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Camping Storage Ideas

Good camping storage ideas will take your camping trip to the next level
Good camping storage ideas will take your camping trip to the next level

If you’ve camped in the past, you know that one thing that can really upset you is trying to pack all your stuff and not being able to because you have no space left.

Does that mean then that you always need to pack less gear when this happens?

We’re glad you asked: not at all…

…If you learn some tips to increase your efficiency and improve your storage skills.

Storage Ideas for Your Camping Trip

There are so many easy wins when it comes to storing items while camping - just pay attention
There are so many easy wins when it comes to storing items while camping – just pay attention

Planning and Prioritizing Camping Gear

You need to spend time planning and prioritizing your camping gear. There’s just no way around this.

This is the most efficient way to avoid bringing unnecessary items and loading your backpack easily:

  1. List the most important items in your camping journey

  2. From that list of essentials, you can prioritize and add first the more important items, and then add the other things until the bag is fully loaded

  3. Obviously, you need to prioritize things like medications versus other items like sleeping bags

Categorizing and Grouping Camping Gear

How are you planning to keep things organized if you're not categorizing your stuff?
How are you planning to keep things organized if you’re not categorizing your stuff?

Creating categories of your camping gear is a solid option in the universe of camping storage ideas, as it helps you locate your essentials easily when you reach your camping spot.

A good idea is to categorize the items based on their uses or the space they take. For example:

  • You can pack sleeping bags and tents in one pile as they will take up most of the space

  • Place cookware in the same spot

  • You can also put flashlights and batteries in one pile

Modular Storage Systems

Another great hack is to opt for a modular storage system.

A modular system offers easy-to-handle compartments where you can separate and place your things, instead of mixing them all (which is never a good idea).

These camping storage systems have handles to move them from place to place easily, making it easier to travel with them – especially useful if you are not car camping.   

Clear Bins or Storage Bags

Clear storage bags are not even expensive... what are you waiting for?
Clear storage bags are not even expensive… what are you waiting for?

Next on your list should be clear/transparent storage bags.

With a good price tag, these are really a no-brainer:

  • They will save you a lot of time searching through your gear, as items don’t get misplaced while in transit

  • You can see inside the bag, so you don’t have to search for hours for something (especially with small items)

  • They make it easier to check for any spillage or leakage

Vertical Space & Hooks/Hangers/Mesh Organizers

Using vertical space with hangers is another great way to create more space inside your backpack.

A simple hanger does wonders in your tent
A simple hanger does wonders in your tent

Vertical space is super underrated while camping storage, which is a mistake since you can save A LOT of space with hooks, hangers, and mesh organizers.

These can be hung inside or outside your tent, depending on the size & weight of the item you want to store. You have a lot of flexibility: you can make a hanging shoe rack or use it for clothes instead, and so on.

Hooks & hangers provide extra camping storage capacity while keeping things neat & tidy & off the ground, so don’t make the mistake of ignoring them. 

Creative Storage Hacks

With a few easy ideas you'll be able to step up your camping storage game
With a few easy ideas you’ll be able to step up your camping storage game

Only read this section if you want to take things to the next level.

If you’re a more conventional person, that is totally fine; if not, keep on reading!

Hanging Shelves

First on the list, we have hanging shelves.

They are a great way to maximize storage capacity inside your tent and are very easy to prepare with just a few basic supplies, such as rope, hooks, and a sturdy piece of wood.

After you’re done preparing them, you can store items like clothing, toiletries, kitchen supplies, or anything else you want.

Pro tip: they are also very useful if you want to free the floor space of your camping tent.  

Repurposed Items

Once you start thinking about repurposing items, you'll unlock a lot of combinations
Once you start thinking about repurposing items, you’ll unlock a lot of combinations

Instead of just discarding items that have been used, why not use them for a different purpose than they were created for?

Old milk crates can be used as shelving units, and you can store food and other items in them.

Used plastic or grocery bags can be reused by hanging from the ceiling using clothespins, where you can store small items such as toiletries or flashlights.

The options here are virtually endless – it all depends on how creative you are!

Nesting Cookware

If you’ve packed before, you know that cookware can take up a lot more space if it’s individually packed.

That’s why you need to consider nesting cookware or kitchen utensils: pack them inside each other and nest them together and you’ll see the difference.

Vacuum-Sealed Bags

These bags are designed to compress bulky items easily, so you save more space.

Not only do they make packing easier, but the contents inside the bag also remain dry and protected from damage. 

It’s literally a win-win situation.

Under-Bed Storage

Under-bed storage is another great hack to use space efficiently
Under-bed storage is another great hack to use space efficiently

Most campers know this hack and usually come equipped with built-in drawers underneath each bunk bed where they store clothing, shoes, and other items.

Also, most of the camping vehicles we carry along on our camping trips have hidden compartments underneath the seats, which we use to easily store smaller items, such as snacks or electronics.

Exterior Storage Options

These can be roof racks and hitch-mounted cargo carriers.

Roof racks are often considered a secure platform on top of the camping vehicle where you can easily store large pieces of equipment and strap them down during transport if needed. Who hasn’t seen bikes attached to the roofs of cars?

Hitch-mounted cargo carriers can be easily attached to the back of the vehicles (we’re sure you have seen those on the road) via a hitch receiver. These carriers can provide ample room for carrying multiple large pieces of gear simultaneously without overloading the interior cabin area with too much weight. 

These external storage tools are super convenient solutions that give travelers more flexibility when packing their vehicles before they hit the road.

Multipurpose Furniture

Investing in multipurpose furniture is last on our storage hacks list
Investing in multipurpose furniture is last on our storage hacks list

We bet that you’ve thought about taking a sofa or a bed to a camping trip, but had trouble doing it because of how hard it is to transport these.

Good news: you can use multipurpose furniture (convertible furniture, so to say) as a sofa when you need to sit on it or a bed when you need to lie down.

This convertible furniture has hidden compartments for additional storage areas within their frames where smaller items, such as books or electronics, can be stored securely out of sight.

Packing Food Supplies

"With great food, comes great responsibility" - Rtivities
“With great food, comes great responsibility” – Rtivities

Choosing Food Containers and Coolers

Food containers are not optional when camping in 2024: you need them.

The best bang for your buck will be lightweight but also durable containers, so look for tight-fitting lids to prevent any leakage while you’re traveling.

One last thing: if you carry perishable items with you, like meat or dairy products, an insulated cooler is a must-have item.

Dry Goods, Spices, and Cooking Utensils

For dry food like grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, you can use smaller containers within a larger one or small storage boxes inside larger plastic bags.

Nesting saves storage space for kitchen utensils or cooking equipment, so don’t neglect it.

Dealing With Expiration Dates

Have you ever eaten expired food? Now picture that in the middle of a campsite
Have you ever eaten expired food? Now picture that in the middle of a campsite

If you’re taking food to your camping trip, don’t skip this.

For safety reasons, you NEED to label your food correctly and look for the expiration dates, otherwise you’re in for a treat in the campsite’s bathroom.

Two simple tips can make your life much easier:

  • If you have near to expiring food items, just don’t take those on your camping trips

  • Consume the food supplies that can spoil quickly first and then consume the other ones

Camping storage should not have to be difficult with the amount of different solutions out there. Just define your strategy before you pack and your trip will be much better.