There’s nothing like getting outdoors after a long week of work. Your tent, sleeping bag, and gear are all set up in your camping spot. Life is good. But in order to have more of these pristine moments and trips, you need to take the necessary steps to preserve your camping gear. These helpful camping gear storage tips and tricks when you get back from your adventures can keep you organized and ready to explore the great outdoors anytime.
Storing Your Camping Gear & Keeping It Clean
Cleaning your camping gear is essential in extending its life. As gear can get expensive, it’s important to keep it in top shape when you get back from your camping trip. You don’t want to find dust or mold the next time you open up your tent or sleeping bag during your next excursion. Therefore, take time to understand these cleaning and camping organization tips:
There’s probably plenty of sweat and odors in your sleeping bag, so you want to wash and air it out before placing it in storage. You can throw it in the washer using a non-detergent soap and then dry on a low setting. Be sure to also check the manufacturer's label on the bag to see if there are any specific instructions.
Hang your sleeping bag instead of rolling it up. Though rolling it up might seem like an efficient way to save space, stuffing your sleeping bag into its sack messes with the insulation. So be sure to hang this up in your closet or garage.
Brush off any sand or dirt from your tent. Never machine-wash or dry your tent, as it can tear the fabric. Instead, use a non-abrasive sponge, water, and non-detergent soap to scrub the soiled areas. One of the biggest issues when it comes to tent storage is mildew, so be sure your tent is 100 percent dry before putting it away in storage.
After you’re done cleaning your tent, roll it up—don’t fold it. Folding your tent repeatedly can tear or ruin the fabric. Therefore, roll your tent and put it in a cotton storage sack.
Just because you rinsed your pots, plates, and forks at the campground doesn’t mean you’re done cleaning your utensils. Poorly cleaned utensils can become a breeding ground for bacteria, so give them a good cleaning with warm water and dish detergent when you return home.
If these utensils are part of your everyday kitchen utensils, store them in your kitchen drawers. Otherwise, you can store them in plastic storage bins in a cool and dry place such as your garage.
Let your boots air out and dry after camping/hiking. Then use a stiff shoe brush to remove dirt and a damp cloth to remove any stains. If your boots stink, sprinkle some baking soda inside to alleviate the stench.
After they have completely dried, stuff your boots with a few wads of newspaper to retain their shape. Place them in a dry spot, away from the sun, such as your closet or garage. Excessive exposure to sunlight can fade leather boots.
Launder your camping/hiking clothes in your washer using a gentle detergent and tumble dry. Don’t use liquid fabric softeners on moisture-wicking fabrics. Softeners can remove the wicking features of the fabric.
After you’re done washing your clothes, hang them up in your closet, or fold them neatly in a storage bin or packing cubes. That way, they’ll already be packed and ready to go for your next trip!
Organizing Camping Gear in Your Garage
The garage is a convenient and open space for storage. Especially when organizing camping gear, utilizing garage space can help you neatly stow away your items in a cool, dry spot and easily access them when camping season comes around. Whether you have a small- or large-sized garage, there are useful ways to make the most of your space.
If you have a very small garage or you don’t have much space, it’s important to use the right tools to keep your items packable. Consider incorporating the following:
- Overhead garage storage tools - Since you’re limited on space, setting up overhead garage tools to store your items will be an efficient way to organize all of your gear and save space.
- Backpacks - If you’re stowing away your camping backpacks, why not use them as storage while you’re at it? You can add gear such as your hiking clothes, flashlight, and first aid kit. The best thing about this is that you’ll be prepped and ready to go on your next camping trip.
- Pegboards/hooks - Pegboards are a great way to maximize space in your small garage. They easily allow you to attach hooks and baskets, so you can hang up your sleeping bag, boots, and backpacks. If you don’t have any wall space for a pegboard, you can screw in hooks or baskets.
- Packing cubes - These cubes help you pack down all of your clothes. They’ll already be organized and ready to go while you’re prepping for your next trip.
If you have a medium-sized garage, consider incorporating the following storage items:
If you’re lucky enough that you have a large garage space, you can incorporate all of the above along with overhead garage products. Technology such as Garage Smart’s Universal XL Lifter can also help you efficiently and safely store large gear like your mountain bikes and kayaks. Along with storing all of your basic camping gear on your shelves and in storage bins, overhead garage products will help keep your large gear off the floor.
Incorporating these tent camping organization ideas will help you stay organized, efficient, and on top of your camping game. So when you’re planning your upcoming camping trip, be sure to be mindful of the ways in which you clean and store your gear.