Gear pick of the year 2018: Plastic storage bins

Gear should make your outdoor time more efficient enjoyable, and accessible.

Buying gear for a momentary sense of pleasure, be it psychologically or even chemically, does not typically achieve these goals. We need the RIGHT equipment for a given activity. And sometimes you need to purchase the correct tool.


Impulsively Buying More Crap ≠ More Outdoor Fun

What does equal more outdoor fun?  The gift of time.  The best gift for any outdoor person!

But to make effective use of this time bank is a theme that I keep on returning. If you are organized, think of how everything fits, and prepared to make trips, you economized your time. And can get out more.

About half of the gear room. We have since added another shelf for what Joan called our “Puffy Wall!” 🙂

And a large part of my organization?  My Gear Pick of the Year for 2018, of course. Plastic storage bins.

Be it a multi-month road trip or organizing the gear at home, plastic storage bins are a key piece of gear for my outdoor needs.


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Back in #arizona and lots of easy dispersed #camping!

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Our outdoor activities encompass different seasons, activities, and uses and dialed-in organization is the only way (I find) to be prepared for all these activities and trip focuses.

Be it the camping, backpacking, winter, or other outdoor activities, I like to be organized and have everything stored properly. I can get out on the trail, for a trip, or even efficiently live out of my vehicle with the simple purchase of some storage bins.  I’ve organized and stored the gear and have my maps easily accessible for trip planning or inspiration.

With our Moab and nearby maps easily accessible, too!

All because of some simple bins.

Call them totes, storage units, plastic bins, or boxes; being organized helps me get out more. And to make enjoyable use of the time when I am out.

So, get yourself a piece of gear that will assist in getting out more.  Another impulse buy of your third puffy may or may not help in this goal.

But being organized effectively absolutely will get you out more quickly.

So get the PMags Gear Pick of the year for 2018: Plastic Storage Bins.

Disclosure: I bought these bins at KMart (remember that store?!?!), Costco, Target, local stores, or stole from Mom’s basement many years ago. Sorry, Mom! 


12 Replies to “Gear pick of the year 2018: Plastic storage bins”

  1. Along with plastic storage bins go plastic zipper storage bags. The bags help me to further organize the contents of my bins. The two or two and one half gallon bags are good for map storage.

    1. Sure!
      * Misc bin: Mainly extra “stuff” such as tarps, candles for the candle lanters, batteries, hammocks, stuff sacks
      * Winter clothing bin: Puffy pants, heavier base layers, balaclavas, shell pants, thick mittens, etc. I keep the blaze orange clothing in here, too.
      *Three-season clothing: Base layers, hiking pants, trail work pants, briefs, socks,
      *Tools and gear maintenance bin: Hammer, nails, various tapes, sno seal, ODB code reader, etc.
      *”Technical bin”: Climbing gear, ice axe, helmet, microspikes, crampons
      * A pre-packed and ready to go car camping bin.

      I also have ziplocks or stuffsacks in each bin to organize further. Spreadsheets are on the front of the bin to help see at a glance what is in the bin.

      I also have some IN PLAY kits. My “go to” ski gear and clothing is one large stuff sack, A duffle is always packed with the clothing I take for winter camping this time of the year and
      double for winter backpacking clothing, and I have an “in play” box full with different stove, pots, fuel types, and similar I swap in and out depending on trip type.

      Joan has a similar, but different, system. For example, she sews and organizes her fabric.

  2. We have a bin system for in the back of the cars too. The boot bins so we can throw in muddy boots and wear something clean and comfy home. The spike, snow shoe, and gaiter bin. And then one for the packs and misc. it’s saved us so much time and we don’t lose things. I love the google docs labeling setup! We’ve been using small Avery labels and since both passing 40 we can’t read them anymore lol.

    1. A few years ago, I camped out at the Great Sand Dunes NP one late November. My partner at the time and I noted how experienced people seem to gravitate towards similar methods. Only four or five sites in use spaced out over the campground, but everyone had plastic totes for organizing their camp setup!

  3. A large bin with backpacking food makes a quick trip very easy
    Assorted Harmony House fruits and veggies
    Oatmeal and grits
    Dried Beans
    Powdered cheese
    Ramen and rice and couscous

    And some meals already in ziplocks ready to throw in my pack

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