Camping Clothes Essentials: What Clothes You Need to Go Camping?

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First-time camping either by yourself or with friends? Don’t pack the wrong camping clothes! If you want to stay warm and comfy throughout the trip, bring these essentials with you. And, the great thing is you don’t need to spend money because you can repurpose some of your winter clothes for camping!

10 Essential Camping Clothes

When packing camping clothing, you should always consider the camping terrain, weather, and itinerary. This way, you can carry the appropriate attire for your outdoor excursion. If you want camping clothes that work for either summer or winter camping, stick to these essentials:

1. Base Layer

TSLA Men's Thermal Underwear Set, Microfiber Soft Fleece Lined Long Johns, Winter Warm Base Layer Top & Bottom, Soft Micro Fleece Navy, X-Large

You can find base layer clothing either made from wool or synthetic. Base layers are clothing in contact with your skin. They are often moisture-wicking, meaning they absorb and wick away sweat and moisture from your skin.


Wool base layers have exceptional thermal properties to keep your body warm. Plus, wool fibers are soft and ideal for people with skin sensitivity problems. However, wool base layers take longer to dry and are usually more costly than synthetic counterparts. If you quickly get cold or your camping location’s weather condition is around 15 degrees, wool base clothing is better.


Synthetic base layers are the complete opposite of wool. They wick sweat better and dry quicker. They are also lightweight and do not restrict your movement. In this regard, the synthetic base material is a perfect choice for vigorous activity. Nevertheless, the layers don’t provide much warmth for your skin and are ideal for mild climates.

2. Middle Layer

The middle layer is the insulating layer that helps retain your body heat. Like base layers, you have two fabric options for middle layer clothing:

Polyester Fleece

Polyester fleece can be heavyweight, lightweight, or moderately weighted. This material’s pros are that it keeps your body warm even if it gets damp. It also dries quickly and is breathable. Unfortunately, its air-permeability means that heat may escape. So, as much as possible, look for a polyester fleece with wind-blocking qualities. Or, wear a shell layer on top of a fleece mid-layer.


Synthetic layers compress better and perform more efficiently in retaining warmth even when exposed to humid or cold environments. Moreover, the synthetic layer’s shell material offers wind and water resistance benefits.

3. Outer Layer

FREE SOLDIER Men's Outdoor Waterproof Soft Shell Hooded Military Tactical Jacket(Black, Large/US)

The outer or shell layer of clothing protects your body against snow, wind, and rain. Some outer clothing has breathability properties, while others add a water repellent finish to prevent moisture from penetrating. For outer layers, you have two options – down and synthetic.

Down is perfect if you want something lightweight but keeps your body warm. On the other hand, synthetic outer is excellent if you also want wind resistance.

4. Longsleeve Shirts

Longsleeve shirts cover your arms and can protect your skin against the sun’s UV rays. It can also keep you warm, especially if it has insulation properties. Additionally, long sleeve shirts are available in different designs, including V-neck, round neck, and pull neck designs. Make an ideal design choice that suits your needs. Also, choose the color you want and the correct shirt size.

5. Camping Pants and Shorts

CQR Men's Tactical Pants, Water Resistant Ripstop Cargo Pants, Lightweight EDC Work Hiking Pants, Outdoor Apparel, Ripstop Mag Pocket Charcoal, 46W x 30L

Camping shorts are ideal for hot weather. However, camping pants are a better option as they protect your legs against exposure to insects and stinging plants. Cargo pants are also a great choice because it is lightweight and have pockets to store small items like granola bars and a small first aid kit.

6. Sandals and Boots

Wearing the proper footwear can prevent painful blisters, especially when you plan to hike or explore the campground. For exploring, boots are more appropriate because they protect your feet and have better sole traction. On the other hand, wear sandals when hanging around the campsite.

7. Socks

Camping socks provide warmth and comfort to your feet. Wool socks are a good choice for providing warmth. Synthetic socks are more breathable and sweat-wicking, making them ideal for walking long distances. They can help avoid friction that may cause blisters.

Additionally, the socks come in different heights. For instance, ankle socks are stylish when wearing shorts and ideal for wearing low-cut shoes. Long socks provide warmth to your legs and may blend well with boots.

GearTOP Wide Brim Sun Hat for Womens and Mens Sun Hats - UV Protection Fishing Hat Safari Hat for Hiking Gardening & Beach Light Gray

8. Sun Hat and Beanie

While camping, you may spend many hours out in the sun. So, unless you want a painful facial sunburn, wear a sun hat that provides shade to your face, neck, and ears. If you’re camping during cold weather, wear a beanie. Beanies fit your head closely and are usually made of wool to provide warmth.

9. Gloves

Camping gloves provide warmth to your hands during cold or windy weather. Gloves also protect your hands against injuries like cuts and scratches. The gloves are usually lightweight and come in different materials like leather and fleece. Ensure that you get the right fit for your hands for improved comfort.

10. Rainwear

Weather is unpredictable. So, unless you want to be soaking wet and be cold in the middle of nowhere, bring rainwear. Bringing rainwear can be optional if you already have a waterproof jacket and pants. You can either use a waterproof poncho or use a reusable EVA raincoat.

Camping Clothes Tips

Comfort and protection should be your priorities when choosing camping clothes. Here are some valuable camping attire tips to follow:

  • Wear the correct footwear. For instance, if you’re going to hike, avoid flip-flops or sandals. These footwear, although more breathable, exposes your feet to sharp objects. Sandals, however, are perfect if you intend to stay within the vicinity of the camping site.
  • Wear socks to warm your feet and prevent blisters.
  • Wear warm clothes such as your camping jacket when cold and light clothing when hot.
  • Put on a camping hat to protect yourself against the sun. Also, wear your beanie to keep your head warm.
  • Avoid outfits that are too tight or loosely fitting as they may interfere with your mobility.
  • Avoid denim clothes. They are not breathable and restricts your movement.
  • Don’t overdress but don’t underdress as well. Use the layering system.


Camping is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. So, don’t let the wrong camping clothes ruin it for you! Stick to our recommended essentials, and you’ll be on your way to having the best camping trip.

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