There’s nothing quite like a weekend getaway in the wilderness. Just a tent and some provisions between you and the outdoors. But without the right preparation, a camping trip can turn stressful instead of relaxing. And a crucial component of proper preparation is your clothing.
It’s not only that you need to be able to move easily and comfortably while you’re on your trip; your safety and protection are also dependent upon your camping apparel. Besides, you wanna be dressed for the occasion!
So, if you’re wondering what to wear camping, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve not only included a comprehensive guide on spring- and summer-specific camping gear and clothing but have also focused on style. Let’s go!
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What to Wear for Your Arrival
“Wait,” you’re thinking. “I have to plan my arrival outfit as well?” The answer is yes, of course! Remember that after you arrive at the campsite, park your car and get out, you’ll be spending the next 30 minutes or so simply setting up.
So, there’s quite a bit of physical exertion involved, and you’ll be coming into contact with nature in all of its glory. Thus, your clothes need to stand up to that.
Since you’ll be raking and digging the ground to make space for your tent, you should be in clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. And it goes without saying that you should be comfortable in those clothes as well since you’ll be moving around a whole lot.
If your time of arrival is closer to nighttime, then it’s good to layer up before you get to work. But since you’ll be sweating anyway, something like a light vented jacket should be good enough. And remember, long sleeves are your friend!
What to Wear Camping Summer
Summer is, without a doubt the most popular season during which to go camping, and for a good reason. The function of camping apparel in the summer isn’t limited to keeping you cool. It’s also important to choose clothes that can keep your body temperature low while exposing little skin. You’re in the great outdoors, after all, with dirt, bugs, and the unpredictability of nature all around you.
So, here’s how to dress for camping in the summer.
Underwear and Socks
Your underwear sits closest to your body, and it’s of utmost importance to choose those that allow your parts to breathe. The last thing you want to be worried about while camping is chafing underwear!
If you’re going hiking, it’s also very important to wear breathable socks that will allow your feet to stay fresh and dry throughout the day. And remember, you must also remember to put on fresh underwear and socks every night before going to bed.
In most parts of America during summer, the daytime temperature contrasts greatly with that of the nighttime. During the day when the sun is high in the sky, your clothes should keep you cool while also wicking away the moisture from your sweat.
Wool and cotton tend to be the most breathable materials to wear during summer camping; not only that but they are comfortable materials as well. Silk is another good choice for women, especially if you’re going to be moving around a lot and are scared of chafing and clinginess. You can also look into nylon-cotton combination fabrics.
The summer sun can be unforgiving. So, it may seem counterproductive to wear long-sleeved shirts. However, on a hiking trip, bugs and bramble will find it much easier to reach your skin when there’s nothing in the way. More importantly, your skin will be protected from the rays of the sun.
Your choice of camping footwear can be quite flexible according to the needs of the situation. Once you have set up shop and settled in, you can choose to switch to flip-flops or light canvas sneakers. It’s summer, after all, and no one likes sweaty feet.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking, you should obviously wear hiking or camping boots. But be sure to pick out a pair with lightweight construction and breathable components. And skip the insulation, obviously!
If, on the other hand, you’ll be spending most of your time around the campfire cracking open some cold drinks or toasting marshmallows, we would suggest putting on shoes with a little bit more coverage. Exposed skin is always an open invitation for mosquitoes.
For summer camping trips, it’s best to ditch your usual pajama set. Instead, consider layering up. Light tank tops and T-shirts paired with your comfiest sweatpants do the trick; even better if you can find a sweatshirt to throw on over it all if you’re camping somewhere with very unpredictable weather.
Why is layering important for bedtime while summer camping? Because it allows you to remove layers if you get too warm during the night. With that in mind, nylon, fleece, and cotton-silk weaves are the best materials to go for since they are better able to retain warmth.
Furthermore, although wearing socks to bed doesn’t appeal to everyone, it’s important to do so while camping. Feet can get cold very quickly in the wilderness without you realizing it. You don’t want to wake up the next eventful day with your feet feeling strangely hot and cool at the same time.
One of the highlights of any summer camping trip is swimming, and we’re sure you’ll agree. Even if you think you might not go swimming, bring along your swimsuit or swimming trunks and a pair of comfortable flip-flops. Extra towels are preferable, although they might take up too much space in your luggage. And don’t forget your hat and SPF!
What to Wear Camping in Spring
Although the weather is relatively more predictable in spring, temperature dips in the nighttime can still take you by surprise. So, what measures should you take in terms of your clothing during spring camping?
Footwear and Socks
Summer is coming, but it’s not here yet. So, ditch the flip-flops and sandals and opt for a close-toed shoe instead. Once again, canvas shoes are your friend; they not only offer protection but also prevent your feet from getting hot and sweaty.
If the weather is still on the cooler side, you can choose to wear wool socks with your close-toed shoes. In higher spring temperatures, you can forego the wool for cotton socks. Cotton is warm, but it’s also sufficiently breathable.
Pants and Top
One of the best things about spring is the varied range of clothing you can choose from. You’ll do perfectly fine with a mid- to a long-sleeve shirt that will keep you comfortable while also protecting you from colder weather.
Your choice in pants is wide and varied as well, but we would recommend sticking to warm pants, especially when you’re around the campsite. A lot of people prefer to wear denim or leggings. While these are definitely comfortable, you should keep in mind that they provide inadequate protection from the cold. Heavy sweatpants are a good in-between option.
In mild spring weather or in windy conditions, you will need a light jacket to keep you warm, especially in the nighttime. And don’t worry about getting too warm; if you follow the layering rule, you can always take the jacket off.
What to wear at night camping during spring? Consider that temperatures can dip significantly during the nighttime in spring. So instead of depending on the insulation of your tent, you should also remember to layer up before falling asleep.
Part of this includes thermal underwear. If your underwear is keeping you warm, you won’t need to depend too much on what you’re wearing outside. Especially if they have moisture-wicking capabilities, thermal underwear can be a godsend.
Although we would suggest not wearing your pajama set, some people do choose to wear them if their sleeping bags are warm enough. However, since it’s not summer yet, we would recommend sleeping in layers.
Don’t forget your socks! Choose a pair made from thick wool. Remember that your base temperature will be determined largely by the temperature in your extremities, i.e., your feet.
Spring Camping Hiking
When it comes to hiking in the spring, you can get away with a minimal amount of layering. That being said, it’s recommended to choose moisture-wicking clothing to help you contend with the sweatiness that accompanies hiking. On that note, moisture-wicking underwear is also your friend.
Don’t forget the outerwear either. As the shadows lengthen and the sun starts lowering in the sky, the temperature can dip unexpectedly. Choose a light coat or jacket that can be stored compactly in your backpack while you’re hiking.
Finally, choose hiking boots with some level of insulation. Traction is also important, of course, but it depends entirely on the type of terrain you will be hiking on. Breathability in your shoes is key if you’ll be hiking while the sun is at its peak.
Accessories to Wear Camping
No matter the season, the right accessories alongside camping clothes can help you step up your camping game. Keeping style, comfort, and protection in mind, here are some accessories to consider bringing along with you.
A scarf can not only enhance your comfort but also accentuate your style. This is relevant particularly for spring camping when nighttime temperatures can vary greatly from daytime. Thinner materials should suffice since you will be engaging in a lot of physical activity, and thick scarves can actually suffocate you.
No matter the weather, sunburn is a possibility. Even with layers of SPF on your skin, it’s still a good idea to bring along a wide-brimmed hat or baseball hat to shade your eyes while you’re camping or hiking.
The coming of rain is, for all intents and purposes, unpredictable. Even if you’re armed with weather forecasts, it can catch you off guard. So, don’t leave your raincoat at home! Rain pants are also great if you’ll be camping in lower temperatures.
Related : Waterproof Tent for Camping
Going camping in the summer? Sunglasses are a must, especially if you have eyes of a lighter color. A lot of people also prefer wraparound sunglasses as they stay in place more easily. Consider bringing shades along even if you’re not camping in summer since the sun can be unpredictable in the spring as well.
We hope that our guide for what to wear camping has helped you to draw up your camping clothes list for your next trip to the great outdoors.
Keep in mind the season, your camping location, and the range and types of camping activities you’ll be engaging in. Most importantly, remember to put your comfort and safety first.
Good luck, and have fun!