Building up a collection of gear for your outdoor adventures but don't know where to put it? This easy DIY solution for outdoor gear storage has been a game-changer in our place—for less than $100!
Outdoor Gear Storage
Despite activities like hiking and backpacking that benefit from as little extra baggage as possible, outdoor gear tends to pile up. You buy your first sleeping back, tent, backpack... and suddenly you're running a co-op in your basement (or garage, or closet, or car...).
When you actually go to use your gear—which is the point!—it can be a real mess to find everything you need without digging out a crater from a giant pile of ripstop fabric, tarps, and rope. This isn't even to mention the toll it takes on your gear to have it crammed in some damp dark space.
What you need is an easy way to organize and access all of your outdoor gear, a place to keep it safe and in tip-top condition for the next adventure. This post is designed to show you an outdoor gear storage solution using a pegboard, which cost less than $100 and took about an hour to assemble. Come check it out!
Camping Gear Storage
For the past few years, we've used tubs to store our various pieces of gear. The reasoning is simple: with no basement or shed, our storage was limited to closets, and not particularly big ones at that.
The tub method certainly gave us a place to put our gear that allowed us not to have to swim in it all the time. Yet it was less than ideal. When you're stacking three heavy tubs on top of each other, getting to something from the bottom is something like a Crossfit workout.
Our new place has an unfinished basement that we share with the people that live in our unit. We were pretty sure that we could level up our outdoor gear storage game and reduce the footprint of our items in the basement.
Our solution? A pegboard with hooks and a shelf. We'd attach the pegboard and shelf to the bare studs, creating an instant organization tool for us to customize to our needs. Here's what we used!
- Pegboard - This forms the background of the gear wall.
- Wood Shelf - For keeping baskets and performing quick gear fixes.
- Brackets (for shelf) - It's gotta be held up by something!
- Pegboard Kit - Provides the tools that make a pegboard so great.
- Hooks - Like you might find in a hardware store display!
- Pegboard Baskets - Optional, but functional.
- Drill - We're working with a bottom-of-the-line corded drill from Harbor Freight that we've had for years. It got the job done!
- 1" Wood Screws - For securing the pegboard to the wall.
- Washers - Are washers.
- Saw - For if you need to cut pegboard & shelf to needed size (which we did!).
Here's a breakdown of the actual items we used and their current cost:
- Pegboard - $22.98
- Wood Closet Shelf - $23.98
- White Brackets (3) - $9.84
- 4-Piece Steel Pegboard Hook - $3.78
- 35-Piece Steel Pegboard Kit - $11.98
- Steel Pegboard Hook (bigger ones) (2) - $3.16
TOTAL COST: 75.72
For this project, we got everything from Lowe's. No sponsorship or reason to say that—it's just where we were able to get materials.
How to Build Outdoor Gear Storage Wall
Roughly speaking, here's an outline of the process for getting this wall up and in-use:
- Choose storage area for the outdoor gear.
- Measure the area that you'd like for the gear wall. Determine the height and width of the area you'd like for the pegboard. And the height you'd like for the shelf.
- Note: I measured so the pegboard would cover about the upper ⅔ of the height of the wall. I planned to leave the bottom ⅓rd for the shelf and storage. I wanted to have space underneath the shelf to stack tubs. Yes—we still use tubs! The gear wall just enhances the organization and care of our gear.
3. Purchase necessary supplies (see above).
4. Cut the pegboard and shelf to necessary heights & widths, if necessary.
- Note: If you don't have a saw or way to cut the supplies, they might be able to do this at the store for you. It's worth asking!
5. Hang the pegboard. Grab a friend to hold up the pegboard for you where you want it on the wall. Use screws to secure it. Add screws along the perimeter and evenly throughout the middle.
6. Hold the shelf at whatever height you want it. Mark with ruler and pencil.
7. Place the brackets into the wall. Add shelf on top and secure with screws & washers.
8. Use a level to make sure the pegboard and shelf are level and then firmly secure.
9. Add whatever hooks & baskets you want to the pegboard to help you organize.
10. Organize & hang gear.
Outdoor Gear Storage Before & After
Look at this transformation! Outdoor gear storage wall before & after.
Camping Gear Storage Tips
- Pegboard and pegs: This is definitely the heart of this storage system. It's great to have things ready to go and easy to put away when we're finished!
- Tubs for categories of gear: Rather than keeping everything in tubs, we now group tubs by categories for different activities: camping, backpacking, climbing, etc.
- Most-used Items out & visible - If you use it a lot, make it easy to reach. You'll use it even more!
- Hang up tents & sleeping bags (storing in stuff stack will lose loftiness) - This one definitely puzzles some people, but it's true: your tents and sleeping bags will last longer (and stay warmer/more even, in the case of sleeping bags) if you store them hanging up. Storing them compressed is sometimes necessary, but it's definitely preferable, especially if the items got wet. If you don't have room to hang them up, you can store them in a larger mesh sack, but that can also take up a lot of space.
How do I organize my outdoor gear?
As I mentioned above, the best way to organize your outdoor gear is in a way that will allow you to use it! Since we organize our gear in a new way, it's been easy to grab it and hit the road for our next adventure. Even if you're limited to a closet or other tighter quarters, you can likely find a way to organize your gear in an accessible way.
How do you store camping gear outside?
I try not to keep my outdoor gear outside for longer than necessary–that is, when I'm done with doing the outdoor activities, I put things away! The exception to this is when gear gets wet. I've learned this the hard way over the years (I can smell the mildew as I type this...), but you need to make sure your gear gets thoroughly dry before storing it away.
If you're out camping, you may be able to let it dry in the morning before you pack up. If not, be sure to go through the extra steps of taking it (tent/sleeping bags/misc) back out for some air. It's worth it!
How do I organize my gear room?
Ultimately, the pegboard option is just one way to get a handle on your outdoor gear storage. I'd say it's optimal when you don't actually have a full room to devote to storage, but can spare a wall. There are a bunch of extremely awesome ways to organize an entire room, but everyone has a different situation and different needs.
Wanting to organize your gear? Already done so? I want to see what you've done! Find me on here or on Instagram (@jordos_world).