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Spring Cleaning Project: #GearClosetChallenge

Posted by Loren D at Apr 07, 2020 10:30 AM |
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Spring is a great time to take stock of gear, to mend rips and attend to the general chaos that is your hiking and camping gear. Use these tips and share your results with the hiking community.

Spring is a great time to take stock of your hiking gear, to mend rips, air out tents and attend to the general chaos that is your camping bin. And if being at home a bit more this spring has you restless, then a gear organization overhaul is a great way to channel your hiking energy.

Backpacking storage bin
After a hiking season, the inside of your bins might require a good spring clean, too. Show us your before and after.

Use some of tips below this week, and then show us what you accomplished.  

Most of us don't have a whole closet to devote to outdoor gear, so show us your progress reports on organizing an outdoor bin or backpack hook set-up. Use the challenge to repair a beloved fleece? We want to see that, too. We especially love stories of reuse and repair, using what you've got to make do.

Tips & Resources

Think of organizing as pre-packing. Use these great tips to get ready for your next hike really, really early

Contain the chaos. If your living space is small, chances are you don't have a whole closet to devote to storage. No worries. Just try to contain the chaos in a way that will make it easy to find when it's time to hit the trails again. Pack everything inside a bin or repurposed box. Hang a net or hammock high and stash everything out of the way. Put up a panel of plywood, add hooks, and hang your kit on a wall. 

Store like things together. If you mostly day hike, keep your boots inside a bag in your backpack with your ten essentials. If you backpack and car camp, consider splitting up your gear, so you don't need to root through your cast iron for your lightweight pots. Have extra Via coffee packets or dehydrated meals left over at the end of the fall? Start a backpacking food bin. It might just double as an emergency food stash if you need to, um, shelter in place for a while.

Repair and restore as you go. You can use this chance to revive your rain gear or patch holes and repair zippers.

Make things easy to find, and label with your needs in mind. Trying to create a system that will last? Take a tip from the WTA staffer who oversees our WTA Gear Library. "Durable bins are really helpful for organizing," says Andrew Pringle," but the best ones are opaque. Chalkboard tape helps mark bins that might change over time or with the seasons."

Chalkboard tape for bins
(Yes. Chalkboard tape exists. And it is magic.)

Take the challenge and share your Tips & results

We're hoping to share inspiration and advice from the community to help fellow hikers finally tackle those oft-forgotten gear closets (or walls or nooks). Share your completed space or project with us on Instagram by tagging your photo with #washingtontrails and #gearclosetchallenge and we might feature it in an upcoming blog!

gear library gear.jpg
Keeping WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training gear library organized has been essential to the process of lending out the gear that community organizations and educators need. WTA's library has been a key part of making 10,000 outdoor experiences possible. So, we trust their organization systems.