Easy Tip To Keep Your Clothes and Your Pack Smelling Fresh

A lot of times when a person travels things have a tendency to get a funk to them.  I am not talking about the funk by George Clinton, but more so by the mildewy smells that can over take a pack.  In some places of the world it seems as though some things just never seem to dry.  When I was trekking to Everest Base Camp, I couldn’t believe how damp it was in certain places in the Himalayas.  No matter what, everything always seemed damp, and when something always seems damp, chances are it is only a matter of time before it begins to smell damp.  I think we have all bee there.

The most frustrating thing is keeping the newly cleaned clothes from taking on that mild mildewy smell that the rest of the pack has.  For this I use a couple of different tricks.  One of them is having a separate compressible stuff sack for dirty clothes only.  What I mean by this is, when things start to get dirty, I put them in their own stuff sack and keep them separate from the rest of my clothes.  This seems pretty basic, but most people just throw them in their pack and don’t take into consideration about keeping them separate from everything else.   This helps keep the clean clothes stay fresh, and the dirty ones contained.  Sea to Summit makes some pretty reliable stuff sacks, but any one will do.

However, the one thing that I began to do to keep my pack and clothes smelling fresh is that before every trip I take, I buy some dryer sheets.  Just some good’ol fresh smelling dryer sheets that you can pick up from your grocery store for a couple of dollars.  I then take about thirty of them and put them into a quart size ziplock bag and keep them in my pack.  Every time I get my laundry cleaned, I throw a fresh dryer sheet in my clean clothes stuff sack and this helps to keep my clothes smelling fresh over the course of the week that I use them.  It’s always nice to have clean fresh smelling clothes.  The dryer sheets help to fight off the mildewy smell as well.  I also take a couple of dryer sheets and put them in the bottom of my pack so that the smell can permeate throughout my entire bag helping to keep it fresh.

Backpacks take a beating and begin to smell after a while.  Whether it is from sweating on the shoulder straps or getting slightly wet on the inside, it is always good to help keeping it smell fresh.  Another great trick is that if you bring boots or shoes with you and are not using them.  When you store them in your pack, stuff one dryer sheet down into the toes of each shoe to help keep them smelling fresh.  That way your bag won’t be as funky.

The reason I use dryer sheets is because they are light and don’t take up any space in your pack because they can lay flat.  Liquids can bust open and can take up a lot of space and can cause problems if they get all over your clothes.  Keep it light and keep it fresh, because every little bit helps.


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