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How to dry clothes while camping

Whether you got stuck in the rain, went fishing or had to walk through a stream, wet clothes are just a fact of life when you camp. Fortunately, there are many ways to dry out your wet clothes. The easiest way is an old-fashioned clothesline tied between two trees. If you do not have a rope, there are some other methods that can dry your clothes just as quickly.


[[[[Edit]Set a clothesline

  1. Tie a rope between 2 trees in a sunny place. An old-fashioned clothesline is the best method for drying clothes on a camping trip. Find two trees in a sunny spot and close enough to each other to tie a rope between them. Wrap the rope around both trees and tie a knot to connect the rope ends.[1]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 1.jpg
    • You do not necessarily need trees. Some form of pole or rod also works.
    • If you do not have a rope, all the other material that you can tie around a tree will work as well. Paracord, yarn or string can do the trick as well. Always include certain materials like these in your camping package.
    • Also try to find a place with good airflow. A light breeze dries your clothes much faster.
  2. Squeeze out all your clothes to remove excess water. Your clothes will dry faster if you twist them out a little before hanging them, especially if they are wet. Press and twist on each wet object to get rid of excess moisture.[2]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 2.jpg
    • Try to rub the clothes between your hands as well. The friction may begin to evaporate slightly from the water.
  3. Pull your wet clothes over the rope with some space between the items. Hang each item over the rope after twisting the clothes. Spread and flatten each one so that it dries faster. Also leave a few inches of space between each item so that there is good airflow.[3]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 3.jpg
    • You can also pack some clothespins to keep the clothes in place. This is good if it is windy.[4]
  4. Wait about 1 hour until the clothes dry. Depending on how sunny and windy it is, the clothes can take between 20 minutes and 2 hours to dry. Come back in an hour to see if they are dry enough. If not, leave them on the line to dry a little more.[5]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 4.jpg
    • Keep track of the weather while your clothes are drying. If it gets cloudy, be prepared to take your clothes quickly into your tent if it starts to rain.
  5. Build a campfire a few meters away to speed up the process. The increased heat from a campfire causes the water to evaporate faster. Build a campfire from the clothesline and let it burn while the clothes dry.[6]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 5.jpg
    • Always follow campfire safety guidelines. Clear the area of ​​dry vegetation, dig a pit and surround it with stones to keep the fire inside. Always extinguish the fire with water or dirt before leaving it unattended.[7]
    • Never place the fire directly under the clothes. This will burn them.

[[[[Edit]Drying without clothesline

  1. Soak the wet clothes in a dry towel to soak up moisture. This method will not get your clothes completely dry, but it will absorb a lot of water. Ring out the clothes a bit and place them on top of a dry towel. Fold the towel over the clothes and press it down. Leave the clothes there for 20-30 minutes while the towel absorbs the moisture.[8]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 6.jpg
    • Make sure the towel is completely dry before starting this method.
  2. Put your clothes on a hot stone in the sun. If you do not have a rope or clothesline, a warm cut can dry your clothes quickly. Lay some wet objects flat on the rock and make sure they do not touch each other. Let them sit in the sun for about an hour.[9]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 7.jpg
    • The stone can be dirty, so try to wipe it off a bit before putting down any clothes.
    • If you have several wet objects, you will probably need to find more than one stone or dry your clothes in groups.
    • If it is windy, weigh down the clothes with smaller stones or similar heavy objects. Otherwise, they may blow away.
  3. Pull your clothes over the roof of your tent. Your tent is another good place to hang wet clothes. Lay out all clothes and leave space between all objects. Come back in an hour to see if the clothes need more time to dry.[10]
    Dry clothes during camping Step 8.jpg
    • Make sure the top of the tent is not wet, especially if it has been raining recently. Wipe it with a towel first.
    • Since the tent will not be as hot as the mountain, it will probably take longer before the clothes dry here.
  4. Hang wet clothes on a string in your tent if it rains. If you have a rope or string but it is raining outside, you can try drying them in your tent. Tie the rope over your tent and hang the wet clothes on it like a clothesline. Leave all windows open to increase the air flow in the tent and dry the clothes faster.[11]
    Dry clothes while camping step 9.jpg
    • If the clothes drip, do not hang them over your sleeping bag. You can get wet while you sleep.
    • Clothes dry more slowly if it rains because the air is humid. It probably takes a few hours before your clothes dry with this method.
  5. Tie wet clothes to your packaging if you travel. If you are hiking and can’t stop to put up a clothesline, you can still dry some clothes while traveling. Use clips or string and tie them to your packaging. The wind and the sun help to dry them out faster.[12]
    Dry clothes while camping step 10.jpg
    • This is best for smaller items like socks and underwear, but you can also try on some larger pieces like shirts as well.
    • Check behind you as often as possible to make sure you do not drop any clothes.

[[[[Edit]Things you need

  • String or rope
  • Campfire
  • Tent
  • Dry towels


  • If your clothes get wet, change into dry clothes before bed. You will be more comfortable and avoid hypothermia.[13]
  • If you left wet clothes in a plastic bag, do not leave them for more than a day or two. Otherwise, mold can start to grow.


  1. http://hikingmastery.com/skills/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  2. http://survival-mastery.com/skills/bushcraft/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  3. http://hikingmastery.com/skills/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  4. https://www.getoutwiththekids.co.uk/camping/camping-tips/dealing-wet-dirty-clothes-campsite/
  5. http://hikingmastery.com/skills/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  6. http://hikingmastery.com/skills/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  7. https://www.recreation.gov/articles/location-spotlight/campfire-safety-tips/807
  8. http://hikingmastery.com/skills/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  9. http://hikingmastery.com/skills/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  10. http://survival-mastery.com/skills/bushcraft/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  11. http://survival-mastery.com/skills/bushcraft/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  12. http://hikingmastery.com/skills/how-to-dry-clothes-fast.html
  13. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/camping/what-to-bring.htm

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