, put a stove, essential utensils, things that can clean your cooking ware and something to hold food that doesn’t need to be in a cooler.
Not only will dust be kept off your equipment,, but you will be so organized that you’ll only need to load three tubs and a cooler next time you head out for adventure.
Where to Store
I use the term “tub” loosely. Though large enough to hold my essential equipment are short and wide, allowing me to fit them under my bed and in the trunk of my wife’s sedan.
If you have more storage space in a closet or a bigger vehicle, use bigger tubs! Otherwise, you will enjoy the simplicity of having exactly what you need and nothing else.