Camping is a fun family activity and can be a whole lot cheaper than paying for expensive hotel accommodation when you go on holiday. But it can also be expensive to buy everything you need for a camping trip, and once you have the gear it can be really hard to store it all properly at home. Since most of us have enough trouble storing things we use everyday, here are some tips for camping gear storage, and how to keep it all in great condition.
Divide and Conquer
Instead of throwing everything together in one big, muddled pile, divide camping gear into different categories. You could, for instance, have a ‘cooking’ category for ovens and utensils and a ‘protection’ category for tents and sleeping bags. Have as many different categories as you need to make sense of your own equipment and its functions.
Once you have your categories, you can stow it into containers with clear labels, making it easier to identify what’s where and to pack up the car for the next adventure.
Clean and Dry Before Storing
After a camping trip, take some time to clean your tent and sleeping bags before putting them away. Tents especially need a good airing and drying out if they’re not to gather mildew in storage. Weather permitting, put it up outside and let it stand until it’s completely dry. Brush off any dirt or dust, and do the same with all the poles or stakes.
Roll up tents rather than folding them. Folding fabrics into sharp creases can cause damage to either the fabric itself or any waterproof coatings. Rolling it up is a gentler way of dealing with it.
If you have spare cupboard space, hang sleeping bags up with your clothes. An alternative is to lay them flat under the bed, although they’re more likely to gather dust under there unless you’re meticulous about shaking and vacuuming. Some sleeping bags come in their own storage sacks. While these are great space savers, remember to take the sleeping bags out and give them a good shake and airing every so often. Leaving them crammed in the sack for months at a time can damage the insulation.
Give all your cooking equipment and utensils a thorough wash at home. Even though you wash things while camping, you probably don’t do as good a job as you would at your own sink. Run suitable items through the dishwasher. Once clean, keep all the small things in sealable containers or bags to keep them dust-free while not in use.
Find Storage Space
With tables and chairs, camp beds, gas cylinders, dishes, cutlery and tools, camping gear can take over your living space. A few sneaky storage places can be found at home, such as behind sofas, under beds, on top of wardrobes, in garages or even with friends. Taking a few tips from the ‘tiny homes’ movement, unusual storage areas can include under kitchen cabinets. There’s lots of unused space down there, and you can replace the kickboards with a hinged or sliding door for easy access.
Ideally, you need a damp-free space that’s easy to get to, where you can keep everything together so nothing gets lost. If you haven’t thought about it before, consider self storage. They’re handy, come in all sizes, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your gear isn’t deteriorating while it’s in store.
There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a camping trip only to find a mouldy tent or rusty utensils. When space is limited at home, getting everything clean and dry, then grouping things in labeled, sealable containers helps to condense the space camping equipment takes up. After that, look for nooks and crannies to stow items in, or keep it all together in a self storage unit.
*This is a collaborative post*