Camping Clothes You Need to Have In Your Closet

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If you plan on camping regularly, there are some clothes you need to have in your closet. Despite what some might think, it’s more than just dressing the part.

Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman or a rookie hiker, how you dress can help keep you comfortable and safe. It’s not a decision you want to make lightly.

Today, we’re sharing some essential camping clothes you should pack for your next adventure.

Let’s button up and begin!

What Are Camping Clothes?

Camping clothes are garments designed to meet the unique needs of those who enjoy outdoor activities. The goal is to keep the person comfortable, safe, and protected from the constantly changing elements.

Like many wardrobes designed for varied outdoor conditions, these clothes come in various layers.

Generally, the individual starts with a base layer, which helps regulate body temperature. These fabrics do this by wicking moisture away from the wearer’s body. They often come in short-sleeve and full-length options, depending on where and how you plan to use them.

From there, the mid-layer helps with insulation and warmth. This is typically a layer of fleece, down, or a synthetic insulating fabric. Depending on the conditions, you can often find lightweight, medium-weight, and heavyweight options.

The final layer is the outer layer, also known as the shell. This is what protects you from the wind, rain, and snow. It needs to be breathable to escape moisture but still prevent rain and wind from getting through. Your shell could be a rain jacket, windbreaker, or other options.

A group of four wearing hiking gear and backpacks walking along a trail.

What Clothing Materials Should You Avoid While Camping?

The clothing materials you should avoid will significantly depend on where you’re adventuring. Choosing the wrong materials can result in discomfort, inadequate protection, and potentially even a safety hazard.

Cotton is one clothing material you should avoid while camping. This is especially true if camping in cold and wet conditions. The biggest case against cotton is that it absorbs moisture. While this may be good for your towels, it’s not ideal for camping clothes. Whether it’s from sweat, rain, or something else, you may feel cold and damp for your entire trip.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Camping Clothes

Make sure you consider the whole picture when shopping for camping clothes. Here are several things to consider when selecting outfits for your outdoor adventures.

Weather and Season

One of the most important things to consider when selecting camping clothes is the weather and season. If you’re camping during the summer, you won’t have to worry too much about frostbite or snow in most places. 

Consider the temperature range that you’ll likely experience while camping. In areas like the Pacific Northwest that experience frequent rain, you’ll need to invest in waterproof and water-resistant outer layers.

However, only you know the weather conditions and seasons you plan to spend outdoors. Make sure you choose clothing that is appropriate to the weather and season.


Layering is a critical part of selecting clothing. If we’ve learned anything while traveling the country, it’s been that the weather can change very quickly. Dressing in layers allows you to easily adapt to whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

Even if you check the forecast, you want to prepare for the unexpected. We’ve watched the weather report and got caught in sudden downpours. Like the Boy Scouts have said, “Always be prepared.”

A group of hikers from the waste down wearing hiking clothes walking up a hill with walking sticks.

UV Protection

One crucial quality you don’t want to overlook when shopping for camping clothes is their UV protection. The sun is extremely powerful, and its ultraviolet rays can result in sunburns and skin damage. Additionally, you increase your risk of skin cancer by not protecting yourself. 

You may not plan to spend much time in the sun. However, looking for clothes with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating is still a good idea. Like sunblock, the higher the number, the more protection it provides. 


As with many products, durability is an essential factor for camping clothes. It needs to be able to withstand rocks, branches, and other rough terrain. You’re wasting your money if something tears or frays after a single trip.

Some of the best brands offer reinforced stitching and extra layers of fabric in the knees and elbows. These are often high-stress areas where failures are most likely.

Unfortunately, products with these features will have a higher upfront cost but can pay for themselves over time. 

Pro Tip: Easy Ways to Get Campfire Smell Out of Clothes.

Reviews and Recommendations

If you’re anything like us, you don’t buy anything without reading reviews and recommendations. Luckily, Amazon and other online retailers make reading experiences and opinions from other customers easy. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not always getting an unbiased opinion in all reviews.

You may be lucky enough to have someone who can provide recommendations. Seek out friends, family members, or co-workers that you know. It may be worth joining a large community on Facebook or other platforms to help with research. When investing in your camping wardrobe, you want to spend your time wisely.

Camping pants, shirt, jacket, shoes, and backpack all laid out on a wooden floor.

Camping Clothes You Need to Have In Your Closet

So now that you know what to look for, let’s look at some essentials you want to ensure you have. We’ll even provide links to new clothes before your next big camping trip.

Moisture-Wicking Base Layers

Long Johns Thermal Underwear has been one of the most popular base layers for years. They make a variety of options for men and women. They can help regulate your body temperature and keep you dry. 

These are lightweight and compact, making them easy to pack, and they don’t create a bulky underlayer. You can wear them under almost anything to help you stay comfortable in various weather conditions.

Thermajohn Long Johns Thermal Underwear for Men Fleece Lined Base Layer Set for Cold Weather (Small, Black)
  • Heat Retention: When it comes to warmth and everyday wear, these long johns for men is designed specifically for you to…
  • Ultra Soft Fleece: Designed with a fleece lining & quality material, these ultra soft mens thermal underwear set will…

Quick-Drying T-Shirts

No matter how closely you watch the weather, there’s a good chance you’ll get rained on while outdoors. Quick-drying t-shirts are airy and, as their name implies, dry very quickly. This can help avoid chafing and discomfort while out hiking.

We love that just because you want to stay dry doesn’t mean you must look silly. Under Armour makes some great options that look good and dry quickly for men and women. In addition, they come in various colors. You may even find you’re wearing them for any athletic activity.

Under Armour Women’s UA Tech™ Twist V-Neck XL Black
  • Super-soft UA Tech fabric delivers incredible all-day comfort
  • Signature Moisture Transport System wicks sweat to keep you dry & light

Long-Sleeved Shirts

Long-sleeved shirts can be a great addition to your camping clothes collection. They can help fend off UV rays from the sun, pesky bugs, and even poison ivy. They’re versatile clothing that can be a great mid-layer in certain conditions, especially if it’s not overly cold or wet.

If you’re looking for a more fashionable option, you can find button-up, long-sleeved shirts for men and women. Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t look good too. They even come with pockets to carry small items you might need.

NAVISKIN Men’s Sun Protection Fishing Shirts UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirts for Men PFG Hiking Travel Shirts Bluebell Size L
  • UPF50+ Sun Protection & Quick Dry: NAVISKIN men quick dry sun protection shirts feature UPF 50+ fabrication for…
  • Handy Features: two chest utility pockets with secure hook and loop closures, as well as a tool holder, a utility loop…

Fleece Jacket

A must-have piece of camping clothing is a fleece jacket. These are warm, comfortable, and are versatile. You can extend the camping season without worrying about freezing the entire time. Men and women can stay cozy while exploring trails or sitting around the campsite.

Some of the best options provide zipper pockets to help you avoid dropping items while exploring. These can serve as a great mid-layer and help trap your body heat.

Haimont Women’s Lightweight Fleece Thermal Jacket Full Zip Winter Warmth Soft Microfleece Jackets for Outdoor Mountain Hiking Casual Teal, M
  • Durable Micro fleece is highly breathable and soft, and holds insulation power while pulling moisture away from the skin…
  • 2 zippered handwarmer pockets keep fingers toasty in the cold. Inside 2 large open pockets for extra storage.

Waterproof Jacket

Whether you’re a guy or a gal, a waterproof jacket is another must-have item you’ll want to have when camping. These keep the water off you but are still breathable, so you can stay comfortable when a shower surprises you.

Because of their material, many of these also double as wind barriers. If you’ve ever had to battle exposure to the wind, consider yourself lucky. It can be painful, especially at higher elevations.

Columbia Men’s Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket, Blue Jay/Columbia Navy, Medium
  • WATERPROOF TECHNOLOGY: You’ll love our Columbia Men’s Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket, it features our Hydroplus waterproof…
  • COMPACT AND PACKABLE: A versatile waterproof jacket with an attached hood to ensure complete rain coverage, while its…

Convertible Pants

Also known as zip-off or hiking pants, convertible pants are great for camping and outdoor adventurers. Sometimes, you want to be able to go from shorts to pants without actually changing clothes. 

They can allow men and women adventurers to adapt to the conditions and activities while camping. These pants can keep you safe or comfortable, whether poison ivy, ticks, or chilly temperatures.

Columbia Women’s Silver Ridge Utility Convertible Pant, City Grey, 8
  • OMNI-SHADE — BROAD SPECTRUM: Ultimate protection in moderate to extreme sunlight with superior protection against…
  • OMNI-WICK: Moisture-wicking technology for the outdoors. Omni-Wick pulls moisture from the skin into the fabric where it…

Hiking Socks

Whether hiking or not, you’ll want to care for your feet. A solid pair of moisture control hiking socks can do just that. These socks will absorb the sweat and water on your feet to help prevent blisters and provide extra cushioning. You can purchase beefier options during extreme cold temperatures and lighter versions for summer.

Dickies Men’s Dri-Tech Legacy Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack, Heathered Colors (6 Pairs), Large
  • Soft Breathable Moisture Control Fibers
  • Arch Compression Support and Stability


A solid pair of gloves will be essential to extend the camping season. These will keep your digits warm and protected when temperatures drop. When selecting gloves for camping, you must consider that you’ll still need to use your hands. Mittens may keep your hands toasty, but you’ll need to remove them to do just about anything around the campsite.

A newer problem many glove wearers are having is needing to be able to use devices while wearing them. Luckily, many camping clothes manufacturers are creating them with touchscreen-compatible fingertips. You can scroll through Instagram without freezing your hands.

Under Armour Men’s Storm Liner, (001) Black / / Pitch Gray, Large
  • UA Storm technology repels water without sacrificing breathability
  • Thin, fitted liner gloves can be worn on their own or as a first layer

Proper Footwear

Wearing the proper footwear while camping is critical. Whether hiking a trail or walking around the campground, you’ll be on your feet. KEEN makes some great hiking boots for men and women

When it comes to proper footwear for camping, this is one area where we are okay with paying a premium price. We’ve tried to save a few bucks before on footwear and discovered a few miles into a trail that we made a significant mistake. Save yourself the pain and get quality footwear for your camping clothes collection.

KEEN Women’s Targhee 2 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots, Steel Grey/Hydrangea, 5
  • WATERPROOF: KEEN dry waterproof, breathable membrane that will keep your feet dry and comfortable in wet terrains
  • TRACTION: KEEN ALL –TERRAIN rubber outsole provides high-traction grip in muddy environments and on rocky surfaces;…


Many campers forget to consider sunglasses when shopping for camping clothes. They’re essential for keeping your eyes safe from harmful UV rays.

It’s no fun hiking a trail into the sun and squinting the entire time. Wearing them can protect your eyes and make it easier to see. In addition, they’ll reduce glare and keep the wind and rain out of your eyes.

Wear the Right Camping Clothes on Your Next Trip

While camping isn’t a fashion show, having the right clothes is essential. However, while you may prioritize comfort and safety, it’s also possible to look good. Take your time to research clothing options, so you’re only packing garments that will get the job done. If something isn’t cutting the mustard, replace it or don’t bring it in the future.

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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