How To Organize Clothes While Camping (16 Ingenious Ideas)

Proper organization is vital for any camping trip, and that includes the way you organize your clothes. Over the years I have been experimenting with several different ways of organizing my clothes on my camping trip, here are 16 ingenious ways you could organize your clothes when you go camping:

  1. Roll Clothing Instead Of Folding
  2. Put Clothing Only In A Suitcase/Bag
  3. Give Everyone Their Own Suitcase/Duffle Bag
  4. Use Travel Organizer Bags
  5. Consider Plastic Drawers In The Back Of Your Car
  6. Compression Sacks Can Fit More Clothing In Less Space
  7. Plastic Bins Stack Perfectly And Keep Clothing Dry
  8. Repurpose Shoe Boxes For Clothing Organization
  9. Bring A Hanging Closet Organizer
  10. Store Shoes Off The Ground At Night To Deter Bugs 
  11. Vacuum Bags Are Still A Thing
  12. Pick A Bag First, Then Pack Your Clothes
  13. Foldable Storage Bins
  14. Bring Fewer Clothes
  15. Use Clotheslines For Wet Clothes
  16. Use Trash Bags For Heavily Soiled Clothes

Some of the methods can be combined in order to perfect your organization. Either way, I hope that at least one of these methods of clothing organization will help you pack for your next camping trip. Keep reading for more information on each method.

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Roll Clothing Instead Of Folding

One of the fundamental basics of the transportation and storage of clothes, in order to maximize space, is that rolling clothing is more space-efficient than folding clothes. This works well with many fabrics and clothing types, especially with the kind of clothing that you would take camping with you. Rolling your clothing isn’t always a good idea for fabrics such as business coats, dress shirts, and dress slacks. However, you probably won’t be bringing those items on a camping trip so rolling your clothing is the best practice for maximizing space.

Rolling your clothing is helpful for when you pack your clothes into your vehicle and for when you are at your campground because rolled clothes are easier to find than folded clothes since you have fewer layers to deal with.

Put Clothing Only In A Suitcase/Bag

Another simple trick to organize your clothes when you go camping is to have something like a suitcase or duffle bag that is specifically for your clothes. That way you do not have to rummage around in your other camping gear looking for your clothing. Designate a suitcase or bag and stick to using it for the duration of your camping trip in order to make locating your clothes easy.

Personally, I like using my travel suitcase that I take with me when I go on a plane because I know that my clothes are in that bag and nowhere else. The size of the bag also keeps me honest in only bringing enough clothing that I need for my trip.

Give Everyone Their Own Suitcase/Duffle Bag

In addition to using a regular travel suitcase for your clothing, if you have enough space it is always a good idea that everyone gets to bring their own small suitcase or duffel bag. That way things are less likely to get mixed up, everyone can find their own clothing, and there is no waiting on anyone else.

Since everyone has their own storage for their clothing then it is also a good idea that the bags are not all the same color. Or at least if they are the same kind of bag then there is some kind of labeling that distinguishes them apart.

Use Travel Organizer Bags

Ever since I started using travel organizer bags for when I go flying I couldn’t help but not also try them for my clothes when I went camping. They work very well for separating your clothes and making it really easy to locate them. Most travel organizer bags will come in multiple different sizes so that the smaller bag can be used for socks and underwear, the medium bag can be used for shirts, and the larger bag is used for pants.

Consider Plastic Drawers In The Back Of Your Car

Plastic see-through drawers can make a really cool clothing facility in the back of your car. This works especially well with Vans, SUVs, and Hatchbacks where you can open the back door and get direct access to your camping dresser. The drawers can also be used to make a really cool camping kitchen pantry but if you are camping in bear-territory then that isn’t a good idea. However, putting just clothes in plastic drawers can work anywhere!

I’ll admit that I personally haven’t done this myself, but I have seen some cool pictures where other people have done it and it is like taking clothing organization to the next level. I’m usually not that fancy but if you are, then give it a try if you have some plastic drawers at home.

Compression Sacks Can Fit More Clothing In Less Space

Compression sacks are used with much of your other camping gear such as sleeping bags and sleeping pads. They also work very well in keeping your clothes tightly compacted so that you can easily fit them into your vehicle. Compression sacks are cheap and effective for organizing clothing while camping.

If your vehicle is particularly lacking in space then using compression sacks is a good idea. They aren’t exactly a way to organize your clothing so much as they are just great for transporting. Once you get to your campsite it is probably best to organize your clothing in a different way.

Plastic Bins Stack Perfectly And Keep Clothing Dry

One useful method of organization for camping is using clear plastic bins. I have a set of 4 that I keep full and ready to go camping at any time. They stack neatly and you can easily see into them so you can grab what you are looking for. One plastic bin could be set aside for storing your clothing. This saves space and makes it incredibly easy for you to find your stuff.

I would recommend using clear plastic bins for more than just clothing. I have 2 large and 2 small bins. One large one is for food, the other large one is for clothing. One small one is for toiletries, and the other small one is for miscellaneous small gear. Food storage is just as important, if not more important than organizing your clothes. Click here to read an article I wrote with 12 food storage tips while camping.

Repurpose Shoe Boxes For Clothing Organization

Shoe boxes are an age-old way of organizing your clothing. I previously mentioned travel organizer bags, and the concept is similar here except that instead of using the bags you repurpose old small boxes into organizers. It works well at home in your dresser drawers but it could also be utilized while camping if you have enough space for the boxes. I would prefer the travel organizer bags, but the shoeboxes are pretty sturdy and I like the idea of repurposing and recycling.

Bring A Hanging Closet Organizer

If you have an exceptionally large tent then you could possibly figure out a way to hang one inside for your clothes. They also work really great for hanging on a canopy if you have one. I like bringing a canopy when I go camping in the desert. You can see on this page what canopy I like to use.

These hanging organizers are especially useful for storing your shoes in because it keeps them off the ground and away from any creepy crawlies that might want to take a nap in your shoes. They are really cheap and go a long way for clothing organization. I’ve even seen people use them for storing other things while camping like their pots and pans.

Store Shoes Off The Ground At Night To Deter Bugs 

Diving more deeply into the shoe organization, It’s important that you try and keep your shoes off the ground so things cannot crawl into them. We have all heard stories of someone waking up in the morning and putting their shoes on only to be stung or bitten by something that crawled into their shoes at night. When I’m in the desert I fear scorpions might find their way into my shoes so I never leave my shoes on the floor.

You could take them into the tent but that often causes a mess. Figure out some way to get your shoes off of the ground. Whether that be a shoe stand, a hanging organizer, or whatever.

Vacuum Bags Are Still A Thing

Another way of making transport of your clothing effortless is by using vacuum seal bags. These bags take a big pile of bulky clothing and condense them by sucking all the excess air out of the bag. They are popular for air travel but work just as well for road trips.

They don’t necessarily have anything to do with the organization at your campsite, but they do make organization on the way to your campsite a breeze. They are especially useful when you go camping in the offseason because cold weather clothing can be bulky and take up a lot of space. The great thing is that you will probably find these useful for use at home, not just to take your stuff camping.

Pick A Bag First, Then Pack Your Clothes

This tip is for saving space in your car. Before you pack your clothes for the camping trip, first decide on what bag you are going to use. Then you have to take the amount of clothing you bring equal to the size of the bag. So if you pick a smaller bag then you will be forced to bring a smaller amount of clothing. Taking less stuff always makes organization easier.

Foldable Storage Bins

Foldable storage bins are one of the best ways to organize your clothing inside your tent. The flexibility and lightweight-ness of the folding ones are what make them great for camping. Usually, they are made of fabric but are actually quite sturdy. I prefer the stackable drawer type ones, but foldable storage bins come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs.

Bring Fewer Clothes

The less you have to organize, the easier it is to organize so only take the essentials. Research the weather forecast before you go camping so that you know what kind of clothing you are going to need to bring. Keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and change at any time so it is always good to bring something extra for really cold weather or rain.

You’re camping so don’t worry too much about fashion or wearing the same clothes two days in a row. Focus more on the functionality of the clothing and protecting yourself from the elements.

Use Clotheslines For Wet Clothes

Your clothes can get wet, and instead of throwing them into a trash bag and dealing with them when you get home, you should hang them out to dry instead. Putting wet or damp clothes in a bag can lead to them smelling bad and developing mold or mildew. Hanging a clothesline at your campsite is easy. All you need is some string and clothespins. You can find both at your local dollar store.

There are also plenty of ways to wash your clothes while you are camping. Click here to read another article that I wrote detailing how you can properly wash your clothes on a camping trip.

Use Trash Bags For Heavily Soiled Clothes

You never want to mix your heavily soiled clothes with your clean ones, or even your mildly dirty ones. I like to keep a trash bag handy for placing my really dirty clothes in so that they are kept separate. If the clothes are also wet then you should hang them up somewhere so that they can dry before you put them in the trash bag. They are a lifesaver for muddly clothes and clothes that smell like the river!

Related Questions:

How can you save space when camping?

The best way to save space when camping is to only take what you absolutely need and use regularly. Look at packing for a camping trip with how little can you get away with bringing instead of how much can you get away with bringing. If you take a camping trip and don’t use an item, then don’t bring that item on the next trip.

How do you store camping gear at home?

The best way to store camping gear at home is to store it in a cool dry place inside. Don’t store everything too tightly compacted like your tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag. Instead, store them loosely and try to keep all your gear inside if possible. Avoid storing gear in sheds, and outside in direct sunlight.

My Favorite Camping Gear

  • Air Mattress: click hereOpens in a new tab. to check out my favorite on Amazon.
  • Tent: click here Opens in a new see my favorite tent available on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Pad: click hereOpens in a new tab. to check out the one I love on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Bag: click here Opens in a new see the one I recommend on Amazon.
  • Camping Stove: click hereOpens in a new tab. to see the best camping stove on Amazon.

Zachary Smith

Zach is an avid outdoorsman that loves going camping with his Prius every chance he gets. He also regularly enjoys hiking and fishing. When he's not outside you can probably find him writing about it on this website. See his full bio here

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