Pack Clothes

By: Marlene,

Packing List IdeaNote: the following question about how to pack clothes in a truck was submitted to us through our Contact Us page. It’s such a good question that we decided to turn it and our answer into a content page for all of our readers to enjoy.

—– Original question about how to pack clothes —–

Hi. I am engaged to a long haul trucker. We are talking about me living with him in his company owned truck full -time.

What clothing would you suggest? I am a 56 yr old widow. I am finding it hard to find any kind of list that gives quantities. Like three t-shirts.

Pete is out up to a month at a time.

Thanks Marlene

—– Vicki’s response on how to pack clothes —–

Hello, Marlene,

Thank you for contacting us through our website,, to ask your question.

I empathize with you because I live full-time in the truck that my husband drives for his trucking company.

Although we have a set of three packing lists on our site here, the “personal” one — linked on that page — will probably be the best starting point to answer your inquiry. Now for specifics…

First, you will need to understand if your intended has a company dress code that also applies to his passenger. If so, you will want to make sure that you meet that dress code. Please ask him.

Second, you will need to determine how much sitting or other physical labor you’ll be doing. Some clothes are better for sitting than others. When I first started out in trucking, I tried wearing denim jeans. I felt like the folds cut into my flesh. So I changed to a different kind of pant which is much more comfortable to me. If you will be doing labor, you’ll want clothing that can endure the rigors of your work. FWIW, my husband always wears relaxed fit jeans on the road.

Third, you will need to determine the level of hygiene you wish to maintain. My husband Mike and I make it a practice to shower at least every other day on the road, but change inside clothes (underwear) daily. If we’re out for 14 days, we need at least 7 changes of outside clothes and 14 changes of inside clothes. It doesn’t hurt to have a few spares on hand for times when the unexpected occurs (like you’re caught in a rain shower without an umbrella).

In our case, we aim to stop and do laundry at least every 2 weeks. Occasionally, we will be out for 3 weeks at a time and pack accordingly. If you will be doing laundry occasionally, the number of changes of clothes you take with you can be reduced. Ask your intended what his laundry schedule is.

Fourth, you may wish to pack at least one set of clothes in case you run in climates other than the one where you’re from. Consider the severe temperature and humidity changes between areas, such as:
* San Diego, CA, and Seattle, WA (south to north on I-5);
* Laredo, TX, and Duluth, MN (south to north on I-35);
* Miami, FL and Portland, ME (south to north on I-95); and
* Needles, CA, and Flagstaff, AZ (west going east on I-40).

If you’re cold-natured, you may wish to keep a sweat shirt, sweat jacket or sweater with you year-round, especially if your intended likes it cool in his truck. I personally wear two pairs of socks year-round, a tube sock inside and a smaller ankle sock on top of that. I also have a pair of slippers that I wear in the truck whenever I don’t have my shoes on. The slippers and socks assist in keeping my feet warm. It does not hurt to have two pairs of shoes to swap out every day, especially if you like to wear shoes all the time.

Fifth, you may be limited on the amount of clothing you can take based on the space in the truck. Some trucks have much less storage space than others. Sometimes you can get creative and “make space” where there isn’t any currently, such as by hanging a tiered organizer from an upper bunk. The drawback is that if it hangs down to the lower bunk, it could hit the feet of the sleeper on the lower bunk or hinder raising the bunk to access storage room underneath.

I hope this has been some help to you. Please remember to use your own best judgement in the quantity of clothing you pack and packing for certain seasons of the year. You may need to make adjustments as you go along. Unless you find a tremendously good buy, I do not recommend making clothing purchases in a truck stop to round out your supply. Not only that but there are certain articles of clothing that you cannot find in a truck stop (especially ladies’ underwear).

FWIW, since your question was so good, I plan to convert it and my answer into the basis for a content page linked under the form on our packing list page.

Please let me hear from you again to know how it is working for you.

On behalf of my husband and me, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road!

Best regards,
Vicki Simons

—– Editing note on this pack clothes submission —–

Note: Slight editing, mostly for formatting purposes, has been done to the content on this page from the original sent by email.