Editor's Note: This feature originally ran in Issue 3 of the BackpackingLight Print Magazine.
"Store your gear in a big plastic box," writes Matt Colón in his "Get Out Now!" article.
His favorite box: a 110-liter Rubbermaid storage bin. The presumption is that organization and tidiness of your gear store will decrease the time required to plan a backcountry trek, improving the chances that you'll actually take one.
I started out with one of these boxes, full of all the gear a guy could ever want.
But my duties as a product tester eventually moved me to two, and then three boxes, which eventually occupied a closet. Finally, I invested in a box caddy, which of course expanded to hold twelve boxes and now enjoyed its own space in the garage. It too, held all the gear a guy could ever want.
When the prospect of adding another twelve-box unit to the garage threatened Stephanie's ability to park her car inside on those negative-thirty-degree Montana winter days, I was demoted - no, wait, promoted! - to my very own off-site storage unit. This, of course, greatly simplified matters. When it came time to prepare for a trip, enjoy some time alone, read a book, or just kick back and drink a glass of milk, all I had to do was drive a few blocks to my storage unit and enjoy any one of these activities surrounded by, what else? That's right: all the gear a guy could ever want.
Until the storage unit got full.
Backpacking gear, day-hiking gear, winter backpacking gear, ski gear (randonee, tele, and alpine), pontoon boats, fly rods, sleds (and pulks - why, yes, of course there is a difference), and more.
So I moved into a warehouse. And then a bigger warehouse. At one point, my office occupied the top floor of the warehouse and I was again surrounded by... all the gear a guy could ever want.
And for 90% of my trips, I fit what I actually need into a thirty-liter backpack. And once I'm on the trail... it holds all the gear a guy could ever want.