Introduction: Stinky Hockey Equipment Air Hanger

I live in hockey country, which basically means I live in Canada. Well hockey is popular and I have 2 boys who are into competitive hockey now. When they were younger in IP5, (initiation program age 5) they would practice once a week and play once a week. Not too often and given lots of time to dry equipment between uses. Also at 5 years of age they don't really sweat and even if they do, it's not stinky. Fast forward to them now, ages 11 and 12 and playing competitive hockey, it means at least 2-3 practices and 1-2 games a week, plus well body odor is becoming a problem. I as a single dad, often have to deal also with the boys who have to bring their equipment bags to their mom's home every other week so there's a lot of back and forth and I can't keep track of their equipment drying at the other house. We both live in smaller homes with very narrow entrances making air drying a huge messy clutter problem and guess what's easier than spreading the equipment out to dry out in the hallway? You got it. The stinky equipment stays in the bag and that's where the bacteria grows to cause all that stink. I don't subscribe to the theory that the smell that wants me to vomit my stomach contents every time a hockey player walks by with their equipment on is really the smell of "winning!" Don't fall into the trap that stinky hockey equipment is the norm. I can't stand it and I don't want my boys to be ok with wearing smelly equipment. Don't get me wrong, it can have some smell, just it shouldn't want to make you puke that's all. So back when my boys were small I modified a clothes hanger that basically hang off their standing hockey bag on wheels. I basically just added some string and clips so that their jersey and gloves and pants could hang off and it didn't take up any more space than the hockey bag. Today however, their equipment is bigger and they sweat more and play more so a small hanger wouldn't do, plus they have the big hockey bags they carry over their shoulder so they basically flop on the floor. I've tried hockey equipment "trees" but they were cumbersome, took up a lot of space in the hallway and were prone to tipping over if you looked at them wrong. Since the hallway is narrow in both homes, I needed a solution that was basically able to keep the equipment off the floor, take minimal hallway space and most of all, easy enough for the boys to air dry their equipment without frustration, because we all know how that goes, especially after a loss. Bonus point too is that this equipment hanger goes with their equipment in the bag, from house to house and even to hotels on away tournaments!! And it's cheap and easy to make, so here goes...

Step 1: Stuff You Need

When I say it's cheap to make, I mean it. My prices are Canadian, so keep in mind it may be cheaper where you live. I got 10 clips for $1,50 at the Dollarama store, basically a dollar store in Canada. The 1"x2"x8' strip of wood came from Home Depot and that was only $1.45. Also at Dollarama, I bought the pant hanger, $1.50 and the nylon rope for $3.50. A pack of cable ties from the dollar store cost $1.00. I had the 2 wood screws, 1.25" long from my toolbox, a drill, a 1/8" drill bit and 1/4" drill bit, scissors, saw and tape measure.

Step 2: Step 1: Cut a 32" Length and Mark the Centre

My boys are still pretty small so I made the hanger about 32" long. From the 8' long strip of spruce, I was able to make 3 hangers out of it! So cut it to 32" length and mark the centre.

Step 3: Step 3: Screw Pant Hanger to 32" Piece of Wood

Align the pant hanger to centre mark as in the photo, and make 2 pilot holes with the 1/8" drill bit and screw the hanger to the strip of wood as in the photo.

Step 4: Step 4: Mark Holes for the Stringers and Drill

Measuring from each end of the extended hanger, I made a mark 1" from the end, then made marks every 1 1/2" from the first mark as in the photo. I also added an extra mark between the metal bars of the pant hanger. Note that you want the marks to be symmetrical to each other to maintain a balance along the hanger. In total I made enough holes to equal the number of things that are in pairs and added an extra hole near the centre for the helmet "string". Use the 1/8" drill bit first and follow up with the 1/4" drill bit to make it easier to drill cleaner holes. See photos.

Step 5: Step 5: Measure the Strings and Cut to Length

Since most of the equipment is hung in pairs, plus the pants need 2 clips, I ended up making 2 of each length. The lengths I cut were 12",14", 16", 18", 22" and 24". I also made one 48" for the helmet clip. The reason it's so long is that I didn't want to create undue weight on my "suction cup" hook I attached to my glass door. The long length allows the clip to attach to the helmet that is sitting on the floor, the clip is used to keep the helmet inside up and makes sure my boys don't forget to put their helmet back in their bag. See photo.

Step 6: Step 6: Attach the Clips to the Hanger.

I just put the rope into a hole drilled in the hanger and tied a simple knot. The other end, I also made a simple knot, put that through the clip, and wrapped it with a cable tie, and trimmed the tie. My original design prototype was just to tie the clip with two knots, but they looked bulky so the cable tie makes a neater loop through the clips. For the larger orange clips there is a small hole and I simply put the rope and tied a knot. See photos.

Step 7: Step 7: Finished Hanger

After all the clips are attached and the cable ties trimmed the finished hanger looks like this photo. One of the neat things about this hanger is that simply by rolling the rope around the hanger, you can easily pack it into the hockey bag so that you can take it on away trips and use it in the hotel, like we did (see photo from a recent road trip) or in the case of my boys, they can use it at their mother's house too.

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