Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Gear Monolith

I have a lot of gear. Despite being a pretty strict minimalist I still have a lot of gear. Part of the reason is that I teach multiple disciplines. I of course have my paddling gear, but I also teach various land based courses. Photography. Cooking. Map and Compass/GPS. I teach GoPro Classes and of course Wilderness First Aid. Each these topics have their own little (and in some cases not so little) gear sets. Add to that large pile the gear I need to do the things I do for fun. Like Mountain biking, and camping.

My current - largest in terms of time - employer gives me the ability to purchase gear at a pretty good discount, some of you may be aware of the term prodeal, I have that ability. It only gets better if I pick up a sponsor or two. So acquiring gear is not a real problem, but after a time you come to realize you don't really need anything - unfortunately I am at a point after two major expeditions where I have a lot of gear that needs to be replaced, but that is another story! Yes, every now and then I see something that is super cool, but I generally don't buy it unless I need it. But that still leaves me with a large amount of gear, and after moving to our current house last July fourth, I had gear in several places. It made it particularly difficult to find that particular thing I needed.

All that has changed. I now have all my gear in one location, sorted by usage. It makes it super easy to pull gear for either a trip or a class. It looks like this.

Sorry I couldn't get a better picture of this monstrosity, but I couldn't get far enough away from it with my iPhone to get it all in  frame. 

So here is how I use it. Yesterday I taught a paddling class. I grabbed my primary paddling duffel and paddles. I then grabbed the cooler for lunch and drinks, and my rain shell. From the Electronics shelf I grabbed the pelican case for my iPhone. When I came home I reversed the order. I didn't have to look for where anything was, and I didn't forget anything. 

In all it took me about 4 hours to build, and about $200 in lumber. Well worth the time and investment, after years of trying to remember where a particular piece of gear is. Admittedly, it is big. 8 feet wide, by six feet high. It still needs some organizing and fine tuning. But so far I am extremely happy with it. How do you store all your gear? Post a link in comments, I truly want to see it. 


  1. That is a very nice setup. Mine is but using big ole shelves in my office room. I find that having too many hobbies makes it hard to keep things easily accessed. My bikes are in the garage on hooks, as are my tools since i also work on cars. I need to get down to less hobbies to have something closer to as organized as yours. Long time reader, just figured i'd comment and say something for once, thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the comment NJ. I am troubled by the number of things I do as well, for me it is just keep the amount of gear manageable.