How to Dress for Summer Camping

To make the most of a few days at camp the right clothing is essential. You probably already have everything you need, but I have put together a few tips to help you plan even if camping is something that is a new experience for you. 

Some basic principles are your guide: layers, the right shoes, and simplicity


You can’t just crank the air conditioning or turn up the heat when experiencing the outdoors. Part of enjoying nature means being adaptable to conditions. 

Be thinking in terms of layers when you pack for your trip. This will give you the widest range possible of options for dealing with the different temperatures and the weather variations you might encounter. 

If you are fashion conscious, putting together articles of clothing that you can mix or match to make great outfits is your best bet. 

At the very least pack the following layers:

  • Lightweight sweats, leggings or pants: Bug protection in the evenings at camp, which can double as sleepwear if needed. 
  • Two light t-shirts and/or tank tops. 
  • One lightweight long sleeve shirt or blouse: Bug protection in addition to warmth. 
  • Two pairs of shorts: If you plan on boating or swimming, you will want to have an extra dry pair. 
  • Extra socks: Layer while hiking to prevent blisters and have a spare pair in the event your feet get wet. 
  • Bathing suit: Don’t forget to pack a suit or two if you are planning on boating or swimming. 
  • Rain Gear: Be sure your rain gear is in addition to other layers that are breathable. A rain jacket will be too stuffy for cool evenings. 
  • Breathable warm layer: Make sure you pack something warmer than you think you need that will act as a top layer for cool evenings. Better to have it an not need it than the other way around. 
  • Hat: A hat that has a brim will give you some protection from the sun and for females, it will provide cute and simple hairstyle options.


At a minimum you will want shoes that fit the activities you are planning to enjoy. If you are only planning some short walks along the trails near camp, you can probably get away with sneakers. However, longer hiking or other outdoor activities call for sturdier boots that offer ankle protection. 

Don’t make the mistake of buying a new pair of boots just for your trip. It is important to break in any boots that you wear on a longer walk you are you likely to develop painful blisters. 

In addition to some good walking shoes, you will want to pack some shoes that will be more comfy at camp. Sandals are a good choice. Getting some air on those dogs in the evening will help prevent blisters and keep your feet in good condition for another hike the next day.

Hair and makeup:

Keep it simple. Check the facilities to find out what the shower and electricity situation is before you pack. You may or may not be able to use a hairdryer, so plan accordingly. 

Make up, scented deodorant, and hair products can attract biting insects like mosquitos. Plan on a simple beauty routine. More tips:

  • Pack make-up removing wipes for ease of skin care. 
  • Ditch fragrant lotions and perfumes. 
  • Pack extra hair ties and clips and go for a simple look. 
  • Consider UV lip balm to protect your lips from painful sunburn. 

The right planning makes a campout so much more fun. If you follow these tips for layering, choosing the right shoes, and keeping your beauty routine simple, it will go a long way to making your vacation carefree so you can focus on all the fun!

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