What to Wear for Camping: 2023 Guide

When heading out for a camping adventure, choosing the right clothing is essential for your comfort, safety, and enjoyment. Whether you're an experienced camper or new to the outdoors, this 2023 guide will help you make informed decisions about what to wear during your camping trip. Let's dive right in!

What to Wear for Camping

To make the most of your camping experience, it's important to pack the right clothing. Here's what to wear when camping:

1) Layer Up for Changing Weather


group of hikers hiking in the mountains
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Weather in the great outdoors can be unpredictable. Dressing in layers is a smart idea to make sure you stay comfortable all day. Here's how to layer up effectively:

Base Layer: Start with a moisture-wicking shirt. This fabric will help keep sweat off your body, preventing you from getting chilly and damp.

Mid Layer: A fleece or lightweight jacket provides insulation to keep you warm. Make sure it's easy to take off if you get too hot.

Outer Layer: Your outermost layer should be a waterproof and breathable jacket. This will shield you from rain, wind, and unexpected weather changes.

2) Choose the Right Pants


man warming squatting and warming hands at camp fire
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When packing clothes for camping trips, opt for durable, comfortable pants that allow for ease of movement. Consider carrying convertible pants that can be zipped off into shorts, giving you versatility as the day heats up. Jeans are generally not recommended as they can become heavy and uncomfortable when wet.

3) Pick Appropriate Footwear


2 men with hiking shoes hiking on rocks
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Your choice of footwear can make or break your camping experience. Invest in a pair of sturdy, waterproof hiking boots that provide ankle support. This will protect your feet from rough terrain and help prevent injuries.

4) Don't Forget About Your Head


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Headgear offers more than just a fashion statement; it holds practical advantages too. Choose a wide-brimmed hat or cap to protect your face from the sun on summer camping trips. For a winter camping trip, opt for a woolen hat or beanie to keep your head insulated.

5) Stay Dry With Proper Rain Gear


man with raincoat, cap and glasses going camping
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Even if the forecast looks sunny, it's wise to pack a lightweight rain jacket. Sudden rain showers can occur, and staying dry is crucial for avoiding discomfort and potential health risks.

6) Stay Comfortable With the Right Undergarments


woman in tent with comfy socks
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Choosing the right undergarments can greatly impact your comfort level while camping. Opt for moisture-wicking socks to prevent blisters and underwear that won't chafe. These small details can make a big difference during long hikes or activities.

7) Sleep Well With Proper Sleepwear


woman comfortable in sleeping bag
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Getting a good night's sleep is really important for a camping trip to be enjoyable. Pack comfortable sleepwear that is suitable for the weather conditions. If you're planning to go on a cold-weather camping trip, it's a good idea to think about using thermal layers.

What Not to Wear While Camping

Just as knowing what to wear is important, understanding what not to wear can be equally crucial for a successful camping trip. Here's a rundown of items to avoid:

1) Cotton Clothing


group of 3 hikers hiking in mountains
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Cotton may be comfortable, but it retains moisture and takes a long time to dry. This can lead to discomfort, chafing, and even hypothermia in colder conditions. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics instead.

2) Flip-Flops and Sandals


child in socks and flip flops stand on cut tree at campsite
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Open-toed footwear leaves your feet vulnerable to injuries from rocks, thorns, and insects. Choose closed-toe, sturdy shoes or hiking boots that provide proper protection and support.

3) Fragile or Expensive Items


family sitting at table with laptop at campsite
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Leave your delicate or costly clothing and accessories at home. Camping involves dirt, sweat, and potential wear and tear. Pack rugged, functional clothing that you won't mind getting dirty.

4) Bulky or Heavy Clothing


two campers sleeping on mat and reading
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Overloading your bag with heavy camping clothing can make hiking and moving around the campsite tiring and uncomfortable. Instead, pack clothes that are lightweight and easy to fold.

5) Overly Tight Clothing


woman in jeans sitting at campsite and drinking hot beverage
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While it's important to wear camping clothes that fit well, overly tight clothing can restrict movement and lead to discomfort during activities like hiking and setting up tents. Opt for clothing that allows freedom of movement.

6) Strong Fragrances


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Perfumes, colognes, and strongly scented lotions can attract insects and wildlife. To avoid unwanted encounters, skip strong fragrances while camping.

7) Open Clothing


woman in shorts sitting at campsite at campfire
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If you're going on a summer camping trip, it's crucial to recognize that even in warm weather, open clothing might not suffice. The sun's rays can still pose a risk. Rather than opting for minimal camping outfits, choose long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats for effective sun protection.


When it comes to choosing the right camping outfit, practicality and comfort are key. Focus on fabrics that keep you dry and comfortable, opt for layering to handle changing weather, and invest in sturdy footwear. By following the tips mentioned above, you'll be well-prepared for a fantastic camping experience in 2023.

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