Tips for labeling your smaller gear
If you lose something, there’s no store at which to buy a backup. Label your stuff! I recommend that you label pretty much everything, including smaller gear. Get that Sharpie ready. Find yourself a specific and distinct tape and label everything—large and small, expensive and almost inconsequential—as you’re packing your bins. (That’s a pro rip, as you can tell by the italics and emphasis.) Do not wait until you’re at the playa to label your gear, as it won’t happen, or you’ll be inconsistent.
What to have on hand for labeling small gear
- ¾-inch white gaffers tape (you can get a thinner role of white gaffers tape too for really small items),
- a black Sharpie for marking and
- a specific roll of prism color tape to give items a “look.”
White gaffers tapes is the best!
The white gaffers tape sticks to your gear, holds the Sharpie marking (unlike electrical and soe other tapes) and pops out visually against any darker-than-white colored item. I get mine from this company. Source – identitape.com
Do not use electrical tape for your labels as your Sharpie markings will wipe off and render your labels useless. Don’t use masking tape as it doesn’t adhere well with the playa dust. And while some people claim the value of painters tape (and it’s okay for mass labeling of camp gear), it’s blue, and it doesn’t provide much contrast with your Sharpie markings, whereas white tape works splendidly.
- All of my items get labeled, by default, with my name.
- Important items that move out of camp (such as my bike and backpack) get my name/playa name, camp name and camp address.
- For the items I use mostly around camp, I stick a specific colored prismatic tape on them so all my gear has a visual brand or look, and I either write my name on the item or label it with the white gaffers tape.
Brand your items with “a look”
I recommend you pick a branded look for labeling your gear, even your small and inexpensive items. I like to have a roll of prismatic or unique-ish tape I can adhere liberally to my gear.
One night, back when I was camping with More Carrot, I wasn’t ready for night-time adventuring quite yet, though every other person in my camp was. I wanted some quiet time, and I decided to straighten up our camp’s dome and give it a little TLC. There was stuff everywhere that people had left or forgotten and, in my mind, I had a thought of Tsk-tsk. I was judging others for leaving their stuff in the camp’s dome.
Then, as I continued straightening up and putting stray items in our lost-and-found area, I encountered three—yes, three!—of my own items. I recognized them all because of the prismatic tape I’d put on them. That experience was a great reminder for me to always label my gear, large and small, expensive and seemingly inconsequential.
I encourage you to do the same!