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#148073 - 03/20/11 07:03 PM clothing
skysail Offline

Registered: 01/30/11
Posts: 17
Loc: chicago
I was wondering how many pairs of clothes people bring on a week long trip like the AT. I know im going to have to carry one set of clean clothes for the trip home, but on average, during the summer how much do people usually bring? How do you wash your clothes besides going to a laundromat.

#148080 - 03/20/11 08:44 PM Re: clothing [Re: skysail]
balzaccom Offline

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1785
Loc: Napa, CA
We use lightweight synthetic shirts and pants...and wash them once every 2-3 days on the trail. Then we just put them on and keep walking. No need to carry a pack full of laundry, dirty or clean.

Undies and socks: 2 pair. One gets washed while we wear the other. ANd we can go for weeks with that system.

check out our website and blog:

#148086 - 03/20/11 09:10 PM Re: clothing [Re: balzaccom]
phat Offline

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I pretty much wear one set of clothing the whole time, and one set of base layer to sleep in. So usually a pair of syntheic pants or convertible pants, a pair of synthetic undies, and a synthetic shirt on me.

in my back will be a change of undies (1) sleeping socks, synthetic long johns (top and bottom) that I sleep in, a long sleeve shirt and an insulating layer like a fleece or down sweater.

I will wash out socks and undies, and that pretty much consists of scrubbing them out on a rock. not "doing laundry".

I tend to try to wash *myself* quite frequently - that avoids the funk more than the clothing.

I will have clean clothing to go back in, but that stays in the car - I don't carry it with me.
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
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#148089 - 03/20/11 09:46 PM Re: clothing [Re: skysail]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I bring a change of socks, and a change of underwear. Depending on weather forecast, I might also take a spare T-shirt and shorts, and a second chang of socks. This is in addition to rain gear, which doubles as wind garments.

Cold weather adds in a set of long johns (which may end up being worn most of the time), down jacket, and (depending on temperatures) a down vest and down pants. Also the accessories: hat, gloves, and such.

#148093 - 03/20/11 11:28 PM Re: clothing [Re: skysail]
BrianLe Offline

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
Fully agree with the previous posts.

For a 4+ month trip on the AT last year I took one pair of pants, one long sleeved and one short sleeved shirt (the latter a smartwool "town shirt"), one pair of underwear and a pair of shorts that work as both secondary underwear and pants to wear in town while washing the one pair. Two or three pairs of liner socks, one or two pairs of wool socks (two in colder weather).
That's it, apart from warmer outerwear which varied based on time of year.

Just make sure all of your clothing is synthetic (or smartwool if you're inclined), and quick drying stuff.
I didn't have a clean set of clothing for the trip home; I just put on my shorts and town shirt to wash my trail clothes and wore those.

How to wash besides at a laundromat: in the sink or bathtub in hostel or motel. Again, quick drying clothing, generally dry by morning (don't wash the thick wool socks unless you have access to a dryer ...). Note that some hostels and motels along the AT have a washer and dryer; it's always a good idea to ask at any rate.

Edited by BrianLe (03/20/11 11:28 PM)
Brian Lewis

#148112 - 03/21/11 01:01 PM Re: clothing [Re: skysail]
Jimshaw Offline

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3939
Loc: Bend, Oregon
For a week long trip in warm weather I would take one extra pair of jockey shorts (yes cotton) and 2 spare cotton tee shirts - some "no-rinse body bath" and a small deodorant stick.
I started camping decades ago in all cotton including levis and I have returned to that for warm weather in Oregon. Cold weather is a dofferent story.
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

#148115 - 03/21/11 01:51 PM Re: clothing [Re: skysail]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6534
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
My rule is to take no more clothing than I would wear all at one time in the worst conditions I might encounter on the particular trip. Exception: one extra pair of socks.

I don't take extra undies because I can rinse mine out and they dry in maybe 30-45 minutes--I go without while they're drying. Or I can put them back on wet and my body heat dries them in about that time. I fell in love with ExOfficio underwear several years ago and wear it all the time, not just for backpacking. They make men's underwear, too. I've found it far better than cotton for hot weather.

I don't worry about dirt because everyone else out there is dirty, too. Occasionally, though, there's the problem of food spills, something you probably don't want in the tent. With modern synthetic fabrics you can rinse them out and they'll dry as fast as the undies, whether hanging on a bush or on the body. Or you can just spot-clean. I take a 2-gallon plastic bag to use for washing. I don't use soap, but I still want to dump the water 200 feet away from any water source (I don't want anyone to have to drink my dirty socks!). My rain gear is always available to keep me covered during the laundry process.

My change of clothes stays in my car at the trailhead.

Edited by OregonMouse (03/21/11 01:52 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey


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