Camping Essentials – The Definitive Guide to What to Wear for Your Next Trip
Camping trips are all about (re)connecting with nature, having fun with friends and family, and making amazing memories. But no camping trip is complete without the right clothing and gear! Knowing what to wear when camping can be a challenge, depending on the type of camping, the location, and your activity of choice — so it’s important to plan ahead and come prepared. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics for what to wear when going camping.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to camp on a secluded beach, go for a nature hike in the mountains, or simply sleep under the stars—layering your clothing is the best way to stay comfortable. Cold-weather camping, especially, requires layers—especially if you’re planning to do any winter camping—so focus on thin and lightweight fabrics and garments to avoid having your clothing add unnecessary bulk. Here are some key pieces for layering up:
- Base Layers: You’ll want a good set of base layer clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, thermal vest, leggings or long underwear, and socks.
- Mid Layers: Mid layers are the key pieces for staying warm and dry. Look for a light jacket, fleece top, or thermal top, some wind-resistant pants, and think about a beanie or warm hat.
- Outer Layer: Rain or snow can occur unexpectedly, so an outer shell layer is essential. Choose a lightweight, waterproof, and breathable rain jacket or a warm insulated jacket and pants.
Footwear for Camping
The type of shoes you choose will also depend on the type of camping you plan to do—so if you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to bring two options. For example, a pair of light-weight, low-top sneakers or trail shoes are great for mild hikes and campgrounds, while ankle-high hiking boots or neoprene boots offer more traction and are ideal for tougher trails and some muddy conditions. If you’re going to be fording through rivers, you can also look for water-resistant or neoprene shoes or sandals.
In addition to the warm layers we mentioned above, you may want to bring a hat or headband to help keep your ears, neck, and face as warm as possible. For winter camping, a beanie is a must, but it’s also good to think about a lightweight baseball cap or sun hat to protect you from the sun. If you’re camping near to the beach, you may also want to consider bringing a wide-brimmed straw hat for added sun protection.
Accessories can be extremely helpful when camping, so don’t forget the basics. A pair of gloves can do wonders on a cold night, while a bandana can also be extremely useful. You should also consider a daypack which will hold all of your essentials, as well as a flashlight or headlamp, and a watch. And if you’re worried about mosquitoes or other bugs, lightly-scented insect repellent can definitely come in handy.
As a camper and a dad of three, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to keep the kids comfortable and safe in unpredictable and sometimes extreme weather. That’s why layering is so important—it ensures that everyone will stay safe, regardless of what Mother Nature throws your way. Above all else, be sure to dress each person in clothing that suits the temperatures and conditions in which you plan to camp.
Minding the Kids: What to Wear for Kids Camping
When camping with kids, comfort and safety should be your top priorities. For younger kids, focus on lightweight pajamas or sleeping bags, as well as plenty of extra layers of warm clothing. Depending on the activity, children might also need additional gear, such as a pair of rain boots and a warm set of gloves. When camping in cold weather, a thermal base layer and a good waterproof shell are also key. And to top it all off, don’t forget the insect repellent!
Camping is a fantastic way to explore the outdoors and create unforgettable memories—but only if you come prepared. That’s why knowing what to wear when camping is so important—it’s the key to having a safe trip. Remember: dress appropriately for the environment and the activity, and your camping trip is sure to be an extraordinary experience. Just check the weather conditions ahead of time, bring the right clothing and gear, and enjoy the great outdoors!