Top Tip #40 - Laundry Management

9th Nov 2019

Laundry Management

Over the years I’ve used commercial laundry services quite a lot.  This could be in hotels, private operators in small towns or villages and occasionally individual villagers who have offered to wash my clothes for a fee. Nothing beats a clean pair of boxers after a long trek!  The problem can be when some hiccup occurs and you don’t get back what you send in.  This may be a genuine mistake or a malicious act, but either way, there is often little chance you’ll get your favourite garment back when, back at your hotel, you unpack your washing to check everything is there.  

I lost a great pair of softshell pants in such circumstances in Peru some years ago.  I trustingly collected my bag of clothes from the local laundry and wandered happily to my hotel. I grabbed the clean items I needed from the bag and headed to dinner.  It was only the next day when I tried to find the pants that I realised they were missing.  I dashed back to the laundry but, as I should have expected, I was met by blank stares and shoulder shrugs.  It was very annoying and it also quite awkward to sort out alternative leg wear in a rural village. 

It was a rookie error and so, after that, I decided to be more systematic.  Nowadays, and this is where our latest Peak Mountaineering Top Tip comes into play, I take a photo of the clothes laid out in my room before I take them to the laundry and then, when I collect the clean clothes and before I leave the laundry, I get them out and check everything is there.  Most times everything is good, but one time I found a Patagonia R1 Hoody had gone absent without leave. I stood my ground, showed the laundry owner the photo and eventually the stray hoody was ‘found’ in some distant corner of the building.  I felt so smug!  I hope it helps you for the future.

Posted by Paul