How to Make a Skivvy Roll | Pack Like a Pro

This post has been updated from our original Skivvy Roll guide that was first published in 2016. We keep our content updated as the world around us changes and as we learn new skills and techniques.

You may be familiar with this packing technique if you served in the armed forces. While the concept is attributed to the Marines, all branches use it. The skivvy roll technique is also called the “grunt roll” and is very similar to the “ranger roll”.

While the ranger roll is individual clothes, the skivvy roll combines the three most important clothing items for hygiene- undergarments, shirts, and socks. Having spares of these items is always a good idea, whether you just need a pair of dry socks or every piece of clothing for an emergency.

How to Make a Skivvy Roll in 10 Quick Steps

Rolling a skivvy roll is quick, even without practice. We’ll layer our clothes, roll them up, and secure them in 10 easy steps:

1. Gather your shirt, undergarments, and socks

In the example, I’m using an Under Armour heat-gear shirt, performance undies, and Thorlo military socks. These are all pretty old, and I’ve upgraded my wardrobe and survival kit clothes since then. We keep our top picks updated each year, and I’m usually rolling with at least one of the picks in my kits:

2. Lay your shirt flat

Skivvy Roll Step 2

3. Place your undergarments on top of your shirt, near the neck hole

Skivvy Roll Step 3

4. Fold one side of your shirt over the undergarments close to the neck hole

Skivvy Roll Step 4

5. Fold the other side of your shirt close to the neck hole

Skivvy Roll Step 5

6. Place your socks with the openings out on top of your shirt at the neckhole

Skivvy Roll Step 6

7. Roll your shirt (with the socks inside) from the top down to the bottom

Skivvy Roll Step 7
Skivvy Roll Step 7

8. Pull one sock over the roll

Skivvy Roll Step 8

9. Pull the other sock over the roll

Skivvy Roll Step 9

10. Pack your skivvy roll

Throw your skivvy roll in your packs near the top. They are lightweight and form-fitting, so they are perfect for jamming into those corners of your backpacks where your rigid gear just doesn’t fit.

Watch me roll one real quick:

The Final Word

Packing efficiently can save a headache later. A skivvy roll reduces the size of the clothes and balances the weight perfectly. A skivvy roll is a great addition to a bug out bag, get home bag, or everyday carry kit. It bundles the clothes together so you can grab and go if you need to. The roll also allows you to carry your clothing items compactly and separately from your pack.

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Whether you are hiking, camping, or planning for emergencies you can use a skivvy roll in your pack.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Skivvy Roll - How to Pack Like a Pro

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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