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Organize hiking gear at home

  • Nov 15, 2017

You've planned another hiking trip and simply can't wait. As the day of departure draws nearer, you start shopping for supplies, you break out your PRW3100Y-3, begin planning your route and...looking for your gear. What happened? Well, maybe that last hike took it entirely out of you, and all the necessary items are in a pile where you left them. Boots, still mud-encrusted, backpack sitting there limplly.You hope that you remembered to empty out all the food, and you have no idea where you left your tent. The garage, maybe? Time and time again, it's all too easy to come home, chuck your stuff in a pile and let it be. This fall, take some much-needed time to organize your hiking gear and give it a real home, so it can be ready when  you need it for your next trip. Here are some tips to get it all sorted for good:

Put it away neatly in the garage
Those fortunate enough to have a garage should use some of the space to hang their hiking gear. Outside magazine reminds readers to remember that they do have a car - and to leave space for said vehicle - and seek out vertical storage and wall shelving options. You can either install shelves on the walls yourself, or buy a metal unit to place in a corner - just be sure to measure the space first. If you're lucky enough to have a high ceiling, the source suggested, invest in hanging storage. You can try this method to fit bikes, skis, kayaks and other large items that tend to end up in a heap. That said, if you put your stuff up too high, you won't be able to reach it and it may end up collecting dust. Your gear must always be accessible, so don't rig up any complicated systems or put things so far out of reach that you'd rather not bother getting them out.

Finally, any hiker can pick up some large, rubber storage bins. Theses can be filled thematically, for instance add all cold-weather gear to one bin, all camping items in another and so on. Be sure to label the outside so you know where to take things from, and where to put them back when you're done.

Storage for smaller spaces
Live in the city? Your stuff doesn't have to hang out under your bed or your couch. Spare Foot blog also suggested buying up bins or other plastic containers that can be hidden in closets, or space-saver bags. Once the items are wrapped in the bag, you use a vacuum to suck out all of the air and are left with a flat package. These can easily side under a couch, a bed or at the very bottom of limited closet space. A last resort, the source added, is looking into a storage unit. These can be relatively inexpensive, and will keep your gear safe, try and all in one place. If you have a hiking companion or two, it can be a good idea to share the unit and associated rental costs.

Be smart
If your space is really small, it might be time to downsize. REI advised that avid hikers take a long, honest look at the clothing they wear, for example, and hang it on one side of the closet. The items that are used the most frequently are obviously favored, so separate them from the clothes that are less worn. Go ahead and donate or try and resell these, if the items are for special conditions or purposes.

Items that have been cleaned and are used for hiking only can be stored securely in your hiking backpack, the source noted. While it might not be ideal to keep your boots in your backpack, other items like rope, crampons, extra laces, maps and compasses as well as heavy-duty rain or snow gear can remain there until needed.