A No-Fuss Guide On What To Wear For Camping
Camping requires you to put together everything that will make it comfortable, convenient and enjoyable but all too often, we forget to pack the essential items and instead fill our backpacks with things that are impractical or useless on a camping trip.
This guide can, hopefully, help you organize a checklist that provides your camping needs without fuss.
What to wear for camping is always the first requirement that your checklist should have. Camping clothes will depend on the season and in the geographical location you plan to camp.
The hot or warm days of summer in Arizona or Texas, for instance, can become chilly and cold summer nights quite quickly and those without the protective warmth of jackets may soon freeze from the drop in temperature.
What To Wear For Summer Camping
Loose and Comfortable
While camping in pajamas does not exactly translate to “loose and comfortable,” camp clothing such as light pullovers or t-shirts should be roomy enough to wear.
Fabrics for clothing depend on where you camp. While regular cotton should be sufficiently protective when camping on civilized grounds, it should be avoided for rustic camping.
This is primarily because cotton conducts heat and can absorb vast quantities of water. Cotton t-shirts that get wet on a hike during a rainstorm, for instance, can draw heat away from the body and may lead to hypothermia. Your upper body should stay warm even on rainy days. This means including rain gear in your camping checklist.
Rains are Inevitable So Be Prepared
Whether you like it or not, a camping trip has the tendency to have rain. Include a convenient poncho as your stop gap solution to a rainy day.
Ensure that the poncho’s hood is completely dry before you pull it over the head; otherwise, you can have water pouring down on you.
The downside of wearing a poncho is that you get insufficient or very little protection for the lower body.
Bring rain pants or parka to wear over your pants because this combination is perfect for hiking in the rain as it provides both ventilation and roominess for full protection.
Occasional campers can get inexpensive plastic rain gear but for those who camp regularly, buying nylon rain gear is a good investment since this material tears and snags less than the plastic kind.
Shorts and Shirts Appropriate for Camping
While a pair of shorts may be suitable for camping in developed areas, it may not prove to be part of the best camping clothes for places that have more wilderness than civilization like a jungle or the woods; long pants or jeans are more suitable to wear for those places.
In developed camp sites, wear your shorts loose and with enough pockets for a pocket knife, tissues and insect repellent.
Your hiking pants or jeans should preferably be made of denim or other tough fabric material for protection against critters, thorn bushes and the like.
Avoid wearing pants or long jeans in cotton as this material can easily snag and tear. The same rule applies to the shirts you will wear; t-shirts or shirts made of synthetic material with wicking capabilities are your best bet.
Moisture wicking shirts help keep you dry and comfortable even when you hike or do other physical activities such as chopping wood for the camp fire or gathering wild fruits.
A synthetic shirt with a loose fit is the better choice than a cotton one if you engage in high physical activities while camping. Additionally, cotton for sleepwear can get wet from perspiration and lose insulating ability.
Sleepwear for a Camping Trip
Again, cotton sleepwear is disadvantageous for campers, whether in wet or cold environments, regardless of location, since this material tends to hold a lot of water not only from perspiration but from snow or rain next to the skin.
Synthetic or wool fabrics with moisture wicking capabilities would be the better option for camping sleepwear. These
fabrics also work well for winter camping.
Thermal pajamas are the best type of sleepwear for winter camping because these are designed for retention of body heat during sleep.
You should consider the camping area’s average temperature so you can select the type of material of your chosen pajamas.
If you get cold feet, get onesie type thermal pajamas to keep them warm. Or you can get a half bag or elephant foot; these are like foot mittens that you slip over your legs and feet.
What to Wear for Winter Camping
Clothing made of wool material is ideal for camping in winter because of its durability and water resistance even when it gets soaked. Get your winter camping clothes – including socks, jackets, shirts, pants, etc. – in wool or, if this irritates or chafes your skin, in combination with other fabrics such as nylon.
Or you can use the layering system in which you can take the layer on or off depending on how cold you feel.
Start with the Extreme Cold Weather Polypropylene Underwear Bottoms with soft fleece lining.
Depending on what kind of activity you do and the levels of wind, precipitation, and
temperature, the layering system allows you to wear a couple of shirts under a sweater as well as a winter jacket and is better than wearing one heavy coat.
Remember that insulation is most effective when heat can be trapped by dead air spaces, meaning there is no dirt, perspiration or grime to reduce a garment’s warmth.
Wear winter clothes that are loose to keep the blood’s circulation steady and without impediment in keeping your entire body warm and heated.
Take note that body heat drives perspiration through layers of cloth made of breathable fabric to force it out into open air; simply put, don’t wear any waterproof clothing.
Camp Wear for Women
Contrary to most perceptions, women can avoid bringing trunks of clothes when on a camping trip. A list of camping clothes for women will not be shorter than a men’s list, but it does trim away excess outfits such as skirts and dresses.
Here are some recommendations to include in a list for women’s camp wear:
- Bottoms: loose sweat or jogging pants, wool leggings or thermal pajamas.
- Tops: t-shirts or long sleeved tops made of nylon, wool, wool blends, etc. but not of cotton.
- Tops: t-shirts, tank tops in the summer, fleece or lightweight sweaters in winter, fleece or wool jackets in winter or pullovers with or without hoods.
- Bottoms: shorts, hiking pants such as lightweight long denim pants, twill shorts or pants,leggings made of polyester or wool blends.
The bugs away pants would be great if you are extra sensitive to bugs, mosquitoes, ants, flies or ticks.
It has Permethrin, the active ingredient in Insect Shield which is invisible, odorless, and tightly bonded to the fabric fibers. The repellant will last 70 washings.
It can also be zip off to 10″ shorts if so desired.
Camp Wear for Men
Layering doesn’t work less for men than women on a camping trip. Layering gives you the flexibility to meet whatever temperature there is, especially during fall and spring when a hot or warm day can be followed by a cold or cool evening.
Clothing in layers will be easier for the man who camps frequently; take off or add on a shirt if the temperature is hot or cold.
Camping in areas with briars or thick brush require you to wear pants made of tough and resilient fabrics. The best camping clothes for men just has to include a pair or two of cargo pants that are convertible.
Hiking Pants For Men
Look for some of the following features in what should be in the best pair (some pants will have all of these while some will not):
- Lightweight, quick-drying material (usually nylon) with a durable water repellent or DWR finish.
- Belted waistband with a buckle designed for quick release.
- Cargo pockets and a couple of hand pockets with Velcro for closure material which is better than snap-on or regular buttons.
- Back pockets with the same Velcro-type closure.
- Hidden zip pockets inside the edge of cargo pockets.
- Additionally, look for pants that can be converted to shorts with a zipper.
- Bottoms: thermal or wool leggings and twill or denim pants.
- Tops: long sleeved tops, t-shirts, long sleeved thermal shirts, fleece jackets, and nylon sweatshirts with hoods.
Best Hiking Shoes
Lightweight, comfortable, waterproof as well as having good traction and grip are the hallmarks of a good pair of rugged hiking boots or shoes. These give good feet and ankle support to minimize the strain when hiking.
Waterproof Upper material that is also breathable prevents moisture from seeping into the interior of the boots. Besides causing a damp and uncomfortable feeling, moisture can also cause blisters and a foul smell.
Good hiking boots prevent feet from getting sore after a long day’s hiking trip. Blisters on your feet will certainly spoil your camping trip.
Pair it with merino wool itch-free and anti-odor hiking socks for extra comfort minus the bulk.
Camping Wear – Accessories
As for accessories, men can wear baseball caps or beanies when camping in summer and
balaclavas and winter hats with flaps in winter which, incidentally, women can wear too.
Balaclavas can also be worn during outdoor summer activities and offer protection from sunstroke, heat loss or windburn in extreme weather conditions.
Waterproof and windproof hiking gloves with fleece lining are excellent for warmth retention during cold weather camping, keeping your fingers warm and toasty.
And of course, you’ll need the best tents for camping as well as check out the best camp stoves.
Click here to read an article on some interesting camping grounds in the US.