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Top 5 Camp Storage Hacks

Camping is so much fun but all of the gear can feel overwhelming. Organization and storage is often relegated to the closet or basement. We think about controlling the clutter in our home. However, it is just as important when out camping. If not more important. That is because you need to pack all of your gear for a weekend or week in only a few cubic feet. Luckily, that is where these top five camp storage hacks come into play. They can take the clutter of packing all of that gear and make it simple and straightforward. In fact, it may even make playing Tetris in the back of your Subaru enjoyable. By implementing these five camp storage hacks you are sure to have everything within reach just when you need it. That is an invaluable thing when camping!

Storage space may be dependent on the season you are camping! What season is the best season for camping?

5. Coffee Can Toilet Paper

One of the things that is often forgotten when camping is toilet paper. We don’t think about it because it is so common to just hit the bathroom and see it there. Not to mention that many campgrounds have bathhouses. You would think that the toilet paper would be there and ready. Sometimes it isn’t. So you need to be prepared with toilet paper packed in your camping gear.

camp storage hacks - emergency TP
Make sure you have that emergency roll and it stays dry!

Even if you do remember the toilet paper, there is the worry that it may get wet. Let me tell you, the wet toilet paper will make you have a bad trip! I know from experience. It was the after-effects of leaf cleaning that did me in! In any case, a fantastic way to avoid this same outcome is to grab a coffee can and store the toilet paper in the coffee can. Finding a coffee tin with a secure lid is sure to keep the moisture off your toilet paper! No to mention it will be in easy reach when you need to head to the vault!

Coffee Can Toilet Paper Holder Craft:

Not that you really need a how-to because this is so easy!

I made this into a craft with my children. We found that the Folgers plastic coffee cans work best because they have a very secure lid. They also come with a handhold which is nice when making a bathroom trek. I let them paint the outside of the container and labeled it so that we knew what it was. Then you simply pop a roll into the container so it is ready to go when you are. Easy-Peezy!

4. Shoe Organizer Kitchen Rack

Camp Storage Hacks
Just as good for organizing your toiletries for an RV!

Camp cooking is one of my favorite things to do. However, keeping everything organized around the camp kitchen has been difficult. Instead of fumbling for things that I commonly need I started using a shoe organizer as a kitchen rack. The great thing is that I can pack and fold the shoe rack compactly when not in use. The other great thing is that with some basic labeling I know exactly where everything should go every single time.

So what do I keep in my organizer? Well, It is a place to put all of my cooking utensils. I have a few areas taken up with spices, napkins, cooking oil, condiments, tea bags, and things that are small but necessary for cooking. I have had some organizers in the past where I have even been able to store my propane canisters. The other fantastic thing is that these are meant for hanging. So they hang from a clothesline or right from the picnic table nice and easy. You can get creative with this hack. The key is to put what you need within reach. If you chose to store food in it, make sure you remove the food after every meal and store it so that animals can not get into it.

3. Time to Bin It

This is, in a sense, a double hack. First, we need to edit our gear appropriately and become one with the garbage bin. Second, we need to organize into plastic bins. Doing both will ensure easy access to gear and lighter weight packing overall!

The Garbage Bin or Facebook?

One of the things that I struggle with is removing things from my life that are not useful. If I find a sweater that I like, I will keep it until it is so holy the Pope can’t wear it. How this translates into camping gear is that I love collecting camping gear. Even if I don’t use it anymore it still lives on. Over time, and lots of Marie Kondo, I have realized that it is okay to do away with things that I no longer use while camping. So even if it is my favorite I send it to the bin. Or if it still has life left in it, that item meets Facebook Marketplace! In either case, it is time to bin it and use my newer or more useful additions to my gear.

Labeled Plastic Bins to the Rescue!

With clear bins you can see what you need and they stack neatly for Trunk Tetris! Credit: IRIS USA

The second part of this hack is using clear storage bins. With so many options out there for sizes and lid types, you really can pack your entire car nicely and neatly. The trick is to follow the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” What this means for camping is that you should label each plastic container with the general items that are in it. For instance, I have bins for food, cooking, safety, tent items, hiking items, well you get the picture. Then I categorize all of my gear before I pack. I know what should be in each bin so that I can find it easily. I arrange the gear in the bin so that it fits snugly. Then it is time to play truck bed Tetris!

In either case, editing your gear or packing it wisely, taking your camping to the bin will hack you into an organized storage situation!

2. Recycle Used Containers

Simply clean and store! Credit: Mrs Happy Homemaker

This hack took me some time to get used to. In fact, there are still times I look at the jugs and think why am I like this! In all seriousness though it is a fantastic hack. There are many sealable plastic containers that we use on a daily basis. For instance, coffee creamer jugs, breath mint containers, and juice bottles. After a solid cleaning, each of these provides fantastic storage that is watertight and easily arranged. Another added benefit is that they do help reduce the smell of food and keep critters out. Remember these were all designed to reduce shipping costs and maximize shape for the companies. They will do the same in your gear.

So how do you apply this hack? Simple! Let’s take that coffee creamer jug that you have as an example. Remove the label from the outside. Then thoroughly wash the inside of the container and let it dry completely. Now the jug is ready for you to use! What do I put in mine? Well, I use it for pre-made pancake batter, flour, sugar, cake mixes, etc. If I know that I am going to be doing some dutch oven cooking I love to pre-make things and have them easily pourable. I also use it for kids’ snacks like Goldfish since it protects them from damage in transport! The same technique works for juice bottles. If you are looking to use some breath mint containers then transfer all the spices you want! They are small and likely you don’t need the whole original container so take what you need.

1. Get Your Roll On

The final hack on this list for camp storage hacks is the technique of clothes rolling. This is extra handy if you are going backpacking. Most of the time when people go camping they think they can easily pack their clothes the same way they would in a suitcase. However, this is not efficient and actually takes up lots of space. In fact, you can get most clothes to take up about a third of their normal folded space just by rolling. That alone should be reason enough to roll your clothes. Saving space when packing for a weekend when you have a tent, and sleeping bags, and food, and on and on is critical!

Camp Storage Hacks
Rolling your clothes saves space when packing!

However, there is another benefit to this. Rolling clothes allows you to pre-plan your wardrobe. By placing your pants on the bottom, then shirt, then undergarments and socks you can roll everything up. Each day can have its own roll. Then all you need to do is grab a roll and get changed! If you are a parent, I know you are already thinking. Why didn’t I think of this?! It is such a great hack because for toddlers who want to dress themselves, you can hand them the roll and there is no fuss! Just unroll and wear. Let me tell you that this method of rolling clothes has saved me many hard mornings. Especially on that last day when you are trying to get the kids and gear all packed up in order to head home.

Final Camp Storage Hacks Thoughts

So are you ready to start decluttering and organizing your car trunk so you can hit the trails? Using these camp storage hacks will give you what you need exactly when you need it. That way you don’t have to fight to make everything fit. Whether it is repurposing old items or using products in a unique way you are sure to save space and time. The art organization doesn’t have to be just for the home. It can and should be for your camp home. It is time to bust out that label maker and start rolling those clothes. Using these camp storage hacks is sure to make your next trip the most enjoyable one yet!

What type of storage techniques do you use when you go camping? We would love to hear them so please share your hacks in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter, or on Reddit!