The mountains are calling and you must go. But, oh, all your camping gear is stuffed into the basement in a jumbled mess.
It’s easier to heed the call of the wild when you’re organized. Join the Marie Kondo organizing craze and apply the principles to your camping kit. You’ll soon know exactly where your gear is and what needs replacing, so you can take off at a moment’s notice.
Here are some products inspired by Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” that will help you transform your unruly camp kit into a functional system that, yes, sparks joys.
Keep things visible
One of Kondo’s KonMari rules is that every item should have a specific home and be easily visible. You can organize your car-camping gear using the same principles. Stack sturdy, clear Sterilite Storage Boxes ($1.29–$25 at Fred Meyer) in the back of the car so it’s easy to find what you need. There’s a box sized for every purpose, from s’mores supplies to extra pillows, and they’re cheap enough that you can grab one for each member of the family.
Keep like with like
Keep like items together to stay optimally organized. REI’s Co-op Big Haul 120 Duffel ($149) fits two people’s sleeping gear inside (including pads, pillows and sleeping bags), and can be worn as a backpack or carried as a duffel. Handles on both the sides and ends let you grab and go from any direction.
Think about categories
Corral everything you need for meals in one convenient case. Try using a large tool box, such as the Stanley Fatmax Mobile Work Station ($95 at amazon.com), to store your camp kitchen gear. You can stow a small grill, camping dishes and cookware in the bottom, and arrange utensils, spice and other supplies in the cubbies on the top two levels. The wheeled cart is easy to move around your site, and everything is visible and accessible when it’s opened.
Revisit your junior high days with a retro Caboodles On the Go Girl Case ($17 at Target) for your toiletries. The throwback design is fun, but practical, too, with multiple compartments that hold the whole family’s necessities in crush-proof, waterproof safety.
Camping gear can be very practical. If you want to add some beauty to your kit, consider the Aplat Vin Horizontal Tote ($52–$64 at A Public Shop, West Seattle), a handcrafted, zero-waste organic cotton carryall. Originally designed for wine picnics (it holds a full bottle), it’s also the perfect size to tote your toiletries to the campsite or function as a simple shoulder bag.