Washing Clothes?

Discussion in 'General Camping Talk' started by Johnny, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Johnny

    Johnny New Member

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    Some people will carry spare clothing on longer camping trips and some will rely on washing the ones they have. How do you wash you clothes out there?
  2. Barney

    Barney New Member

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    The only piece of clothing I ever had to wash were socks and I did that in the creek with biodegradable soap. I always bring extra base layer items, including t-shirts, underwear and socks, which get dirty quickly because of the sweat.
  3. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

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    I take a pair of socks and underwear for each night out plus an extra pair. I love and need my fresh dry socks. The rest of my clothes can go three nights without changing or a cold water only wash if they can't.
  4. wvbreamfisherman

    wvbreamfisherman Active Member

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    I use biodegradable soap when I do wash, mostly socks. For pretty much everything else, I just soak and wring out several times, and let it dry, or wear it dry if its a hot day.
  5. Lorax

    Lorax New Member

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    Biodegradable soap or baking soda in a creek or lake. Synthetics dry quickly, so I'll strap whatever I wash on the back of a pack or the top of my portage pack for the day to dry.
  6. Pathfinder1

    Pathfinder1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi...


    When spending a couple of weeks on the far shore of Lake Iliamna, we borrowed a metal trash can from one of the three familys who lived in the area, so we could wash our clothes.

    Hope I never have to do that again...!!
  7. ppine

    ppine Forester

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    For car camping on longer trips a 5 gallon bucket is good if you have room. The other alternative is using a washing machine at an RV park or laundramat. I would remind people that biodegradable soap is a good product, but it should not be used in lakes and streams. Use a container like a bucket and dump the wash water on shore away from the water. A collapsable bucket can be used in the backcountry.
  8. Ventura

    Ventura New Member

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    I have never been camping myself but always just thought that if we did plan a trip, we would just take enough items for each day and just wash them by hand as needed.
  9. bsmit212

    bsmit212 Member

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    Never worried about washing clothes, but longest I have been was a week and I did smell nasty at the end and was ready for a wash. I do carry a few pairs of socks and just change every few days or as needed. One thing I see often on the AT with people who are doing longer hikes or thur hikers, is they will have their trail set and a wash day set. The trail set is the one the wear on the trial, duh, and then their wash day stuff they will put in a send ahead package, along with some other stuff like shampoo soap and other things that would not be used in the backcountry. They will mail it ahead to the next mail drop, when they reach they will shower, wash trail clothes while wearing the others, and then when ready to head out will pack it all up and send it on to the next spot and do it all over again.
  10. carmen

    carmen Active Member

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    We do similar to what Barney does and the socks are the biggest issue. I swear we have had about three trips that we always forgot to pack socks except the ones on our feet! This is now the first thing that gets packed and goes in the car, in its only "sock case".
  11. campclose

    campclose New Member

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    I have never worried about washing my clothes either. I always pack too much instead of not enough. If I had to wash something I would use my dish pan and dish soap. Hope to never have to do that.
  12. Hikenhunter

    Hikenhunter Active Member

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    De4pends on the kind of camping I'm doing. Car camping I just bring enough so I don't have to worry about it till I get back, or if I do run short then I find a laundry mat and do it there. Backpacking I bring one change of outerwear and two changes of underwear, including socks.I just rinse everything in a creek or lake, cold with no soap. So far this has worked for me.
  13. Backroad Joe

    Backroad Joe New Member

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    Mmmm, I've tried many methods based on circumstances. All served there immediate purpose. The most delightful method I've come across for washing has come from John Steinbeck. He elaborates in his wonderful book, "Travels with Charley". And no I'm not going to tell you...... you'll just have to read the book. Don't worry it's short and you'll thank me for the experience once you've read it. :)
  14. TroyS

    TroyS New Member

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    If we are camping for weeks at a time, we would usually bring clothes enough for two weeks and then just wash them on a weekly basis either through the laundry facilities in the campgrounds we stay at or using our washer and dryer combo in our Motorhome.
  15. ejdixon

    ejdixon New Member

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    I usually bring just enough clothes for the entire duration of my camping trip. Doing the laundry isn't really one of the things that I'm so thrilled of doing, even here at home.
  16. briansnat

    briansnat Platnium Member

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    When in the backcountry, I've been known to wear the same clothing for several days, so I haven't done much washing.

    The few times I have I wet the clothing throughly, poured on a tiny bit of Dr Bronners soap and worked up a lather. Then I take the clothes away from water and rise by pouring clean water over the clothes.
  17. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

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    I'm a polluter. I just empty my pockets and jump right in. Gives both me and my clothes a bath. Haven't seen too many fish rise to the surface belly up yet.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  18. Gondor

    Gondor New Member

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    It all depends but I will usually bring enough clothes to last me for an entire trip. We sometimes use our folding bucket and ash from the fire to clean our clothes. It works pretty good.

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