Gear Storage and Organization

1:14 a.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Hope this is posted in correct location. I have been putting together all my clothing and gear as a newbie and have run into a problem. This being STORAGE- ORGANIZTION and where to put all the different gear so i can find it ? My closet looks confused- my chest of drawers the same- and when i am loking for all my graet stuff............well- very difficult to find. So- how about it folks- how do you guys ( gals) do it ? Maybe this isn't a problem for most or I have posted in wrong forum ? That being the case I truly apoligize and ask post be delted.Any suggestions with gear/ clothing organization greatly appreciated !! Thanks !!

10:16 a.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Hi friend!
Looks like you were addressing Bill, then you said "how about it folks", so here goes.
Good question, I can tell you how I do it, although I'm sure it varies widely from person to person.

First, I have a dedicated spot for all my gear, it is divided into 2 categories, backpacking, & car camping and stored on plastic shelving like you get at Lowe's or Wal-mart.

When I return from a trip I unpack and immediately wash my clothes, wash and sanitize my water filter,water bottles, hydro. bladder, cook wear, ect.
I let them dry thoroughly and repack them in their nylon sacks. ( I have all my gear organized into nylon sacks with drawstring)
This way I am ready for the next trip without searching the whole house for stuff, it is all packed back clean, dry and ready to go.

While that stuff is drying I resupply my consumables, first aid kit, batteries, food if on hand, drink mixes, ect.
All that stuff gets packed back ready to go and placed on the shelves.

My tent gets pitched, rinsed, and allowed to dry, inspected, and then packed back, again, placed on the shelves. Lets face it, sometimes you have to pack up and hike out in wet conditions and you can not leave a tent packed that way.

I don't mix my technical clothing with my everyday clothing, it gets folded and stored on the shelves also.

Sleeping bag gets cleaned if needed, and hung up, not crammed back into the stuff sack because this is bad for it's loft, and gives the bag a chance to dry thoroughly, it's also a good idea to flip it inside out.

My boots get cleaned and sealed if needed, laces inspected, ect.

I could go on, but you get the drift.
Within three days all my stuff is clean,dry,packed back,resupplied, and ready to go again. With the exception of making gear changes as needed for the area I'm going to next, or having to order/purchase food, things like that. I keep my stove fuel out side away from the house of course.

I like to be organized and not get that rushed feeling before a trip looking for my favorite socks!
I find that if I don't do this stuff right away it gets put off or not done at all, and that is not good for your gear.
Hope that helps.

11:40 a.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Trouthunter-Thank You!!I appreciate any advice from all as you guys are eons ahead of me for sure.I will look for plastic shelfing and nylon sacks with drawstrings.This board has really helped me in all my new endeavors. On my last trip I had several compliments on my gear selection. I explained that I carefuly read the trailspace website and all reviews and then asked questions. What a wealth of info from a great group of outdoor folks !!You have saved me in many ways-THANK YOU !!

12:45 p.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Hi Friend,

Trouthunter gave you some really excellent advice and I practice a lot of the same ways. We have shelving and also use totes that contain the little stuff like pots, pans, etc, these things are kept together, nothing falls behind a shelf or gets in the wrong pile! The totes can be marked as to what should "go in where" cause lord knows there is different equipment for different occassions. Hope this helps!

1:03 p.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Simple - Get a house with a 2-car or larger garage. Set up shelves and hooks according to the type of gear. Sleeping bags and pads are stored open, with sleeping bags separated by weather condition (group summer bags together, 3-season together, expedition bags together, etc). Stoves are grouped according to fuel type, with fuel supplies in the next rack and cook kits in an adjacent rack. Then when packing, you only need go to the sleeping bag shelves, pick a sleeping bag, a pad, a stove, sufficient fuel bottles or canisters, parkas and fleece, long johns, socks, boots, hats, gloves, etc, and proceed to the packs to pick the appropriate size and stuff it all in.

Leave sufficient space in the center and toward the large door to set up tents being returned from a trip for airing and drying, with hooks for drying and airing sleeping bags along the wall, also near the large door. When you return home, back the car up to the garage and unload into the open area, putting stoves back on the appropriate shelf (refill liquid fuel immediately in preparation for the next week's trip), set tents up to dry, etc. Close the door and proceed to the map room to plan the next trip, being sure to set the GPSRs on their chargers, along with the radios, satphones, etc.

Oh wait, you are a "starving student", living with 3 other "starving students" in a dorm room. Then you and you room-mates just pile everything in the middle of the room or leave it packed in the car so you can jump in after your Friday morning class and head for the hills.

Ok, a bit of tongue in cheek, but in designing our new house, Barb and I added a couple "bedrooms" that will be dedicated to gear and dedicating half the garage to other gear and the tent-drying area (the other half of the garage is for the 7 bicycles and work station for bike tuning - you surely didn't think that any garage in California was actually used for parking a car, did you?).

Trouthunter is way too organized! But it is true that maintaining your gear is vital to keeping it in proper shape for its intended uses. Our architect wanted us to have windows in the garage. But since we do like trouthunter and immediately dump the clothes in the washer (just dump the gear in the garage, strip and put everything in the washer, turn it on, then head for the showers to wash ourselves off), we want to avoid offending our neighbors who might see these filthy, mud-covered nekkid dirtbag climbers through the garage windows.

3:55 p.m. on October 17, 2008 (EDT)
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First of all, you have way too much stuff. :)
Here's what I do. I have a small apartment, but it does have a walk-in closet about 6X7 or so with a high shelf on either side and a clothes rod under each shelf for shirts and jackets, the usual stuff.

I put my packs on one side, along with my sleeping bags that I have packed loosely into one of those big blue Ikea bags (a trade show freebie). On the other side, I have clothes in a big clear plastic tub with a lid, like you'd find at Target or Wal-Mart. I have another one stacked under it with my stoves and other stuff in that one. I also have another box with other stuff I don't use often, but don't want to toss. I then hang my jackets up, put my boots on the floor, a few odds and ends on the shelves and that is that. I can put my pads and tent on one of the shelves. I have my skis in a corner of the little space between my bedroom and bathroom. My plastic sled is tucked behind my couch.

11:29 a.m. on October 18, 2008 (EDT)
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Too Much Stuff ? Is this even possible (lol)? I actually like the idea of taking my extra rooms that the kids moved out of and putting shelves and racks all the way around and using for my new toys !! That way I can tell visitors that I don't have any room and they can sleep outside (-: Thanks everybody for the ideas as they are much appreciated.Friend

12:41 a.m. on October 19, 2008 (EDT)
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Yes, let the guests "test" your tent choice outside. HaHa

My kids are almost out, and we're considering knocking out a couple walls to do away with extra bedrooms so they can't move back in.

It is not possible to have too much stuff!
Especially when you have friends who would rather "try out your gear before they purchase". Yeah, right!

It is also not possible to be too organized, cleaning and repacking your gear helps with the withdrawal symptoms you will feel after a mind blowing trip. Sometimes I sleep with my compass for a couple days after I return, I like how the bezel glows in the dark. My precious. HaHa!

4:28 p.m. on October 21, 2008 (EDT)
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This topic is very timely for us, since we just finished a second floor attic room dedicated to gear. Well, the room is finished, but our gear is in various bins on the floor as we strive to create the "perfect" gear room organization system, an evolving concept I'm sure.

Anyway, we have wire shelves (from the Home Depot) that you can stack two shelves or four shelves high. They line the outside of the room. And then we have lots of plastic bins, some clear, of various sizes. Bins and tubs are the key to our "system." It helps if you can fit a couple in the back of your car too.

We're thinking of organizing stuff together by type (i.e. tents, stoves, cookware, etc...) with spots near the door for the current seasonal hiking or camping set up. That way we won't waste time having to find what we typically head out the door with in say summer, but can easily find subsitutions. We're also considering ways to subcategorize by person though, since we each have preferences for different cookware and the like (now I'm sounding rather obsessive).

We also have several gear lists that I'll probably put near the door as a quick check list.

I think organizing works best when you think about how you search for and use things. It's also important to keep the heavily used, in-season stuff front and center and ready to go. The out-of-season or old gear can be on a back shelf. Also, stuff you use together should be grouped together.

Anyway, as we decide how to organize our gear, we're pulling everything together, organizing it by type (i.e. putting it in a big pile), then making sure it all has a place that makes sense to us.

9:26 a.m. on October 22, 2008 (EDT)
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Alicia- this makes perfect sense to me. We just returned from a long rafting trip and this is what made me start questioning exactly what to do ? It seems the more efficirnt we can be at this- the more we can do ( plain and simple) If we are constantly fumbling around with gear- finding items that were not put away properly.......it surely " almost" makes " going" too much of a hassle.I am new at this so all your ideas are great !! So far I am setting aside rooms- buying totes ( clear and otherwise) and looking at shelfing.Of course I will have to add as I find more activities !! Thanks Again- keep em coming !! ( ideas)

August 21, 2014
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