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System for drying wet clothes

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Elliot Brush

Hi everyone,

I am looking to hike the Kungsleden next year from Abisko to Hemavan, but I wanted to address a hiking problem that has almost ruined previous trips. Damp clothes and drying them out. I use a couple heavy duty pack liners to keep the things in my pack dry, as well as separating dry and wet items, but in situations where I’m hiking more remote trails where washing and drying clothes with proper laundry facilities isn’t an option, and rain is frequent, I find that my clothes aren’t drying quickly enough to replace them. I bring spare clothes but I wanted to see if there was a system people are using to dry clothes on the go (preferably not at camp as this limits walking time during the day). Two suggestions I thought of were sealing the dry clothes in a bag with silica gel pouches, but this adds weight, and the silica beads will have to be dried out with the use of a microwave or oven. The other idea was to use a Mylar blanket, opening on the bottom (hanging upside down) with damp clothes hanging on the inside with a hot water bottle to contain the heat and hopefully drain the water out the bottom. This could be hung on the outside of my pack whilst I’m hiking, but I wanted to see if anyone had tried either of these ideas or have a better idea?

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated

Hope everyone’s keeping safe and well,


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Aaron Zagrodnick

Hey Elliot, my main goal on rainy trips is to keep my clothes as dry as possible to begin with (good rain gear) and by keeping any clothes I'll use in camp protected from the rain in my pack. If anything does need to be dried out I can typically do so (as long as it's not raining) by putting the clothes on the outside of my pack (using a bungee system) during the day and laying anything out in the sun when available. Going all synthetic helps greatly in this type of weather but I've gotten away with down jackets in continually wet weather as well (only used inside the tent). You can find more info on hiking in the rain in this article from Issue 38:


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A good pack cover is the place to start.   In drier climates I just carry a heavy duty trash bag.  In wet climates the rain can ruin a trip.  It happened to me in Alaska.  Even in August we had 4 days of steady rain and sleet.  A dry bag is a good idea for a sleeping bag and important spare clothing. 

The only way I know to dry wet clothes is a good fire.  A small tarp can be invaluable.  

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