10 Do’s & Don’ts for What to Wear Camping This Summer

With social distancing rules in place this summer but everyone wanting to get away, camping suddenly seems like a good idea!  If you haven’t been a big camper up until now and you’re wondering what to pack, here are some do’s and don’ts for what to wear camping this summer.

What to Wear Camping - Olive Shorts

1. Do Pack Breathable and Moisture Wicking Clothes

Camping is very physical, and there’s no air conditioning in the wilderness, so be sure you pack clothes that breathe.  Natural materials like linen and cotton allow air to pass through them freely. Stretchy moisture-wicking clothes made from polyester, nylon, or bamboo ( often athletic clothes) are even better as they magically wick sweat away from the body.

Any clothing with vents or mesh (the same type of clothing you would wear hiking) also helps beat the heat and keep you cool.


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What to Wear Camping Capris

2. Do Bring Clothes You Can Layer 

One minute you’re taking a dip in the lake in 90-degree weather; the next day, you’re trekking through the cold, rainy, bug-filled woods. You never know what you will be doing or how the weather will be, so it’s important to bring lightweight pieces that you layer on or off.

Don’t forget a long sleeve top, a light jacket, and long pants, even in summer.  Ultraviolet Protection Factor-rated clothing gives you extra defense against the sun.

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3. Don’t Pack Denim

Jeans seem like a natural thing to bring, but they’re not ideal.  Jeans can be heavy, hot, and stiff, not to mention they take forever to dry. You’re better off with a lightweight pair of pants in a quick-dry fabric or even spandex leggings.


What to Wear Camping - Khaki Shorts

4. Don’t Bring White Clothing

This one is rather obvious, but first-time campers may not realize that white will stay white for very long. When camping, you are brushing up against bushes, sitting on rocks, and walking on dirt paths. So if you like your whites white, leave them at home.

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What to Wear Camping Cargo Leggings


5. Do Bring Natural Colored Clothing

There’s an unwritten etiquette camping rule you may not be aware of, but it makes a lot of sense. It’s generally more considerate to wear muted, earthy colors than bright,  loud shades that compete with the environment. Think about it. Serious campers come to relax and enjoy nature.

The best way to honor this is for you to blend in with your surroundings instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. Bright, loud colors are like a flashing neon sign in the woods and can ruin the feeling of tranquility for others. Tan, khaki, blue, black, brown, green, rust, soft pinks, peaches, etc., are preferable to bright, bold hues and high-contrast prints.

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6. Don’t Bring Jewelry

You might be tempted to bring a cute pair of casual earrings or a casual necklace but don’t. Jewelry is bound to get broken or lost, so it’s best to leave it at home.

7. Do Bring a Hat

Even if you don’t like wearing hats, you’ll be glad you brought a camping hat. Not only do they keep the sun away ( you don’t want to wreck your skin or bleach out your highlights), but they’re great for keeping the bugs out of your hair too.

Vented hats are best to keep you cool, and a drawstring cord keeps your hat on when you are on the boat or in the wind.



8. Do Bring Comfortable Shoes

A camping weekend is not the time to wear brand-new sandals or sneakers. Make sure your shoes are sturdy and well worn, so your feet are comfy and don’t get blisters.  Avoid bringing shoes that are cute but not practical. They won’t be useful, and you’ll wreck them.

9. Don’t Bring Cotton Socks

Camping socks should be breathable. Cotton is breathable but is slow to dry, and nothing feels worse than wet socks. Instead, go for lightweight to midweight wool or synthetic socks that are antibacterial, so your feet don’t stink. Higher socks are good for preventing tick bites when you are hiking.


10. Don’t Bring  Beauty Products with a Scent

Camping is an excellent opportunity to give your skin a rest and go natural- sans makeup. If you want to bring along some lipstick or a few beauty products, then remember that anything with a strong scent can attract bears!

Happy Camping or Glamping, and enjoy your vacation!

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3 thoughts on “10 Do’s & Don’ts for What to Wear Camping This Summer

  1. I was looking for the right advice for a summer camping Backpack setup. Helpful, know I now do’s and don’t for a backpack.

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