Ultralight Clothes Pegs for Hiking

How to dry your clothes when hiking? I have had a number of strategies.

First I always wear clothing which is quick drying such as light weight ‘super wash’ wool and nylon for example. My first resort has always been my own body’s heat. For many years I would wash my clothes at the end of the day, hang them overnight to get them dry as best  as I could – sometimes in front of a warm fire this works excellently – all my home-made tents for example can have a fire out the front to warm them – and include an inbuilt clothes line (Yes, even the Pocket Poncho Tent’) so that oftentimes my clothes would be clean and dry in the morning to put on.

If they are not dry I would put them on anyway (‘Ouch’, I know – especially on a cold morning with the frost on the ground, but I have done this many hundreds of times, (even in winter in Fiordland – you have to grow up sometime) and they would be warm in a couple of minutes and dry in about fifteen minutes. Only the first 2-3 minutes is unpleasant!

You can see some clothes hanging right here in my Siligloo for example. They were dry by morning, but this was a summer canoe trip on the Wonnagatta River, Gippsland, Victoria where we live. Of course you don’t need pegs for inside a tent – and the clothes can’t get wet if it rains while you are away eg exploring or hunting for the day.

The packs I use have side pockets and/or cinch straps on the sides, and also have a back pocket from which you can hang your clothes with pegs/pins for safety. If they do not I tie a piece of cord across the back. Then, when I am walking I can peg/pin a pair of socks on one side, underpants on the other, and a pair of trousers or shirt at the back.

On a warm or summer’s day your clothes will get dry in this way so you don’t have to put wet clothes on. I have done this even on the South Coast of Tasmania, on the Everest Base Camp Trek and many other places.

Some ultralight pegs/pins can still come in handy (eg on the pack as above):

– Go fast and Light Ultralight Clothespin Clip: http://www.gofastandlight.com/Ultralight-Clothespin-Clip/productinfo/TO-D-PIN/ 6.4 grams ea. Too heavy by far!

  • Plastic bread bag clips: Interesting idea – possibly would not withstand much wind. Wouldn’t trust them on my pack’s clothes line though.

– ‘Tumbleweed’ says : ‘Simply go around the first tree with one end of the line until the tree is about in the middle of the overall length of line. Then go to the second tree with both ends, twisting the two lines (both ends of the line) together.

When you get to the second tree, go around it, pull snug, and tie a half hitch or two.

You will then have two lines (connecting the two trees), that are twisted together. Simply put the clothes between the two lines. No clothespins needed. Works great. The twists in the lines keep the clothes from getting loose.

Takes longer to explain it than to do it’. Good idea. There is a commercial version suing elastic.

– Modified Hair Pin clothes peg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2PrpkpbA8w Interesting but doubtful – as with the bread clips.

– You can use your Kabar knife etc to (carefully) split large twigs halfway along their lengths to use as clothes pegs.

– Or, the peg in the centre below is a standard plastic peg from the supermarket. Weight 4 grams. Not satisfied with that? The two on the outside also from the supermarket weigh just under 3 grams. I cut them in half, so approx 1.5 grams each. They work very well. You don’t need many pegs after all – half a dozen should suffice, say 10 grams! That will do.

As I said earlier I don’t need any at all inside the tent (no wind) where things dry very well anyway, so mostly I am using these on my pack when I am walking.

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