How to Organise Your Outdoors Kit
If you’re a keen walker, runner camper or mountain biker then you’ll probably have some sort of kit bloat. Partake in all of these, and you begin to have a problem! This doesn’t even touch the storage of photography kit!
Cull. This is the most obvious method, but can you really face parting with all that kit? You could of course sell them on eBay in order to fund your out of control gear habit.
Seasonal kit. Can’t cut down? Just put less used kit away for the season. Warmer kit can be stored for the winter, as can the large gloves and true winter hardware like axes, crampons and shovels. That’s the only good thing about Spring’s last snow. While in winter the lighter clothes won’t be needed and can be stored, as can those summer tents and sleeping bags.
Vacuum bags are useful for storing lesser used kit, or stuff that’s out of season, especially if you not 100% confident of the storage area and keeping kit damp free.
Make room make room. Convert a loft or garage, even sheds if done properly. Sheds or garage probably the most practical option if you’ve got bikes. It will have to be dry, as damp will do your kit no good at all.
Location is important, but while you may argue you don’t want to carry muddy boots to the attic, you probably shouldn’t be storing any kit in such a state that it’s too mucky to bring through the house. Any that are in constant use will obviously need somewhere more utilitarian to keep when not in use.
Clever storage. Drawers, stacking boxes, loads of stuff from Ikea. Of course, you’ll need somewhere to put it, but really clever storage will make better use of current underutilised spaces. Plastic drawers are an inexpensive way of storing kit, just make sure the drawers are large enough to hold a pair of boots or a couple of pairs of trainers. Cat – optional.
Camping food can be problematic, with the ideal solution being a kitchen cupboard solely for that purpose. Failing that, you’ll have to try and integrate it into your general kit store, remembering that food may not be keen on extremes of temperature and certainly no dampness. Fuel is likewise a pain. Spillable fuel needs keeping in the shed if you’ve got one, but definitely out of harm’s way. Gas is easier, but still probably safer out of the house if possible, though I store mine in a dry cupboard.
Move house. Or at least consider it as an important factor in a new property if possible. I’m lucky enough to have a small kit room in the loft – which is absolutely essential!
Pay for storage.. If you’re a terminal hoarder, this may be an option. But pricey at anything from £60 upwards, and I’ve just realised where my cycling helmet’s got to.