How To Organise & Store Your Outdoor Gear
While it may not come naturally to many of us, proper gear organisation can make it quicker, easier and less stressful to pack for our adventures, no matter how long they are. However, it’s also important to make sure our kit is stored properly, this will ensure kit lasts longer and is still fit for purpose when it does come to be used.
We have put together some handy tips for storing your gear properly and in a Pinterest-worthy organised fashion so you can make the most out of those last-minute plans.
Before You Store Your Kit
Before you store anything, be it climbing hardware or your waterproof jacket collection, it is important to make sure it is clean and dry. It doesn’t have to be ‘fresh out the machine’ clean but it should have any excess dirt brushed or wiped off and it should definitely be dry.
Storing any type of kit when it is damp or really dirty can cause mould and mildew and thus your kit will deteriorate quicker. In many cases with soft goods such as ropes, tents and even harnesses it can massively reduce the lifespan and deem them unsafe to use very quickly. Prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays from direct sunlight can also be fatal to your kit. See our product care guides for more information.
By utilising a simple peg board, attached to the wall or maybe inside a wardrobe, you can hang your climbing gear on simple pegs. For heavier items such as ropes you can create a peg shelf along the bottom length of your board, lighter items such as your helmet can sit on a single peg, while your harness and backpack(s) can hang off pegs at the very bottom of the board so as not to cover too many peg holes further up.
Nuts, cams and quickdraws can be organised in size order, not only is it visually glorious, but this will also help you see where the gaps are in your rack so you can invest wisely on your next trip to one of our stores.
As the pegs can be moved around, you can switch it up however you choose: you may not use all the pegs or you may need to add more as your kit grows, either way, it is a great, wallet-friendly, storage solution for your climbing gear.
Top Tip: If you want to hang your stinky climbing shoes on there too, invest in some Boot Bananas to help ease the stench.
Another kit intensive sport but with more pieces of technical clothing that you might want to keep separate from your everyday casual clothing.
For storing your mountaineering kit a clothing rail might come in useful, whether exposed to the room or inside a wardrobe. This way you can hang your waterproof outer layers as well as your insulation and base layers without them becoming squashed or suffering undue snags when getting your everyday clothing out.
With the addition of fabric shelving down the side, you can store accessories such as your helmet, hats, gloves and footwear while an old, retired, dyneema daisy chain could come in handy for storing hardware such as your ice axes, carabiners and belay devices.
Top Tip: If you are handy with a needle and thread you could sew the daisy chain in sections down the outside of the fabric shelves, this will ensure a more secure solution when moving things in and out of the space.
Camping equipment can be bulky and heavy and can vary wildly in size and weight. Wherever you chose to store this you’ll need a set of sturdy shelves. If you have a large or heavy tent, or even multiple tents, it might be worth looking into a shelving unit that allows you to store the tent on the floor while the unit sits over the top. This way you don’t run the risk of your tent(s) being too heavy and breaking the bottom shelf, it also means you don’t always have to lift it on or off the shelves; larger family tents are sometimes supplied in roller bags, allowing you to safely roll the bag rather than lift.
Smaller camping items such as kitchen supplies, torches and other accessories can be stored in storage boxes on the shelves. Whether you opt for plastic storage boxes or a more decorative option it’s up to you, whichever you choose will offer you the style of drawers with the convenience of being able to pull them out and organise them as you so wish.
Top Tip: Sleeping bags and self-inflating camping mats should be stored out of their compression sacks, a great place for them is on the top shelf or a high shelf, this will reduce the chance of them being squished by other things you might be tempted to stack them with but also means you don’t lose anything to the back of that shelf
Storing your ski equipment can be tricky mostly due to the nature of the skis themselves.
You’ll want to give your skis a quick clean before you store them to help maintain their performance and have them ready to go when it starts to snow. Clean off any dirt and grit with a damp cloth (use a citrus or natural-based cleaner for stubborn grime) before towel drying. Pay attention to drying the skis as this helps to prevent rust.
Give the edges a gentle sharpen removing burrs and any existing rust. After this you're ready to put a storage wax on. Apply a thick layer of any ski wax making sure to cover the edges. This seals them up, preventing oxidation and rust. Finally, you’re going to want to loosen off the din setting on your bindings a little bit but not fully, to take the pressure of the springs.
When storing your skis put them in a temperate, dry place such as at the back of a wardrobe or under the bed rather than in the loft or garage. This helps to prevent rust forming and damp getting into the wood core (damaging performance). Try not to put anything on top of them as this can put unwanted pressure which may affect the camber. On a similar note don’t hang your skis from the tips between two pegs on a wall, it may look cool but it puts unnecessary flex on the ski. It’s fine to store ski poles wherever you want; for ease it’s probably best to store them next to your skis.
For ski boots ensure you close the clasps when not in use, as this will help to maintain the shape of the shell and keep the boots comfy and responsive. Again keep them in a temperate place that doesn’t put excess heat or cold on the plastics. Boot bananas will help remove any excess moisture and keep them smelling fresh.
Top Tip: Purchase a ski tie or get a couple of elastic bands and place them over your skis. This makes moving them around easier and stops the bases rubbing together and scratching.
Follow the same maintenance steps as skis for your snowboard but remember to remove your bindings before you do any waxing.
Basic hiking kit doesn’t consist of a huge amount of specialist gear, mostly just boots, waterproofs and a backpack. But chances are if you are here, you’ll have all the little accessories that make life out on the hill easier too; things like a storm shelters, first aid kits and maps in abundance comes to mind.
If you don't have any spare shelves, use a small section of the clothing rail in your wardrobe, a wallet-friendly set of fabric shelves to one side will offer you a tidy space to stash your walking clothes separately from your everyday wear. With just four shelves you can have a shelf for trousers, a shelf for tops, a shelf for your accessories and a shelf for maps. Hang your waterproofs next to it and stash your footwear in a boot bag underneath, if you have walking poles a small carabiner can be used to clip these to the rail.
Top Tip: If you can find a boot bag with a separate accessories pocket, this is perfect for keeping your boot cleaning products together with your boots but out of the way.
Similar to hiking, trail running kit consists mostly of soft goods such as clothing and footwear. However, if you are a regular and/or long-distance trail runner you may be wary that your kit, particularly footwear, holds a certain aroma even after you have washed it. For this, I would suggest sealable, plastic storage boxes. This will ensure any lingering scent remains inside the box and doesn’t affect the rest of the storage area. This method will also allow you to keep your training kit separate from your race day kit which might include more hardware such as poles and navigation equipment.
Top tip: When washing your sports clothing, turn it inside out, this makes it easier for the detergent to reach the areas where skin cells and bacteria build up the most for proper cleaning. You may wish to pre-soak anything particularly smelly in a baking soda and water solution.
About the Author:
Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert
Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.