Camp clothing should require more thought than your everyday wardrobe. You may be exposed to many different weather conditions so putting some serious consideration into your camp clothes is vital to your comfort. Personally, I like to wear camouflage shirts and pants to blend into my surroundings.
Boots are probably the most important article of clothing in your camping wardrobe. When choosing boots, make sure they have a good stiff sole for carrying the extra weight of your backpack and other gear. Good ankle support is important too. I like a taller boot, 6 to 8 inches, and having them Gortex lined is a must. There is nothing worse, in my opinion than slogging along with wet feet! With the taller style, Gortex lined boots you can cross most small streams and rivers while retaining nice dry feet.
A Hat Not Only Keeps You Warm, but it also Keeps You Comfortable. Some type of hat is nice to have to help ward off bugs and keep you out of the sun a bit. I like the military type Boonie hat. This, combined with a mosquito head net, can keep you from getting chewed on by bugs while you hike.
Gloves are important not only for warmth, but to protect your hands from harsh elements such as wood sap, insects, and hidden dangers. There are many styles to choose from; this is up to your own personal taste.
Most importantly, I want to remind you to pack your rain gear. You never know when the weather will change and you don’t want to be stuck trying to set up your camp while getting soaked.
Sun-protection shirts have become very popular with campers, especially for those who do wilderness camping. Sunscreen may not be an item you think about when packing your camp gear, but a good quality UV protection shirt should be. They are lightweight and fold up very small, adding very little additional weight and consuming virtually no scape in your pack.
The following items are not necessarily essential, though they may provide additional comfort:
- Long Pants
- Comfortable shoes, besides your boots
- Extra socks and underwear
- Comfortable “relaxing” clothes
Quick Dry Clothing / Moisture Wicking Clothes
Quick drying materials available today are nothing short of amazing. Though they come in many brand names they all do about the same job with varying degrees of success. A good quick dry (usually some type of nylon cloth) pair of pants and long sleeve shirt are a good start.
Some types of quick dry pants come with legs that zip off to convert to shorts, which can be handy. The only problem with these is that they do not hold up well to having bug spray used on them. If this is a concern I would recommend finding some military surplus battle dress uniform (b.d.u.) pants and shirts. I would get the nylon-cotton versions, sometimes called nyco or enhanced hot weather. They are comfortable and wear like iron. Make certain they are mil. spec. (military specification) and not mil. style (military style). There are plenty of knock-offs out there and you want the real thing, not a cheap imitation.
Moisture-wicking clothing is made from synthetics like nylon, polyester, or lycra/spandex. These types of fabrics pull the moisture away from your skin and allow the moisture to evaporate quickly keeping you and your clothing dry. Sometimes referred to as polypropylene, wicking clothing does a much better job of keeping your body dry than cotton. Cotton has a tendency to stay damp much longer, making you much less comfortable and contributing to chill. Moisture wicking material is also used for socks to keep your feet dry and comfortable as well.