With the pandemic forcing us to spend more time at home than ever, many people have turned to the great outdoors to shake things up and safely get some exercise. But what do you do when your growing camping, biking, and backcountry skiing kits have to compete for precious real estate with bulk beans, hoarded toilet paper, and the rest of your quarantine stress purchases? That’s when you need to get smart about gear storage.
Not everyone has the space or budget—or accommodating landlord—necessary to install a Pinterest-worthy pegboard for expertly organized racks of cams and quickdraws. But that’s alright, because you don’t need a spare garage to house all your stuff. The products below will help you store gear properly and make the most of what room you do have.
Exilot Drying Rack
The cardinal rule of stowing your gear? Make sure it’s clean and dry as a bone before you put it away. This sturdy steel rack is great for spreading out sleeping bags and tents to inspect them for caked mud and tears. It’s also ideal for drying them out before you pack them down. Once you’re done, the rack folds into a compact bundle with a footprint that’s less than four-by-five inches.
Rubbermaid Action Packer 24 Gallon
Stackable, clearly labelled boxes are a staple for organizing gear by sport or season. They can also get you out the door faster: For a quick weekend trip, simply grab your designated boxes (for example, “camp kitchen”) on Friday night and hit the road. Rubbermaid’s Action Packer totes are beloved by outdoorsmen for their ruggedness. They’re waterproof and lockable, too.
Grassracks Freestanding Indoor Board Storage Rack
Vertical storage is crucial, especially for small apartments. This handsome freestanding wooden rack holds just about anything that’s awkwardly long—skis and snowboards, hiking poles, surfboards, paddles—in an upright position to save space. It even has a padded, non-slip base to protect your edges.
ClosetMaid Nickel Double Hang Closet Rod
A closet rod with a set of S-hooks is a great way to store frequently used but oddly shaped gear, such as helmets, backpacks, and water bladders, that you want to air out between excursions. It also works great for wrangling outerwear, of course. That said, these items rarely take up the full height of a standard closet. This expander doubles your usable hanging space, adjusting both vertically and laterally to maximize the area you’re working with.
Feedback Sports Velo Column Bike Stand
In homes with more than one bike, a double-tiered rack not only frees up valuable square footage but also keeps your tires off the ground, reducing wear. This tensioned rod can slip into the slimmest bit of free space—even if it’s in the middle of a room or garage—and doesn’t require permanent installation. Bonus: The height of each cradle is independently adjustable for complete customization.
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