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How To Skivvy Roll & Why It’ll Revolutionize Your Packing

by , July 12, 2017

A host of access and organizational headaches can be avoided by packing your travel gear effectively. And one of the most efficient methods for clothing is the Skivvy Roll. Guest contributor Tom Sheppard from Trek Warrior gives us the low-down…

When it comes to venturing out of the home these days, there is an ever-increasing need to be efficient with how we pack our bags. Whether it’s fitting all of your travel needs in a carry-on bag, or simply being pressed for space in your car, traveling light and tight is the best solution.

There are a lot of products out there that can help you do just that. However, they can get expensive and sometimes don’t fully solve the problem of packing efficiently.

That is where more innovative methods can help. For example, if you love wearing t-shirts, then the Ranger Roll is a great technique that you can use to not only keep your t-shirts wrinkle-free, but also pack them tight.

how to ranger roll

But then there’s the Skivvy…

An even more convenient packing method is called the Skivvy Roll. The name comes from exactly what the roll delivers: rolling up your skivvies. It works best for those of us who love wearing a t-shirt under our regular shirt in combination with your underpants and socks. Of course, if you just like wearing a t-shirt as your main shirt, it works just as well.

The Skivvy Roll puts one set of underwear in a tightly wound roll that is easy to pack, easy to grab, and easy to use at your destination. If you wear different shoes that require different colored socks, this roll also lets you easily identify which one you need so that it’s easy to grab on any particular day of your trip.

How to Skivvy roll gif

The roll excels not only at efficiently having a set of undershirt, underwear, and socks in one easy-to-handle unit, but also gives you a much tighter packing capability. It also helps with final pre-travel checks for items in your bag.

The origins of the Skivvy Roll have their roots in the military. The US Marines have perfected this packing technique, and it’s sometimes called the Grunt Roll as well.

“The roll excels not only at efficiently having a set of undershirt, underwear, and socks in one easy-to-handle unit, but also gives you a much tighter packing capability. It also helps with final pre-travel checks for items in your bag.”

You will see this roll around many hiking, camping, and survival circles because it is so effective. For example, over at Trek Warrior, we often talk about camping and survival gear, and the Skivvy Roll is by far the best method that people use to tightly and efficiently pack a bag for a 3-day or more stay out in nature. Some people even throw a small bag over each roll and tie it up to make it waterproof.

Let’s jump into the precise steps on how to do this type of roll next. You will find that the method only takes a few times of practice before you can easily duplicate it. It works best for crew or knee high socks. In this example, we are using crew socks.

Step 1

Take your t-shirt and lay it out flat with the front side up. Go ahead and pull all of the wrinkles out of it the best that you can to get it flat. Straighten up the sleeves and collar as well.


Step 2

Next, take your underwear and fold it in half. Place it right below the collar of your t-shirt and smooth it out flat. You simply want the underwear to fit under the t-shirt collar region and to not extend too far from the center line since we will be folding the t-shirt next.

Step 3

For the next step, grab the left sleeve with one hand and grab the left shirt tail end with the other hand. Then, fold it over towards the collar of the t-shirt. You want the end of the sleeve to not go past the right edge of the t-shirt collar. Go ahead and make it nice and neat to remove the wrinkles.

Step 4

Now we want to go ahead and do the same thing for the other side. Grab the right sleeve with one hand and the right shirt tail with the other hand. Fold them over to the left side. You want the right sleeve to not extend past the edge of the other side. Now make the fold neat by removing the wrinkles.

Step 5

For this step, you want to take a pair of your long socks such that the heels of the socks are overlaying on the t-shirt near the collar. You also want the calf part of the socks to be perpendicular to the sides of the t-shirt.

Step 6

Starting at the collar end, neatly roll down the t-shirt and socks several times where only the calf part of the socks will be hanging out of the roll. Keep the roll neat to ensure that you don’t put new wrinkles in the t-shirt.

Step 7

Continue to roll the t-shirt and socks all the way down until you reach the bottom end of the t-shirt.

Step 8

Now, take the left calf portion of the sock and by making it go inside out, work it over the left portion of the roll until it is half way covering the roll. If you have knee high socks, then you can most likely cover the majority of the roll with each sock.

Step 9

On the right end, take that calf portion of the sock and do the same thing, working it until it covers up the right side of the roll. When you finish this step, you will have a completed Skivvy Roll that is ready to be packed.

About the Author

Tom Sheppard is a big advocate of finding the best gear for a variety of different situations. Whether he’s traveling for business, or taking a vacation out in the woods of North Texas, he’s always on the lookout for better tricks. He often shares his expertise on camping and survival at Trek Warrior.

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