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I sorted my growing jumble of hiking gear as a fun weekend project. With all my regular hike gear in a single box, I don’t have to worry I’m forgetting anything as I head out the door. I spend less way time preparing — which means more time doing.
I should have done this years ago. I don’t have a ton of gear but — between my regular hiking gear, my winter gear, and my camping gear — it has started to add up.
An unorganized mess makes it difficult to find things while also making it easy to forget things.
Time to get organized.
Storage Bin Requirements
Bear in mind that I’m a satisficer not a maximizer. (I value my sanity.) I wanted storage bins with the following basic characteristics:
- Tall enough to offer depth but not so tall they wouldn’t fit on the shelves under my desk (the bins I bought are about 9¾” / 25 cm tall);
- Clear enough that I can make out what’s inside the bins just by looking at them;
- They should have lids;
- They should be stackable (in case my situation ever changes)
That was it.
They’re not huge. The inside dimensions of each box are 10.0″L x 8.75″W x 8.8″H.
But what a difference they make. I needed only four of the six to level-up my hiking life…
Under my standing desk, I have a basic kitchen cart with three shelves.
- Top shelf: for things I don’t need too often (trail maintenance tools, alcohol swabs, extra fluid containers) and a storage bin for spares;
- Every-hike shelf: the one storage bin I know I can just pull-and-go, as well as my snowshoes and trekking poles;
- Camping shelf: where I keep my bear-proof container and a storage bin for basic overnight gear;
- On the floor is a storage bin for camping food, with my foam sleeping pads to the side.
It’s so great to be able to pull that regular hiking bin off the shelf. It has everything I need for a hike all in one place: my rain layer, gaiters, buffs, gloves, belt, whistle, hat, face mask, Hillsounds, even my driving shoes/clean socks.
I pull out whatever I’m going to wear and the rest goes in the trunk of my car. I never have to worry I’ve left something behind.
Top Tip: I leave the lid cracked so no damp/mildew will form.
Read about owning a headlamp or two. (Headlamps are an absolutely crucial piece of year-round safety gear.)
Here’s what should be in every hiker’s Basic Hiking Kit.
And here are the Ten Essentials everyone should take on every wilderness hike.
This website’s low-key newsletter includes regular seasonal safety advice and rescue reports.