Stunningly Stylish: What Should I Wear Camping?

What Should You Wear Camping? A Definitive Guide for Novices

Camping is a great way to get out of the house, experience nature up close, and recharge your batteries. But if you’ve never been camping before, you may be wondering what you need to wear to make sure your camping experience is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The good news is, with just a bit of knowledge, you’ll be able to choose the perfect clothing to make sure your next camping trip is a success.

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Layering is the Key

When selecting clothing for camping, the most important thing to remember is to wear layers. By wearing multiple layers of clothing, you can easily adjust to temperatures when they changes. Forget wearing just one heavy jacket; instead, think of layering lightweight, insulating clothing, such as a base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer.

A Base Layer

A base layer is designed to keep your body warm by wicking away moisture from your skin, and is ideally made from synthetic fibers or merino wool. When selecting your camping base layer, a tight fit is preferred; this helps the garment do its job, and keeps it from getting in the way as you move in and out of your campsite.

Close up play of a shirt and trousers hanging up with camping gear

A Mid-Layer

Your mid-layer should be designed to trap heat, but not necessarily provide insulation. These garments will be typically made out of heavier materials such as fleece, cotton, or wool, and add extra comfort when the temperature dips in the evenings. Look for items that are comfortable, durable, and easy to move around in.

An Outer Layer

Your outer layer should be water- and wind-resistant, to keep you dry and protected from the elements. The outer layer you choose will depend on the season you’re camping in; in the winter or early spring, look for garments made with thick insulation and wax or synthetic waterproofing. In the summer, a light and airy option may do the job.

Woman walking through the forest wearing camping clothes and carrying her backod pack

Completing Your Outfit

Other key items of clothing you should bring with you on your camping trip include:

  • A sun hat to protect your face and neck while out in the sun
  • Gloves and a beanie for cold mornings or evenings
  • Warm and weather-proof socks, since these will be the most important part of keeping your feet warm
  • Durable, weather-resistant shoes or boots

Youtube Video

The folks at Outdoor Cooking have put together a great video with more tips on the clothing you should wear while camping. Check it out!

Closeup of a man's camping outfit, wearing hiking boots, long pants and a flannel shirt

My Expert Advice

Having gone on many camping trips with my family of five, I can attest to the importance of layering for comfortable camping. You want to make sure you don’t overheat during the day, so avoid wearing too many layers. But, it’s also important to bring plenty of warm clothing in case the temperature drops drastically at night. As a rule of thumb, I always make sure to bring an extra layer that I can layer on in case I need it.

The shoes you wear while camping are also essential. Whether you’re backpacking or car-camping, make sure you choose appropriate shoes. For backpacking, you usually want lightweight, waterproof shoes or boots that can handle rougher terrain. For car camping, a pair of comfortable, waterproof shoes should do the trick.

With the appropriate clothing, you’ll have an enjoyable, comfortable camping experience. Now that you know what to wear camping, you can start planning your next outdoor adventure!