This post is bought to you by Adam Sherman. Adam is the founder of Viakix. Viakix is an American footwear company built on a passion for recreation and a sporting lifestyle. Here, in a guest post for Hill Tribe Travels, he will take you through what he believes are the essentials packing items.
Having the right gear with you is a massive part of any camping trip.
When you’re out there, sometimes in the wilderness a long way from anywhere, you don’t want the experience ruined just because you forgot enough clothing to keep you warm. It’s not like you’re on a city break and can call to the shops for anything you forgot to pack!
Clothing, especially, plays a big role in camping and hiking trips.
Here, we’re going to try to cover the essentials with an expansion to our current Ultimate Packing List.
If you’re not 100% sure what to pack for the whole family in terms of clothing, here are the items and the best tips for choosing the right gear.
We’re conscious there’s a lot here, so we’re not saying you should pack EVERYTHING, but these are definitely the things you should be thinking about!
What you can find in this post
What to Pack for Adults
Let’s start with the adults.
You should look to pack the following:
- T-shirts and tops
- Long-sleeved shirts
- A woolly jumper or two (if you can have more thin layers this will keep you warmer, and be lighter to carry, than a big thick jumper top)
- A light jacket, ideally water and windproof
- A thicker outdoor jacket if travelling during the cold season
- Cargo trousers
- Leggings, or a similar style of trekking pants
- Sports bras
- Joggers or pyjama pants, and t-shirts or other comfortable cotton shirts for sleeping
You should also pack a swimming suit, bikini, or trunks even if you’re not planning on swimming during your trip. You can wear these if you’re at a camping area with open shower areas and you’re uncomfortable with showering naked, potentially with lots of people around.
A crucial part of your packing list are your socks and shoes.
- Lots of comfortable socks to wear with both sandals and hiking boots
- A pair of woolly socks for nighttime
- Hiking shoes and sandals
- Trainers, if you plan on running
- Flip flops that are suitable to wear in the shower
In addition to these, you might need weather-specific items when camping during the colder season. These include taking with you:
- A hat or bandana
- Light gloves
- A scarf
If you’re planning to visit other places while hiking and perhaps even eat out a few times, you can also have something a bit more formal with you. This could just mean taking with you:
- Chinos or jeans
- A blouse and a button-up t-shirt or a shirt
- A summer dress
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it can be nice to slip into something different if you do go to a restaurant or shopping.
It’s really important to think about what you want to take with you. If space is limited think about what you might be able to do without, especially if you’re taking the kids and may find yourself carrying their bags at times, too!
What to Pack for the Kids
Now that you have an idea of what you need to take on your trip, it’s time to do the same for the kids.
The good news is that the kids’ packing list doesn’t look too dissimilar to yours.
Make sure everyone has:
- T-shirts, tops and long-sleeved shirts
- Shorts, leggings, and special hiking trousers
- Joggers or soft cotton pyjamas for sleeping
- A few hoodies and a woolly shirt
- Light outdoor jacket as well as a thicker jacket for colder weather
- Underwear and bathing suit or swimming trunks
- Comfortable socks and woolly sucks
In terms of shoes, buy a good pair of hiking sandals and also a pair comfortable hiking boots. A comfortable pair of sneakers is also an option if you have the space and ability to carry them.
You can take something smarter for the kids too – a button-up shirt or a summer dresses won’t take up too much room and gives them something different to wear if you’re going to a restaurant or just having a day around a town you’ve dropped by.
Depending on the expected weather, you may need to pack some hats and gloves together with scarfs and woolly clothing to stay warm. Take extra rainproof trousers and jackets for your children, too.
Top Things to Keep in Mind When Packing Clothes
The above is a helpful list to keep with you when you’re packing.
We know that not all camping trips look alike and have the same requirements.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to guide your packing.
Focus on the Weather
Always check the forecast as close to your trip as possible, right on the day of packing if you can. The experienced hikers and campers among you will have a huge amount of kit for every eventuality, so last minute dashes to buy clothing and equipment are unlikely to be needed.
At the same time, try not to take the weather report as gospel. Even if it says there won’t be any rain, you should still have a rain jacket with you. Think about where you’re going, too. Lots of popular backpacking destinations, particularly across Europe and South East Asia, have variable climates where weather conditions can change quickly, so it pays to be prepared.
Choose Breathable and Comfortable Fabrics
The most important thing when picking camping clothes is to focus on quality fabrics. Fabrics need to breathe to stop you from getting too hot when it’s warm, to absorb sweat, but also to keep you warm if it’s colder. Regular cotton t-shirts are fine, but you should always shop around and get the products that you prefer. When buying top layers and jackets, check for water and windproofing features, such as sealed seams.
When you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, footwear is extremely important. Buy a pair of hiking shoes or sandals for your trip, and ensure they’re kept in good condition and replaced when needed. Such footwear will help you to both navigate the terrain as well as to keep comfortable.
Comfort is king. Don’t take new clothes you’ve never worn or clothes you know can get itchy or tight, no matter how good you might look in them!
Always Add Extras
We don’t want you to be carrying too much, but it’s always worth having one or two extra of something rather than being caught short, especially when you’ve got the kids with you!
Ultimately, as you take more trips you’ll get to know what you need, and if you’re planning to stay at campsites with laundry and private shower facilities this might enable you to tweak what you pack, for example.
Prepare well for your trip, pack what you need, and you’ll help to ensure that wherever you go and whatever you do, the whole family has a memorable experience!
Adam Sherman is the founder of Viakix. Viakix is an American footwear company built on a passion for recreation and a sporting lifestyle.