Fabulous Tips for Deciding What to Wear Camping

What to Wear Camping: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re planning to go camping, the gear you bring can make or break your experience. What you wear, in particular, can be the difference between a great time and an uncomfortable one. Knowing what to wear camping is crucial to staying warm, smooth and comfortable, no matter the weather or terrain. As an experienced camper and a father of three, I’ve created this comprehensive guide to what to wear camping—complete with recommendations from experienced campers like myself.

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The key to staying warm and comfortable outdoors is to regulate your body temperature. The easiest way to do this is to wear several layers of clothing that can be added or removed as needed to meet the current temperature and activity level. The more layers you wear, the more options you’ll have to adapt to the conditions.

A basic layering system consists of three layers: a base layer, an insulation layer, and a shell layer. The base layer should be close-fitting and made from a material designed to wick sweat away from your body, such as merino wool or synthetic materials like polyester. The insulation layer should provide warmth while still allowing you to move freely. Down or synthetic insulation is a great choice. Finally, the shell layer should be waterproof and breathable to protect you from wind and rain. A waterproof, breathable jacket is your best bet here.

Your Feet

The best way to prevent blisters, cold feet, and wet socks is to wear wool socks. Wool won’t absorb as much moisture as other fabrics, it won’t cause friction, and it’ll keep your feet warm even when they’re wet. A waterproof, breathable pair of boots is also a must, as they’ll protect your feet from the elements and provide excellent traction on icy, muddy, or rocky terrain.


It’s easy to forget the importance of smaller pieces of clothing and gear, like a hat, gloves, and gaiters. A hat will help keep you warm, and gloves will help give you added warmth and protection from the elements and sunburn. Gaiters are great for keeping debris and snow out of your shoes and pant legs. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses or goggles is also a must.

Camping at Night

If you’re planning to camp in the cold or during the night, you’ll want to make sure you’re extra prepared. Wear thermals beneath your regular clothing for extra warmth and cushioning, and opt for a thicker insulation layer, such as a down jacket. Consider investing in a quality down sleeping bag, as this will provide extra insulation that will keep you warm throughout the night.

Person wearing a wool hat, scarf and gloves while camping outdoorsPerson wearing a warm hoodie, waterproof jacket and lightweight pants while camping outdoorsPerson wearing a wool hat, warm gloves and a waterproof jacket while camping outdoors

Tips for Staying Warm

  • Wear synthetic or wool fabrics, not cotton. Cotton will retain moisture, making you feel colder.
  • Pack an extra layer – it’s always better to be prepared than to be cold.
  • Drink hot liquids throughout the day to keep your core body temperature up.
  • Put on a hat to keep your head warm – most of your body heat is lost through your head.
  • Invest in a quality sleeping bag and issue-grade camping supplies for warmth and comfort.

Now that you know what to wear camping, you can be better prepared for any camping trip you have planned. Whether you’re camping in cold weather or hot, make sure to bring along the right clothing and accessories. These items will keep you warm and dry and help you to have an enjoyable experience.

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