How to Wash Clothes While Traveling

Washing clothes while traveling, camping or thru-hiking is definitely necessary, but how do you get your clothing and gear clean when there isn't a washing machine in sight? 

We put together a blog and a video to walk you through a very easy and fast way to get your clothes clean and ready to wear again no matter where you are.

In this blog, we used a drybag. Depending on your location and available resources, a sink, bathtub or bucket will work well too.

The first step to quickly wash your clothes while traveling is to prepare your waterproof dry bag:

  1. Set your dry bag on a flat, wide surface
  2. Roll down the top a few times
  3. Fill it with water and add your soap

Then it’s time to add your dirty laundry:

  1. Submerge your dirty items
  2. Agitate your clothing with your hands


If you’re using a dry bag to wash your clothes while traveling, you could seal the bag and shake it to agitate the clothing. This is a particularly nice technique if the water is very cold.

  1. Allow your clothing to soak for a few minutes
  2. Rub the clothing against itself to help loosen the dirt
  3. Let the clothing soak a bit more and agitate it one more time

Next, it’s time to rinse your items:

  1. Remove the clothing and dispose of your soapy water. If outdoors, dispose of your water at least 200 ft from all water sources.
  2. Add fresh water and agitate your clothing again.
  3. Repeat steps five and six a couple of times. When you no longer see soapy suds being released from your clothing, your clothes are likely well rinsed.
  4. Remove your clothing and squeeze it dry. Resist twisting your garments as this may misshape them or damage the fibers.

That's all there is to it. This whole series only takes about 10-15 minutes including soaking time. 

Now that you know how to wash your clothes while traveling, how about a few tips to get your clothes dry. We have a unique technique that results in clothes drying ultra-fast saving you hours of waiting. Check it out here