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Washing/ drying clothes on tour.

berlinerberliner Posts: 340
edited August 2015 in Tour & expedition
Am off in September for a week in northern France. I lke to wash clothes on tour but cant always ge them dried overnight. Any tips please?


  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,431
    Washing and drying clothes has always been my biggest logistical problem in 30 years of cycle touring. There's no magic solution.

    Always have a spare set of cycling clothes so you always have one day in hand if you can't wash/dry overnight.

    Get rid of as much water as possible out of your washed clothes by wringing them hard (you can wring them inside a towel for extra absorption if you have one available) before hanging out to dry. Wring them again once they've been on the line for a while.

    Wash your clothes as soon as you finish your day's ride (before you shower etc) to ensure maximum drying time. I always try if possible to finish my ride and get my clothes washed and on the line by about 4.30pm to give them the best chance of drying.

    Use direct sun if possible to dry clothes. Laying them flat on a rock or hedge outdoors is better than hanging them up over a bath.

    If they are still damp the next morning, strap or attach your clothes to your bike and they will dry as you ride along. The top of a pannier works well. It's always the pad of shorts which takes longest to dry so put that uppermost.

    If you are camping, you can put (slightly) damp clothes inside your sleeping bag as you sleep and they will be dry by morning. You can "borrow" covered awning space from unoccupied caravans to dry your stuff if it's raining. If sites are empty, you can also string up a line in the toilet block.

    Finally, wearing damp clothes is not as bad as it might seem. They will dry out pretty quickly on you as you ride if it's dry.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    As said, wringing them out inside a towel works best. Lay the washed clothes on a dry towel and roll the towel up. Put your foot on one end of the roll and start twisting the other with your hands, when you can't twist it any more, pull the towel upwards to tighten the twists. Works a treat. I was shown this trick by a friend after I'd spent ages wondering why their kit was always dry in he morning, and mine still damp.
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    You don't say if you are camping or hotel/b&b.

    I always carry a piece of string an some pegs. As previous posters have said wring out and hang up plus carry pegged to panniers/bike the next day. The problem comes when it rains all night and is still doing so the following day. The towel ring out is good but beware of wringing too hard by hand (no towel) you can damage your clothes. If you are in a hotel and can't hang clothes out the window then hang stuff over the bath and then after an hour or so squeeze the lower section as this is where all the water drains to, repeat until no water comes out.

    Takes clothes with you that dry quickly. For instance cotton t-shirts are rubbish; they dry slowly, are bulky and relatively heavy. A synthetic running top will dry overnight hung up indoors.

    Also in a hotel I have used the hair-drier (if there is not one in you room ask at reception) or the hand dryer in a toilet to help finish things off.
  • berlinerberliner Posts: 340
    Thanks for all the suggestions all very helpful. We're doing B&B , so some creature comforts. Like the towel ringing and peg out on the panniers.
    Thanks again
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