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  1. #1

    Default Town/sleeping clothes, yes or no?

    Hopeful future thru hiker here. I've been lurking for a while and researching, and I was just wondering what opinions were for carrying extra clothes?

    (Just your hiking clothes to save weight VS hiking clothes plus town/sleeping clothes for less stink)

  2. #2
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Everyone has their own method, but I say nope. Couple of reasons to not carry the extra weight.

    Lots of hostels have "loaner" clothes you can wear. Voila. shower, change into some weird clothes, head into town. Of course, in these Covid times this changes things a bit.

    But If staying in a "regular" hotel, just make doing laundry the 1st priority (well, 2nd, after a shower), and wear your rain kit while doing the laundry. Plenty of little in-room town-tasks to do while the laundry is going. After that's done, head out on the town!


    Yeah, it would be a luxury to have extra clothes, but you really don't need them.

  3. #3
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    I carry minimal "sleep clothes" -- normally a smart wool long underwear and a smart wool long sleeve shirt. This keeps my sleeping bag cleaner and improves my morale after a long day of hiking, and smart wool doesn't retain odors. Often on the final day of a section, I will change into these sleep clothes near the ending trailhead before I hitchhike to town, washing myself a little in the process, as a matter of courtesy to those I encounter before showering. If it is hot, I will just wear my hiking shorts, if cold, my smart wool base layer under the shorts.

    In town, I wash my hiking clothes at a laundromat, if available, then rinse my sleep clothes out and hang them to dry overnight. If I'm doing a nero (not staying in town and going back on trail the same day), I don't bother rinsing out my sleep clothes. This system works for me. Some people do fine without any sleep layers, presumably having to clean their sleeping bag after getting back from longer hikes, utilizing rain layers or loaner clothes while in town, etc.

  4. #4

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    It's nice to have a spare shirt of some kind, which is kept dry and clean. In the summer, it's just an extra T-shirt. A 100% synthetic doesn't weigh much or take up much space. A 50/50 blend isn't too bad either, 100% cotton is too heavy.
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  5. #5

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    Important to me to be able to 'wash up' (that's a dried out baby wipe that I wet and use like a sponge bath in my tent) and put on dry, sort-of clean, sleep clothes at night. Mine are lightweight baselayer for overnight temps ~60 or lower. Those ~freezing/below freezing mornings I can use them as an extra warm layer to start my hike. So they serve as both sleep clothes and extra/emergency warmth when needed. For shoulder seasons and winter I can't imagine not having a backup base layer for warmth. When I did laundry, I either had loaner clothes (hostels), wore my rain pants and puffy, or I was hand-washing in a motel sink, tub, or garbage can (yes, there were times when I had only a shower stall and the sink was too small to do laundry and I used the room's plastic waste can - they are usually lined with a bag, and pretty clean actually, although I give it a cleaning first!).

  6. #6
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    Depends on what season you are hiking in. If you are hiking during the 'warm season' (~May-September in the south), then no you probably don't extra clothes for camping/sleeping. If you are hiking in cooler weather, then yes absolutely you are going to want some warm clothes to camp and sleep in.

    On the other hand, town clothes are always a luxury item.
    It's all good in the woods.

  7. #7
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    100% OCD requires that I carry a pair of lightweight scrubs for sleeping. Keeps the sleeping bag clean and in a pinch, I always have something relatively clean to put on.
    Be Prepared

  8. #8
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    Carry one set to hike in, one set to sleep in and an extra pair of lightweight shorts for doing laundry in (wear my rain shell top). In the summer it's nice to wipe down at the end of the day and put something else on. I would also often rinse the sweat out of my hiking shirt and hang it to dry overnight.
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    The way I did it is one hiking set and one bare bones, 'stay out of jail' set. In the summer it consisted of:
    Hiking set: Hiking socks, longer bathing suit with pockets, t-shirt
    Other set: light socks, short bathing suit, t-shirt which was just a bit smaller then the hiking one

    Along with a rain skirt, an emergency poncho and a light fleece completed the outfit.

    The idea was: 1 I could wash my main clothes and still have something to wear that was legal in 13 of the 14 states (naked is legal in VT as it is) 2 If I got soaked and cold I could set up my tent and bag, change into dry duds and get in the bag and wait it out.

  10. #10

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    Haven't hiked the Trail for some time, but 'til the pandemic, hostels were a part of most of my trips, but that was generally across the pond. Just gotta say that in Barcelona or Bordeaux (for example). loaner clothes were not on the menu. How common an entity are they? I know some folks (my missus) who would be absolutely reviled at the idea. Fill me in and give me a first person account of scoring some loaner clothes on the Trail. Thanks, Rob

  11. #11

    Default

    Night time is usually colder than daytime.
    Hiking is warmer than being in camp.

    The difference between what you need to stay warm while hiking during the day and while in camp at night are your camp clothes. If that just equals your sleeping bag, it really limits what you are doing in camp. Plus, hiking clothes end up wet sometimes. You can dry them in your sleeping bag with you but if your bag or quilt is also borderline for warmth because you wanted to cut weight, you might be chilly. For safety, just assume your hiking clothes will be wet. It's entirely possible they will be wet for days. I have a lightweight long sleeve fleece and pants set and a vest. That's my base layer for camp even in summertime on the AT. I build up from there. I know I can sit out in camp without needing to be in my bag.
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  12. #12
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    Default

    Dedicated sleep clothes - Yes
    Dedicated town clothes - No

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baseliner View Post
    Haven't hiked the Trail for some time, but 'til the pandemic, hostels were a part of most of my trips, but that was generally across the pond. Just gotta say that in Barcelona or Bordeaux (for example). loaner clothes were not on the menu. How common an entity are they? I know some folks (my missus) who would be absolutely reviled at the idea. Fill me in and give me a first person account of scoring some loaner clothes on the Trail. Thanks, Rob
    Did my first LASH this past fall, stayed at two hostels. Both provide laundry service (they do your laundry for you). they have a closet or a rack full of CLEAN clothes (shorts, pants, tshirts, flannels, etc) and you grab what you need so you can put all of your clothes in a basket to be washed. When you get your clean clothes back, you put the loaners in a basket. The loaners get washed and put back in the closet. It was definitely more convenient than having to wear my puffy/rain gear to go to a laundromat (which I also did). I always keep my spare underwear clean until I am in town/hostel and have had a shower, so I've got my own clean underwear to wear even when everything else is being washed (I'm older female).

  14. #14

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    Sign in Hot Springs laundromat "Clothes must be worn while doing laundry"

    As for loaner clothes, most "pay to stay" have them, most "donation based" hostels don't.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Sign in Hot Springs laundromat "Clothes must be worn while doing laundry"
    As for loaner clothes, most "pay to stay" have them, most "donation based" hostels don't.
    I bring rain pants along with my rain jacket and I've mostly ended up using them as town clothes. At under 2 oz. they are the lightest item of clothing in my pack.
    It's all good in the woods.

  16. #16

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    Thanks for the details. I like Slo-go'en's mention below---"Clothes must be worn while doing laundry".

  17. #17
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    Short answer, no. Ditto on raingear while doing laundry.

    Some good advice I heard a long time ago was that you should be able to wear all the clothing in your pack at the same time, as part of a coordinated layering system.

  18. #18

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    I like to have clothes to wear in camp and sleep in that do not hike in. Try to wash myself and wash out hiking clothes at the end of the day whenever possible. In town, would wear what is cleanest while washing what is least clean. Sometimes this was just rain pants and jacket while washing everything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    I bring rain pants along with my rain jacket and I've mostly ended up using them as town clothes. At under 2 oz. they are the lightest item of clothing in my pack.
    You wont really need them. Your cloths your wearing and sleep cloths are enough. I hiked off season in 2015 fall from georgia to Virginia. Mostly rain then..I hen I only wore my rain jacket when I needed it..Never took my pants with me...Its just added weight...
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  20. #20
    Registered User searust's Avatar
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    I hike in shorts and a button down shirt, I always carry 3 pairs of socks and another pair of underwear, shirt and shorts. So basically I have 2 sets of hiking clothes and multiple pairs of socks. To that I will add a merino top and or a pair of merino long johns. And then a rain jacket and or a puffy. It's all about warmth, and layers.

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