Weather can be unpredictable (especially, it seems, when you’re in the field). Here’s how to make improvised clothes pins to hang your clothes from if the need arises.
No matter how much planning you do ahead of a trip into the woods, some things are just unpredictable. Weather changes are probably the most sporadic things we have to deal with. Nothing can ruin a trip faster than a sudden rainstorm and sopping wet clothes.
While carrying a emergency pair of socks and underwear is smart, most of us don’t waste the space on shirts and pants when on an overnighter. No problem; just make some simple clothes pins from sticks and hang everything to dry by the fire.
First you will need to cut off a green tree branch that is no less than a half inch thick. How long it is depends on how many clothes pins you want to make.
1. Cut the branch down into three-inch pieces.
2. Split the pieces you cut straight up the middle, no more than 3/4 of the way up.
3. With a knife, carefully carve out slight angles from the center of the split towards the outside edges. While this isn’t truly necessary, it makes them easier to slide over the clothes on your stringer.
4. Run yourself a string line between two trees. Grab your wet clothes and clip your them to the line with your pins.
Now, just simply let the sun and wind dry them out. If you happen to have a fire going already, hang them close by so they dry faster.
I came up with this idea while on a camping trip with my daughter. A random storm popped up from nowhere while we were hiking that soaked us completely through. While I had packed her multiple changes of clothing, I myself only had an extra pair of pants in my truck.
Since we were camping for the night, I had to dry out what I had on. These little improvised clothes pins were just the ticket. Within a few hours of them hanging by the fire, they were good to go and had that fresh camp smell to boot.
All photos via Alex Burton.