Tips & Guides | November 2019

Gear Storage Tips and Tricks for Car Camping

It happens to the best of us. You get a little carried away and pack more gear than your car can handle. Summon the powers of these gear storage tips and tricks on your next car camping trip, and rest assured, you will have a great time.

Micro Organization is Macro Success

When you organize the small things, the big things seem to take up less room. The key to success when car camping is to make a routine. Always store the little things like water bottles, books, headlamps, and cell phones in the same, out-of-the-way place. This not only helps you de-clutter but also helps you keep tabs on the important things. The most necessary item to keep up with when you are car camping is your car key. Convince us we are wrong. To be successful, always know where your car key is. As a backup stash a spare in a magnetic hide-a-key.

The Luno Seatback Organizer is a great tool to help you stay organized. Car walls also present an excellent opportunity to store smaller travel items in easily accessible areas. Utility hooks make for another great option when it comes to staying organized. Do not sweat the small stuff - instead, pick it up, throw it in your seat-back organizer or on your utility hook, and car camp worry-free. Remember: you can also store your gear in the front seats to optimize sleeping space in the back.

Invest in a Cargo Carrier

Real estate gets pretty tight when your trunk doubles as a bedroom. External cargo carriers make traveling easier and sleeping even dreamier. Attaching to the roof or hitch of your car, cargo carriers allot more space with less clutter. They are the perfect solution for storing dirty shoes and bulky equipment. If you can manage to not bring the whole gear closet, then you will car camp like a pro, opening up your whole vehicle to activities, instead of obligatory storage.

There are many great options out there when it comes to cargo carriers. THULE and Yakima are big players in the roof box game. Both companies offer carriers with secure locking systems so you can keep your possessions secure when on the road. Roof baskets exist for bulkier equipment, and hitch carriers attach to the rear of the car if roof storage is not an option. Kuat has come up with a genius product that allows you to store gear on a hitch rack without losing the ability to tailgate. Car camp smarter, go farther.

Cargo Bins for the Win

As the holy grail of car camping, cargo bins are incredibly useful when keeping gear organized and contained. Cargo bins also make packing and unpacking much easier with quick grab and go portability.

The YETI LoadOut GoBox is our favorite when it comes to rugged cargo boxes. The LoadOut GoBox makes for the perfect kitchen box or store your emergency gear and safety equipment for ease of mind when traversing the wild. It offers the organizational capabilities crucial to a successful car camping trip as well as the durability to withstand the wild journey.

Plastic drawers are an affordable storage solution if you’re looking to organize gear without the commitment of a full-fledged rooftop cargo carrier or Yeti LoadOut Gobox. Clear Sterilite drawers come in a variety of shapes and sizes to hold all of your storage needs. Larger drawers can be used to store shoes, clothes, or cooking utensils while smaller drawers are perfect for toiletries, tools, or headlamps and lanterns. As with cargo bins, make sure to label your containers for streamlined grab and go.

Bring a Hammock...for your Gear

Take it higher with a cargo hammock. Ceiling hammocks offer the storage volume of external cargo carriers but are accessible from inside your car. They are great for storing lighter items, such as bedding and pillows, and the straps can double as a towel rack or clothes hanger. The sky is the limit when it comes to ceiling storage!

The Great Outdoors

One of the most overlooked ways to store your gear while car camping is to just keep it outside. Depending on where you’re camping (wildlife permitting), you can store camp chairs, tables, coolers and more next to your vehicle. If you want to keep your items out of sight, you can slide them under your vehicle, or invest in a simple, affordable, pop-up tent. By keeping your gear outdoors, you leave plenty of space inside the vehicle to create a cozy sleeping setup.

Get Creative

Believe it or not - items do not have to be made for gear storage to store gear. A hanging shoe organizer can double as a kitchen cabinet to hold spices, utensils, and paper towels. Window planters with suction cups create shelf space out of thin air while shower caddies can double as a hanging dish rack or produce holder. Storage options are only as limited as your imagination. Figure out the storage system that works for you, and hit the road.


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