What to Wear When Camping

What to Wear When Camping

Millions of people enjoy camping every year, and they will all have an idea of their perfect camping clothing, but I thought a little research into what to wear when camping would be interesting. If you are going camping on one of the large camping sites with electricity, a shop, WIFi and more, then what you wear is probably not that important. 

However, camping on small sites with few facilities, or wild camping, then the clothes you wear can play an essential part in your comfort and enjoyment. Lightweight, breathable materials that dry quickly will definitely be the preferred option, plus you need to consider waterproofing and layering. We’ll discuss these points and more in our brief article.

What’s the Season?

The first thing to consider is the season. Clothes suitable for the winter are unlikely to be great in the summer, and vice versa. In the winter, you want clothes that keep you warm and dry above all else. In the summer, lightweight and breathable is vital while also being showerproof for those occasional summer showers.

The Principle of Layers

Laying uses the principle of multiple layers of clothing to retain warmth and keep out the cold. It also makes choosing just the right level of clothing for the conditions much more straightforward.

Bottom layer

Choose a “wicking” material that draws moisture away from your body to keep you dry. This layer should be made from wool or synthetic material and not cotton, which absorbs moisture. Vests and long-johns are the typical type of clothing at this layer.

Middle Layer

This layer provides the bulk of the warmth and is usually a fleece or jumper. Again, the middle layer should be wool or synthetic to draw moisture from the bottom layer. For extra flexibility, this layer could be two separate items of clothing, allowing you to get the perfect level of warmth.

Top Layer

Your top layer is your overcoat, protecting you from wind and rain. This layer is usually the thickest and heaviest item of clothing.


Inexperienced walkers often consider jeans a good choice for walking pants. They are tough and hard-wearing, but the downside is that if they get wet, they stay wet for a long time, which quickly becomes uncomfortable. Lightweight cotton or synthetic trousers are a great choice, and a thin pair of leggings underneath is a good combination.


There are two requirements for footwear; first, to provide grip on slippery surfaces and protect your foot and ankle. Camping tents are often put up on grass, which can be slippery when wet, so a good grip is essential. Good quality boots can offer protection against twisting your ankle or, worse.

Don’t Forget Your Head!

In the winter, you need to keep the warmth in by wearing a hat. In the summer, you need to protect your head from the sun and the possibility of heatstroke.

Time for Bed

Even in the summer, nighttime temperatures can drop rapidly, so it’s essential to bring some clothing to sleep in. What you need will depend on your sleeping bag warmth and if you are sleeping on a mat or blow-up mattress.


Choosing the proper clothing for camping will ensure you are comfortable whatever the conditions. Remember the principles of layering, and you should be able to adjust your clothing for the conditions.

This article was last updated on May 4, 2021 .

The Outdoors Blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.

Categorized as Camping
Martin Parker

By Martin Parker

Martin Parker is a freelance content writer with a passion for offshore sailing, snowboarding, camping, and motorcycles. He regularly writes articles and reviews about camping and the outdoors to fund his passions.