Try These Camping Storage Ideas And Hacks
These camping storage ideas are designed to keep your gear sufficiently organized. Read them over before packing for your next outdoor adventure!
There are tons of camping ideas that make outdoor adventures more fun. But how about making your trip more efficient and less messy? Camping storage both during and after the trip is limited, so its important to think through what goes where and why.
Its also helpful to take a few extra steps to make sure everything stays fresh and bug-free for your next trip. Have you ever opened up your tent box to find it moldy and missing pieces? Poorly stored camp gear smells funky, deteriorates quickly, and becomes virtually unusable much faster than properly stored equipment.
Do you know what its like to go to bed after a campfire and trip over clutter on your way back to the tent? Unorganized campsites are messy and create more work than necessary.
These camping ideas and hacks will help keep everything in good shape before, during, and after your trip.
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Designed for people who need a versatile box that is easy to keep clean but can still take a pounding. This box can be used in the saltwater environment all year and never go rusty. You can not only tie it down and still get access inside, but you can also take it anywhere without fear of some someone else getting into it. When not out on trips, it can save space by nesting inside other expedition134 boxes.
Storage Containers For Camping Gear
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For example, the needs of someone kayak camping will be vastly different from someone who is car camping with a trailer. Someone in a kayak will have no need for a bulky heavy-duty container to store their gear, rather a more compact watertight container.
The price of the storage container is also another determining factor. As these containers can range in price in the multiple hundreds, choosing one based on your financial needs is also important.
So with that said, the storage containers listed below have been handpicked to suit a variety of camping needs and budgets. Starting with the best of the best containers that are said to be indestructible.
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Roam Adventure Company / The Rugged Case
Overview: If youre looking for tough, purpose-built storage containers, youll want to pay attention to the line of The Rugged Cases by ROAM. Created by fellow overlanders, The Rugged Case is the ideal heavy-duty storage case for camping gear and tools. This premium case features a durable LDPE shell, rope handles, steel lockable latches, and a dust/waterproof gasket seal. This super tough ROAM Rugged Case stacks easily with an interlocking design, making this the perfect choice for storing all your gear.
Capacity: Many sizes availableURL:roamadventureco.com
Free Up Vehicle Space By Mounting Cargo Cases To Your Roof
One small downside to hard-sided cases is that they can take up a lot of space in your vehicle. An easy fix to this problem? Investing in a rooftop cargo carrier that attaches to the top of your vehicle. Simply pack your valuable equipment inside Pelicans weatherproof cargo cases and safely secure the cases to the roof with a vehicle mounting system. This is particularly useful if youre going car camping or if you just want to have more legroom inside your vehicle.
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Best Cargo Bag: Thule Outbound
Less a full-on cargo box and more a super-durable cargo bag, the Thule Outbound delivers 13 cubic feet of storage in a package that weighs only 3.5 pounds. It easily attaches to a cars factory-issued racks or raised rails, removing the costly expense of buying a bar kit.
The Outbound ties to your vehicle with heavy-duty, double-stitched webbing straps, while twin compression straps help secure the load to cause minimal friction and noise while driving. Made of double-coated IP-X2, phthalate-free TPE laminate material thats been certified to be weather resistant, itll provide amply protection from all the elements. A three-sided zipper makes it easy to access, and a storm flap that covers the zipper seams reinforce weather protection.
Locks arent included but theyre not needed, as bags arent as secure as hard plastic boxes, but you can easily remove the Outbound and stash it in your trunk or garage until you need it.
Best Stackable: Idesign + The Spruce 12 X 8
If you want to keep your items organized, but still easy to access, try these stackable containers from The Spruce Organization line. Each of the 12 x 8 x 8-inch containers come with a removable divider to help keep different items separate, and the containers are easily stackable, so you can add a few to your bathroom cabinets, kitchen pantry, or even your craft room for easy storage.
These bins are also compatible with other, smaller storage bins in The Spruce Organization line in case you have lots of cords, buttons, cotton balls, or spices to keep organized. Each bin also has a handle in the front, so while these bins aren’t sealed against outdoor conditions, they’re perfect for indoor use when you need to quickly access what’s inside.
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Best For Storage: Thule Sidekick Cargo Box
If you are looking for a compact cargo carrier, the Sidekick Rooftop Storage Box is a practical solution. Made to meet the needs of travelers who want to avoid larger designs without sacrificing practicality, the cargo carrier is a top solution with its eight cubic-foot capacity. With a length of 48 inches, it will not cover the entire surface of the roof on most mid-sized cars and it also wont create too much wind resistance.
The carrier comes with a self-standing top lid and a simple locking mechanism to keep your belongings safe. It is also durable and it represents a solution that can be used in all seasons. Lightweight at under 20 pounds, many people will easily be able to install it themselves.
How Cargo Carriers Affect Gas Mileage
A roof rack can increase a passenger cars fuel consumption 0%~25% and a passenger trucks consumption and 0%~11.7%
Smaller, more efficient cars, whether gas, hybrid or electric cars, are affected more than big trucks and SUVs. It makes sense for drivers of those vehicles to use cargo boxes, which have the best aerodynamics. The same study also concluded that less than 1% of vehicles with roof racks actually have anything in them at any given time, meaning that carrying around empty roof racks uses about 99 million gallons of gas a year in the United States. So plan ahead to take your roof rack off when youre not using it for a while.
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Best For Camping Gear: Yakima Loadwarrior
Steel rooftop car carriers and car roof racks tend to be exposed to harsher conditions, and it makes sense to buy a high quality one to reduce worries about rust and breakage. Yakima is a premium brand with a lifetime warranty, so you can just install and forget it. This heavy-duty cargo basket is rated for 140 pounds and measures 44 inches long x 39 inches wide x 6.50 inches high. At 25 pounds it weighs more than some other options, but its also one of the best-built rooftop car carriers you can buy.
Carriers like this offer versatility that bags and boxes dont, as they will hold long and tall cargo. Theyre also a great place to strap dirty or wet things that you dont want to put in your trunk. This roof basket is a great option for carrying cargo, but it requires additional straps and cargo nets to make sure your load is secure. If you want even more space but dont want to upgrade to Yakimas huge MegaWarrior, you can even bolt in an 18-inch extension.
Set Up A Hand And Dish Washing Station
Having a designated space for hand and dishwashing is a great way to maintain order at your campsite. If car camping, you can get a 5-gallon water jug with a spigot to put on a picnic table. Keep your soap next to it and use bungee cords to strap a paper towel rack or hand towel holder above it. On the ground beneath the water jug, place a plastic bin to catch your gray water.
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Have A Camping Grab Bag Ready
Getting myself out the door is often the most frustrating part of camping the prep can be overwhelming is everything I need to go camping is stored in different places. This is why Ive taken some time to prepare a camping grab bag. This backpack has everything I would need for a quick, last-minute night out.
For items I dont want to store in the grab bag long-term , I write those down on an index card that I keep in the front pocket of the bag. This way, I have a quick checklist of what to add to the bag before I head out.
Best Bins For The Garage Basement And Attic: Rubbermaid Brute Totes
Best for: Organizing on a budget or large-scale projects.
Why its great: If youve decided that this is the year youll organize your basement and youre looking to stock up on storage, consider Home Depots HDX Tough Storage Totes. They come in eight stackable sizes and theyre cheapyou can buy a dozen HDX totes for the same price as one or two of our more expensive picks. Unlike the super-durable Brute totes, the HDX bins are made with polypropylene, so theyre not as tough in extreme cold temperatures and they break more easily when dropped. But if you live in a mild climate or arent worried about years-long durability we recommend them for garages and basements. We even spotted them in an episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo in a freshly decluttered garage.
Although you could technically use these for closet storage, theyre much bigger than the Iris totes and wont work as well for most indoor spaces. Even the smallest, 12-gallon size is almost three times as big as the smallest Iris. The HDX totes are reliably available in Home Depot storesmany of our other picks are mostly sold onlineso you can see them in person to figure out exactly which sizes you need.
The HDX totes get very strong owner reviews on Home Depots site, with a 4.7-star average across over 17,000 reviews. Common praise for the boxes include that they stack easily, theyre durable, and theyre a good size for the price.
Sizes: 12, 17, 27, 38, 55 gallons
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Label Large Plastic Totes By Gear Type For Post
Keeping gear stored and organized properly even once youre home will lead to easier organization and storage when youre ready to venture out again. Invest in some large plastic totes and use duct tape to label them by gear type. This will make it easy to identify where the gear you need is when you need it. We have one tote labeled winter camping, another labeled camp kitchen/water storage, one labeled shelter, and a couple others. They stack easily on top of each other and fit well in the closet until we need them.
Best For Smaller Loads: Yakima Rocketbox Pro
Courtesy of Amazon
With a length of 58 inches, the Rocketbox Pro wont accommodate skis or snowboard and for the non-skier/snowboarder, thats perfectly fine. Instead, you get storage that ranges from 11 to 12 to 14 cubic feet, with push-button access for secure lid closure and easy access from either side of your vehicle.
The wide design makes it considerably more aerodynamic and assures youll be able to open your hatchback easily. No assembly is required for the box, and easy, tool-free installation from most cross bar kits make it easy to toss the 30-pound box off when not needed.
SKS locks come included, and the matte-black textured finish adds a touch of class to the whole affair. The 12-cubic-foot edition provides enough storage for hauling gear for two campers, ideal for compact SUVs and smaller cars.
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Easiest To Open: Akro
*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.
Best for: Seasonal and long-term clothes storage.
Why its great: The breathable, zippered iWill Create Pro Storage Box with Zipper Lid is a simple, inexpensive way to store and protect clothes. Its perfect for garments that need airflow, like wool sweaters . We also like the iWill for items like scarves and beltsaccessories you dont use every day but still want ready access to. We tested three cloth storage containers and the iWills zippered top and structured sides made it the easiest to use. Retrieving items was much less frustrating than with the smaller and more expensive front-loading Container Store Sweater Box, which had to be completely emptied to pull out one thing. We also tried the Sorbus Foldable Bags but they were so floppy that filling them was a challengethe iWills rigid sides were much easier to pack.
The Iris Weathertight Totes we recommend will also work in your clothes closet and theyre clear, so you can see whats inside, but we prefer the iWills zippered closure to the Iriss heavy latches, which can feel like overkill when you just want to grab something. We also think the iWill containers are a good-looking storage option for any area where youll have to look at them frequently weve seen commenters on Amazon who use them to store weights in a living room, linens in a hall closet, and odds and ends in a car.
Size: 17.6 by 13.6 by 9.7 inches
Get Your Vehicle Camp
Clean It Out Before You Pack – If youre camping out of a car, truck, or SUV, clean and organize it before you pack for your camping trip, and remove any extra unnecessary items.
Check Your Other Vehicle – Be sure to grab anything out of Family Vehicle #2 you may need, such as your spouses sunglasses, kids car seats, etc.
Hide a Spare Vehicle Key – If multiple people will be in and out of the vehicle youre camping out of multiple times per day, someone is bound to lock the keys inside . Be sure you have a spare key on your person or hidden somewhere outside of the vehicle!
Be Prepared – We always recommend storing the below emergency items in your vehicle, especially while car camping:
Keep coins for showers easily accessible
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Best Ease Of Use Thule Motion Xt Rooftop Cargo Carrier
The Thule Motion XT is hands-down one of the best out there. We know we just covered another Thule product, but couldnt leave out the Motion. Its one of the most simple, straightforward designs, making it easy to use.
The PowerClick mounting system will only take you a few minutes, so if you plan on removing and attaching the car roof box regularly, seriously consider this model.
While its nowhere near as light as the Sidekick, this 42-pound cargo box is still lighter than the vast majority of competitor products out there.
The design is gorgeous, coming in three colors: White, Black, and a steely grey called Titan. It looks sleek enough in photos, but its actually a bit taller and boxier when you look at the numbers. The 17 height may be an issue if you already have a taller vehicle, in addition to potentially causing more wind resistance.
The Motion XT comes with a cool locking indicator, which provides you a red strip once its properly secured. That means you can double-check it at a glance before taking off. The large handle also lets you easily open and close either side with one hand.
If youre looking for sturdiness, this roof storage box is made to stand up to all kinds of weather and is as waterproof as you can get with these.
Things To Consider When Shopping For The Best Storage Bins
Storage bins seem like theyre just glorified plastic boxes, but they vary in storage volume, shape, color, stackability, portability, and security. Matching those features to your storage needs is key to effectively organizing your stuff.)
The first consideration when selecting bins is fit. That means ensuring the bins volume and shape is just right to contain the items you want to store and that the storage bin will fit into the space where you plan to keep it.
Its also a good idea to think about color. Opaque bins are ideal for protecting the contents from the sun, or under circumstances where you dont want to see all your stuff all the time. But transparent bins may work better if you do need to see whats stored inside without removing the lid. Color is also useful for home organization. Color-coded storage bins make it simple to quickly locate seasonal items, such as holiday decorations.
Some storage bins are stackable for easy storage in tight spaces. This makes them ideal for closets or sheds with underused vertical space. And if youre going to be moving those bins around, you may want to consider wheeled storage bins with a handle for simpler transporting. If you need to keep people out of your belongings, look for a model with a locking closure, or holes into which you can insert a standard padlock.
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