Wow. Slow news day that you are reading about organizing your gear?!? Or am I appealing to the anal renentive side of you that rebelled from organizing your room or the anal person at work who kept their desk spotless. I fall somewhere in between. I love my gear. I have lots of gear. I travel a-lot. I need to find my gear that I love pretty easily and quickly… hence I try to keep organized.

I once did a sport called adventure racing and our team website was (Not kidding) we would fly around the world and bike / run / hike / kayak / and navigate for several days with no support. This drove organization of my stuff deep into my brain and while I don’t want to go sleep on a rock in Scotland or slog down a beach in Costa Rica with no sleep I do want to share some of the tips that have made my gear organization and transition into travel/adventure/backcountry photography doable.

This was us flying… phew. 4 bike boxes. 4 extra large duffels. 4 oversized tubs. We needed a truck to get us from point to point. Thank goodness this was before the airlines started charging for oversized and overweight!

The Great Haul

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Use the ditty bag

I have so many different Ditty Bags from different places and gear that has either been lost or destroyed that I can’t point to one place. So I’ll try to guide you to many places and give some random thoughts.

1) Mesh is good. It helps you to see what is inside key bags without having to open it up. I like the larger bags for jackets and outerwear. All kinds of sizes here.

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2) Compress to impress.

Compression bags are vital for things like down jackets or sleeping bags. REI carries all types and they are almost always better than what your coat or bag comes with. I don’t compress everything and only compress when traveling but it saves considerable time. I recently discovered the trick of compressing my tent!! Awesome time and space saver.

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Consider Bulk Organization

These are designed for electrical parts organization and can be picked up at Home Depot or Amazon. Stanley has a really great one that is around $12. You can see right through them or take it one step further on the anal scale and use a label maker. Wow. I just wrote for the world to see about using a label maker. I’d say I need to get out more … but that is not my problem in this case. Read on.

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You can typically change the compartment sizes to accommodate what you need and keep this as an easy place to replenish when you run out of something in your mobile gear you are carrying.

Tie it up

Mobile ties have proven themselves time and time again for me. we live in a world of too many cords and this saves hours of frustration and can also be used to tie together straps or other items.

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Not as useful for camera equipment but you will find as you travel internationally that your luggage and camera equipment seem to want to hang out together. Whatever you can do to keep them separate but equal will go a long way. I have found an awesome packing system from Eagle Creek where I can keep all of my clothes nicely packed up in their own cubes so my bag stays very tidy and well organized.

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