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What Clothes Should You Pack to Go Camping?

Learn which clothes you should bring to go camping from Heather Menicucci, author of Let's Get Primitive, in this Howcast video.


My philosophy on camping is you need some basic essentials, and beyond that, it's all about improv. You should be able to have fun with it and not feel stressed out that you need the fanciest camping gear or you need to wear Gortex, or anything that's really hardcore like that. I wrote my book for that reason, because I wanted girls like me to feel comfortable going camping.

So when it comes to clothes and what you should pack, I'm super flexible. I think that there's some basic rules you should consider. You need pants, and you need shorts. You need high socks. You need something to protect your legs from potential ticks, if you're going in an area with ticks. You need layers, so in case it's cooler than you expected you can put something on, and if it's warmer than you expected you can take something off.

You don't need a lot of change of clothes. You can really wear the same thing for a couple of days, which to a girl like me from New York City, that's hard to swallow, but it's true, and you really won't care once you're out there. It's amazing how you're expectations change and how you adapt once you're out in the woods.

The think that I think most people think they need is a good pair of hiking boots, but I don't subscribe to that philosophy either. When I first started camping and for many many many early trips, I just wore good sneakers. I like sneakers because I can really feel the ground underneath my feet. I was more spry in sneakers, so it's up to you. If you want to invest 80 bucks in a good pair of camping boots, hiking boots, go for it. If you can't afford it and you want to wear your Converse, that's totally fine too.

So when it comes to what you're packing, you want to pack light. You want to definitely have layers. You want to make sure you have pants that can be tucked into socks or tall socks, to protect your legs from ticks.

You want to probably bring some sort of rain gear, so a little rain jacket would be great. It'll just make your life better when you're out there.

But beyond that, if you're beach camping you should bring a hat. You should definitely make sure you've got enough coverage from the sun. But beyond those basics, have fun with it.

One thing I always bring with me is a sundress or a skirt, because once I'm done hiking for the day and I'm back at the campsite, I just want to put something on like a house dress and run around the campsite and be super comfortable. I also always bring flip flops, because once again, I'm back at the campsite I want to take my socks off, take my sneakers off and let my feet go free. They're also really easy to take on and off when you're going in and out of the tent.

So, I think again, there's some stuff you need to be concerned about. Exposure, warmth, cold, ticks.

Beyond that, have fun with it.

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