Spring Clean Your Gear Closet

Outdoor gear pegboardSpring is here! The birds are chirping, the air is sweet, and it’s time to clean out your gear closet. It’s probably been a year, or five, since you’ve taken the time to go through your gear closet and make sure that everything is easy to find and in working order. Spring is the perfect time of year to check the condition of your equipment and do a little organization.

It’s a good idea to keep all of your equipment organized. By taking a day to put things in place, you can save time on finding gear in the future.  If you’re the type to simply throw your equipment in a closet after an outing, you know just how hard it can be to find gear. However, with time and effort, you make sure that you always know where your gear is.

While you’re taking the time to clean and organize your gear closet, make sure you examine all of your equipment. Give everything a thorough look-over, and find anything that needs to be cleaned, repaired or replaced. Maybe your tent footprint needs to be washed, or your rain jacket needs new seam tape, or your camp chair is literally on its last leg. Make a list of what needs fixing. If you can’t fix everything at once – due to time or money – prioritize the list, putting the most important things at the top.

The best way to set up your gear closet is to take everything out. Pull everything out, and clean up all the dirt, dust, chalk, grime, or whatever, so you have a spotless and empty closet. That’s your blank slate, and now you can start organizing your gear.

Group like things. This is a fundamental of organizing. How you group items will depend on how much gear you have. If your gear closet is fairly modest you might be able to group things into broad categories like camping equipment and climbing equipment. However if you’ve got more of a gear room than a gear closet, you might need more specific categories. You might want to break down camping equipment into firestarters, kitchen, furniture, first aid, etc.

When it comes to organizing a gear closet, hanging things is key. Install a pegboard to hang packs and climbing gear. Quickdraws and slings don’t store well in a pile, and packs take up a ton of room if they’re on the ground. Hanging your gear is a good use of space, and it’s a great way to keep tabs on all of your equipment.

Bins can help keep like gear together, however you have to be careful when using bins. Avoid getting huge bins that can hold tons of stuff. Since they can hold a bunch of junk, they end up holding a bunch of junk, and you can lose equipment at the bottom.

Shelves are also great for organization. Like pegboards, shelves keep equipment off the ground and in plain sight. This keeps you from losing or forgetting about gear that you don’t use regularly.

If you take the time to organize your gear closet, make a point to keep it organized. Keeping equipment in order will cut down on the time it takes to pack for a trip, and will help keep you from forgetting gear at home.

2 Comments

  1. […] your gear organized when putting it into storage. By keeping your equipment categorized and tidy, you can easily find […]

  2. […] Again, this is something that’s important to do, but bluebird skies can keep this from happening. Next time there’s a downpour, spend the day cleaning and organizing your camping equipment and outdoor gear. Air out your sleeping bags, hang up your packs, and make sure that everything is in place. Here are some tips for organizing outdoor gear. […]

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