Gear storage?

frig0018March 1, 2011

Does anyone have any good ideas for storing camping/skiing/hiking/climbing gear etc? I'm a college student who just moved into a one bedroom with no closets or cupboards whatsoever. My budget is very limited and its a rental (aka no permanent or wall damaging fixtures...) Right now its all just in a heap in the corner.

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Well, back in the day and way before I had furniture, I used two wooden crates that were used to ship merchandise to stores. They were good size (maybe 2ftx3ftx18in high). My Mom got them free from Sears (like how you get free boxes from stores). I put my scuba stuff in one and my ski stuff in the other (except the skis themselves were in my ski bag propped in the corner of my room). The wooden crates were really sturdy and doubled as "furniture". I had my tv on one and the other I put a rug on it and used it as a nightstand/bench. That was so many years ago and those crates are long gone, however, I still see similar ones listed on craig's list once in awhile (in the free section).

A few other potential craig list finds that might work for you - a free standing coat rack (usually metal on wheels), a free standing storage closet/bin (I'm thinking of the white ones made out of press board), display or shelving racks?!?

Do you have any room under your bed? If that's already taken, can you raise or loft your bed to further utilize the space underneath?

I was beyond broke in college, but if you have the funds you might want to go ahead and invest in some decent storage for your gear. Check out Rubbermaid's Actionpacker line, it's not the flimsy plastic stuff, but heavy duty so you can stack stuff and/or sit on them.

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 1:44AM
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If you're not after aesthetics, plastic storage bins have many advantages if you get a bunch of the same size. That way, they stack. You can just haul the box right to the car when you want to use the stuff, as I imagine you do. And if you reduce the quantity or otherwise empty the boxes, they fit into each other and take no more space than a single box.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:09PM
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My daughter has the same problem storing gear as you. She purchased a bike rack that stands against the wall of her apartment and has arms in the front of it intended for bicycles. It stands against the wall instead of being mounted so is good for an apartment where walls can't be damaged. She uses the arms to hang climbing equipment, backpacks, her ski patrol vest, etc. Skis and other large awkwardly-shaped objects are stored under her bed. She lifted her bed using bed risers that are available at Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, etc. Other gear that won't hang is also stored under the bed in underbed boxes.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 9:07AM
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What I'd do first is figure out how I want to store the stuff--do I want all the hiking gear in one place, all the skiing gear in one place, or do I want all footwear in one place, all outerwear in one place, all the skis and poles and assorted gear in one place? I suspect that the clothing and gear for hiking/camping/climbing overlaps a bit--what is the best way for you to store all this so that you can get ready for the next adventure quickly and easily?

I might get a shoe rack or shoe cabinet that could hold all the shoes and boots you have. Maybe a rack for the skis and poles. Plastic bins for the camping and hiking and climbing gear. Although if you go with plastic bins, make sure everything is completely dry before you store it away. And label the bins, so that you don't have to open four of them to find your sleeping bag and tent.

You might also look into buying an armoire or wardrobe. Ikea has some at reasonable prices, and you can customize the insides. If you skip the usual bar for hanging clothes, you could create a tall space for storing the skis, have some hooks on the walls and the inside of the doors to hang stuff, and then some shelves or drawers to store smaller things. This would be a good use of vertical space, and might look a bit nicer than a pile of plastic bins in the corner of the room. If the skis didn't fit inside (I have no idea how long skis are), you could put the wardrobe near a corner and slide the skis in between the wardrobe and the wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea wardrobe

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 9:46AM
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If you have a car, could some of this stuff live permanently in the trunk? Or maybe different stuff could live in the trunk depending on the season?

The one caveat, you have to be disciplined about airing the gear out after trips, it's very easy to just slack off and end up with a box of moldering stuff in the trunk.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 1:02PM
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You can buy plastic totes/tubs at places like Wal-Mart or Target pretty cheap. The 18 quart usually run around $5. Prices can go on up for there. I'd get a few of those and put stuff in there so it as least all in one place. You can color code by activity or buy totes all in one color.

If you have a wall that is short enough, you can get either an extendable shower curtain rod or a curtain rod and hang shower curtains or inexpensive curtains in front so they are out of view.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 3:52PM
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One other point: Don't think that they all have to be stored in the same place.

If they are different sizes & shapes (like skis are long and skinny; ski boots are short and chunky), they can go in completely different places. You could try getting a bookcase to put the ski boots on, and then screwing a pair of hooks to the side at the top and the bottom, and using bungee cords to strap the skis tot he shelf (or at least, lean the skis against the bookcase, and the cords will keep them from getting knocked down.

Or, skis under the bed, ski boots in a box on the top shelf of the closet.

That sort of thing.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:32AM
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