Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Magic of Plastic Bins

Among all the different ways you can organize your gear, there’s one important staple you should always keep in mind: the plastic bin. While it may seem like a small thing, it’s a mighty tool for mobilizing for adventures big or small, spontaneous or planned.

I like to keep bins organized by season and or activity. Right now, I have a general camping bin, a climbing bin and a skiing bin. This weekend, I’m going up to Tahoe and packing is as easy as throwing a duffel with some town clothes, the ski bin and my skis, boots and poles in the car.

My ski bin includes items for backcountry and resort like:
  • Skins
  • Avalanche beacon
  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Ski goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Bibs or snow pants
  • Insulated resort ski jacket
  • Softshell jacket
  • Hardshell
  • Medium gloves
  • Heavyweight gloves
  • Mittens
  • Small backpack and water bladder
For my climbing bin, I keep:
  • Padded climbing harness
  • Ultralight alpine harness
  • Climbing helmet
  • Black diamond camalots small to large
  • Nuts
  • Sport quickdraws
  • Alpine quickdraws
  • Cordelette
  • Grigri
  • ATC
  • Assortment of locking and non-locking carabiners
  • Assortment of slings
  • Rocket pack
My camping bin includes:
  • Whisperlite stove
  • Refillable fuel bottle and pump
  • MSR Reactor stove
  • Fuel canisters 
  • Lighters
  • Headlamp
  • Spork
  • Mug
  • Repair kit
  • Inflatable Thermarest mattress
  • First-aid kit
  • SPOT emergency locator beacon
  • GPS
  • SteriPEN

With this kind of system — be it seasonal or activity-based — makes it so much easier to get out in the mountains whatever your schedule is. If you’re a busy guide, you always know where your stuff is and it’s easy to find in the correct bin. If you’re a weekend warrior, you can load up the car on Friday with your bin and whatever else you need and head out. I recommend it as a simple and efficient way to organize your gear.

--Shelby Carpenter, AAI Instructor and Guide Alumna

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