How To Dry Clothes While Backpacking?

You can use a clothesline to dry your clothes while backpacking. It can be a great way to save space in your pack, as you can hang your wet clothes on the line and let them air dry. Clotheslines can also dry your tent or sleeping bag if they get wet.

When you are backpacking, every ounce of weight counts; that’s why traveling with wet clothes can be a real pain. You want to avoid carrying the extra weight in the form of a wet backpack.

Here is how to dry clothes while backpacking without weighing yourself down.

Best Practices For Getting Your Clothes Dry While Backpacking

It would be best if you were prepared for anything while on the trail. So if your clothes get wet, don’t panic! Just use one of these methods to dry them out, and you’ll be good to go.

Dry In The Sun And Wind:

This is the most common and effective method to dry clothes while backpacking.

Find a sunny spot and lay your wet clothes out in the sun and wind. The sun will help evaporate the water, and the wind will help to circulate the air and speed up the drying process.

Option 1: With A Clothesline:

  1. Hang your wet clothes on a clothesline
  2. Find a sunny spot to hang the clothesline
  3. Leave the clothes to dry.

Option 2: Drying Without A Clothesline:

  1. Spread your wet clothes out in a sunny spot
  2. Let the sun and wind do their work!
  3. Once they’re dry, fold them and put them away.
  4. Repeat as necessary!
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Option 3:Use Tree Branches Or Rocks:

  1. Find two tree branches or rocks that are about the same size
  2. Place your wet clothes on one of the branches or rocks
  3. Use the other branch or rock to weigh down the wet clothes
  4. Leave them, and they should be dry after some time!

Option 4:Hang Clothes On The Back Of The Backpack:

If you don’t have a clothesline, you can still dry your clothes while backpacking.

  1. Hang your wet clothes on the back of your backpack.
  2. This will expose them to the sun and wind, which will help them dry.
  3. Ensure your backpack is not too full, as wet clothes can add much weight.

Option 5:Drying Using A Tarp:

If you have a tarp, you can use it to dry your gear.

  1. Set up your tarp in a sheltered spot
  2. hang your wet gear.
  3. The tarp will help to protect your clothes from the elements while it dries.

Drying While Backpacking Overnight Over The Trail:

If your gear gets wet while backpacking, you can do a few things to dry it out overnight.

1. Campfire:

If you have a campfire going, you can use it to dry your clothes. Hold your wet garments close to the fire, careful not to burn them. The heat from the fire will help evaporate the water, and your clothes will be dry in no time.

2. Sleeping Bag:

If you don’t have a campfire, you can try drying your gear in your sleeping bag. Place your wet gear in your sleeping bag with you at night. The body heat from your sleeping bag will help to dry out your gear.

3. Wipe Clothes On Towels And Hang Them On Your Tent:

If you have wet clothes, you can try wiping them down with towels and hanging them on your tent. The heat from your tent will help to dry out your clothes.

4. Drying Using Body Heat:

If you have wet gear, you can try using your body heat to dry it. Put on your wet gear and walk around. The heat from your body will help to dry out your gear.

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Here are a few things you can do to prevent your gear from getting wet in the first place.

Use a Custom Rain Cover:

For the ultimate waterproof protection, use a custom rain cover for your backpack. These covers are made to fit specific backpack models and provide extra defense against the elements.

Pack Your Gear in Waterproof Stuff Sacks:

Pack your gear in waterproof stuff sacks to prevent it from getting wet. This will help keep your gear dry if your pack cover fails or you encounter severe weather conditions.

Minimize How Much You Open Your Pack:

To prevent your gear from getting wet, try to minimize how much you open your backpack. This will help to keep rain and moisture out of your pack.

Choose the Right Backpack:

When choosing a backpack for backpacking, make sure to choose one that is waterproof or water-resistant. This will help to protect your gear. 

Hang your wet gear up as soon as possible:

As soon as you camp, take all your wet gear and hang it over your tent. This will help to prevent mildew.


Following the tips above, you can help ensure that your gear stays dry on even the wettest adventures. And while no one enjoys dealing with wet clothes or equipment, Remember, a little bit of preparation (and the right gear) can go a long way in making your next backpacking trip more enjoyable.


Can I put a backpack in the dryer?

Yes, you can put a backpack in the dryer. However, it’s essential to be careful not to overload the dryer or to use too high of a heat setting, as this could damage the backpack or cause a fire. It’s also essential to ensure that zippers or other closures are closed so they don’t catch on the backpack’s fabric.

How long does a backpack take to dry?

It can take a backpack anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to dry. Depending on the materials used in the backpack, drying time may be quicker or slower. For instance, a backpack made of cotton will take much longer to dry than a nylon.

What are hygiene tips for backpacking?

-Bring hand sanitizer. Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of bacteria on them, but if you’re not near a sink, hand sanitizer will do.

-Bring a small bottle of mouthwash. Not only will it help keep your mouth clean, but can also be used as a disinfectant for minor cuts and scrapes.

-Pack travel-sized versions of all your toiletries. This will save you space in your bag, and you won’t have to worry about packing any extra weight.

-Bring a Ziploc bag or two. This is great for storing wet items (like swimsuits) and keeping dirty clothes

how to keep the matchbox dry while backpacking?

You can keep a matchbox dry while backpacking by packing it in a plastic bag or wrapping it in wax paper. Another option is to put the matches in a small watertight container, such as a film canister.


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