Adventure Mom: How To Plan A Family Camping Trip- Gear Organization
Now that you’ve purchased all the gear necessary for your family camping trip, it’s time to get organized! If you’re a type A person, this may be like Christmas for you. But don’t get lost in the Target storage aisle just yet! Believe it or not, there is some planning involved before you start organizing!
Lay It All Out
Take your shiny new gear and lay it all out on the living room floor. This is a great way to visualize what you have and how much space you will need to store it. Look at your gear, what needs extra protection while in storage? A good rule of thumb is anything made of fabric needs to be stored in a plastic, waterproof, critter-proof tote. You don’t want to open your almost-new sleeping bag next season to find it full of critters or find it moldy from being exposed to moisture!
Keep It All Together
Now that you’ve got your big camping items, it’s important to keep everything (big and small) together in one place. If you have space in your garage, clear out one corner and dedicate it as a camping corner. You can simply stack your plastic bins on top of each other, or if you want to keep your gear off the ground, purchase a small storage closet or some metal shelving racks. Keeping your bins organized in a storage closet or something similar will also help you access your gear more easily without having to move boxes around. Some hiking, camping and backpacking enthusiasts even dedicate one room of their house to their gear storage. It’s basically like a craft room for outdoorsmen, so it really isn’t that absurd! Obviously, not everyone can do this, but it could be an option if you live in an apartment with no garage. Store everything based on its relevance to each other. For example, keep your hiking packs together in one bin and your cooking and eating utensils together in a different bin. This is not only a matter of organization and easy accessibility, but you wouldn’t want your backpack to smell like a yummy hot dog dinner, would you? Even if you can’t smell it, animals can, and the last thing you want to smell like in the backcountry is a juicy hot dog. Start by grouping relevant items together in piles to estimate the size and number of storage bins you might need.
Only Store Gear That Is Clean And Dry
When you come back from your adventure, your gear is probably going to be dirty. Your gear will last longer if you clean it off before you store it. Be sure you follow all cleaning instructions on your various adventure items. Some items may need special care. When storing big items like tents, sleeping bags and packs, check that all items are completely dry before storing them. Tents get forgotten about because they get packed up right away. Tents, however, endure a lot of moisture both on the inside and outside. After returning home from your trip, hang the tent to dry. Wash packs in warm soapy water and hang upside down until dry in every pocket and on every padded strap. These can take a few days to dry, but be patient and never put your pack in the dryer.
Cleaning, drying and properly storing your gear will ensure it remains functional for its lifetime. It will also save you from slipping into a musty smelling sleeping bag or setting up your tent only to find out its molded since the last time you used it. Make sure your investment lives a full life and take great care of your gear!
Featured Image PC: Washington Trails AssociationWritten by Lindsay Helm