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Use Old Clothes for Camp and Outdoors

If your child is getting ready to go to summer camp (I don't mean the kind where they stay clean and neat), don't buy them nice new things to wear, it's not going to come home that way! Pack their oldest socks and underwear for them to take, so that when (IF) it comes home, you just throw it in the trash! You can do the same thing with shorts and t-shirts too, just don't send torn and stained stuff that will embarrass them.


This tip also works if, like our family, you're going to visit someplace where the kids are going to be playing outdoors and getting very dirty. My mom's place is in the Arizona country where she has red dirt that stains. My kids played outside all day and would get filthy. I'd take play clothes specifically that I planned on throwing away instead of bringing home. Going to the Arkansas Diamond mine is the same, only it's not just the kids that get filthy digging in the dirt and mud. EVERYONE'S clothes get thrown away when we leave the hotel!

When my three boys go to Boy Scout camp every summer for a week, the stuff they bring back is like toxic waste! Boys don't shower at camp, because the adults don't make them. Really GROSS! This stuff sits in the heat and humidity of their tents for a week, in a trunk. Their dirty stuff goes into a black trash bag, where the damp, dirty clothes ferment - the smell when you open the trunk after they come home is enough to knock you over! And the socks and underwear are ALWAYS stained with dirt and sweat. In all fairness, I have to say my daughter wasn't much better. Her stuff came home from Girl Scout camp dirty, stained, and smelling like horse, smoke, and sweat.

I used to try to bleach them clean until I realized it was easier to throw them away. When I sort through their clothes in the winter/spring, I always save the socks and underwear that is getting worn or a bit small and would normally be thrown away anyway, I set them aside for camp. I do the same thing with shorts and t-shirts I've saved from last year. When I'm going through them in the beginning of summer to see what still fits, I set aside the shorts that might be getting just a bit short or worn and the t-shirts that are a bit faded, stretched, or I know won't fit much longer - but I make sure it's nothing that is going to get them teased about the condition. All of this gets packed for camp (or vacation as mentioned above).


When they come home, it doesn't even come in the house! The trunks are set in the driveway, where I plug my nose and open them. I sort through and salvage what I need to, such as their uniforms and bed sheets, which go straight into the washing machine. The rest goes right into the trash can outside for the unfortunate garbage men who have to empty it on the next trash day, LOL! Doing it that way also limits the possibilities of ticks, chiggers, and spiders making it into my house!

By lyonpridej from OK

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

Great idea. I don't have "camp age" children anymore, but I could have used this tip when we'd visit the ruby mines in Franklin, NC. If we were close to where the water came out of the sluice, not only did we get wet, a great big water snake came out right on top of our son one time..


He was about 8 years old, and I don't know who wanted loose from the other more, Mikey or the harmless snake.

Anyway, we'd come home about as dirty as we'd have been had we crawled home through that dirt. We never found anything worth what it cost us to "play", but the memories are just priceless.

Your children probably feel the same way about their camp days. Thanks for sharing a cute story too. I'm going to have to come up with something like that to get my hubby to toss some of his "favorite" old shirts.

Thumbs Up !


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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

We stared using a similar idea for my husband's work clothes. If it's been torn too many times to keep patching, it goes into a "wear it and trash it" pile. Then, if he knows he's going to be somewhere especially filthy, he'll wear those clothes. When he spent a few weeks working in what I called the "tar pit" I actually had to buy him throw away clothes. I found some t-shirs and jeans for .25 - .50 at garage sales and boy was it worth it!

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

What a fantastic idea, living in NC we know all too well what red clay is all about; it is impossible to bleach out of anything but I love your suggestion! Can't wait to share it with my younger daughter who has three children under the age of 5 years old right now so camp time will be coming soon enough and she'll be ready!

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June 15, 20110 found this helpful

Actually at Boy Scout camp they usually actually camp so they are outdoors in tents or tent buildings. The humidity is high so that is why the clothes get yucky. My husband is a Scout leader and part of being a scout is learning to be responsible. If your kids don't shower maybe YOU should have a talk with them not say "the adults don't make them." One year he and his older scouts went to New Mexico for a hiking camp wilderness where there were no showers. I do agree with the great ideas of the old clothes but please don't diss the Boy Scouts, they are so needed in this era of so many boys who have no dads.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I have done this on vacations as well. It leaves more room for souvenirs in the suitcases and it gets rid of the ratty stuffyhat really should go.


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