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What to Wear Camping in the Summer


Planning a summer camping trip? It's the perfect opportunity to disconnect and embrace the great outdoors. But for a truly enjoyable experience, proper planning and preparation are essential. One key aspect of this preparation is ensuring you have the right clothing to keep you comfortable and protected in the summer heat. Here's a comprehensive guide on what to wear camping in the summer.

Understanding the Summer Camping Environment

A successful summer camping trip begins with a clear grasp of the camping environment. This knowledge shapes every decision, from choosing the right camping clothes to packing the essential gear. Typical weather conditions can vary dramatically, with intense sun exposure and unexpected rain showers. These elements directly influence the choice of sun protection, such as UV-blocking clothing and accessories, and water-resistant gear like rain jackets and quick-dry hiking pants. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with the local terrain—whether it's rocky mountain paths requiring sturdy hiking boots or sandy trails suitable for lighter footwear—ensures you are well-prepared for any outdoor activity. Remember, understanding these factors is crucial for tailoring your camping outfit and gear to enhance your camping experience and outdoor enjoyment.

Typical Weather Conditions

During the summer, you can expect a wide range of weather conditions, from scorching heat during the day to cooler temperatures at night. It's essential to prepare for these fluctuations to stay comfortable throughout your camping trip.

Terrain and Nature Encounters

Consider the terrain and environment of your camping destination. Whether you're camping in the mountains, near a lake, or in a forest, understanding the terrain can help you choose the most appropriate outdoor clothing and gear.

Duration and Type of Camping

The duration and type of camping trip you're embarking on will also influence your clothing choices. Whether it's a weekend getaway or an extended camping expedition, make sure you have the right apparel for the occasion.


What to Wear Camping in the Summer During the Day

During the day, your camping outfit needs to handle the heat while protecting you from UV rays. Opt for light-colored, breathable fabrics that reflect the sun's rays rather than absorb them. Key pieces should include UV-protective shirts, lightweight shorts or hiking pants, and a wide-brimmed hat for added sun protection. For footwear, breathable hiking boots or sturdy sandals suitable for hot weather and various terrains are essential. Don't forget to pack sunglasses and a generous amount of sunscreen to shield your skin during those sunny outdoor activities.

Tops for Daytime Comfort and Protection

Opt for breathable, quick-drying shirts like the Rivers Short Sleeve from Mountain Khakis. This shirt is made with Brr fabric, offering UPF 30+ sun protection, quick-dry, and moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the day. Additionally, consider the lightweight Roan Sun Hoody for added sun protection.

Shorts and Pants for Active Movement

Choose lightweight shorts or swimwear for maximum comfort and freedom of movement during daytime activities. Mountain Khakis offers options like the Ridgeline Hybrid short, crafted from a nylon-spandex blend for water-resistant capabilities and 4-way stretch.

Footwear for Varied Terrain

 A good quality pair of hiking boots makes a huge difference in comfort. We recommend going to your local outdoor store and getting fitted for a pair of hiking shoes that fit your foot shape. Look for a durable and rugged outsole and breathable mesh panels. We also recommend bringing a pair of water shoes in case you decide to explore a local creek or water source. 

Don't forget to protect your feet with merino socks and water shoes for activities like kayaking or hiking in wet conditions. Merino socks are naturally antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, and quick to dry. They can be used for several days at a time without starting to smell. Plus, they’ll help keep blisters at bay. 

Accessories for Sun Protection and Convenience

Invest in sun protection accessories like hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield yourself from harmful UV rays during outdoor adventures.

We highly recommend looking for shirts with a UPF rating. The Rivers Short Sleeve is a great example as is our Roan Sun Hoody. Here’s a quick guide to UPF materials. 

UPF = Ultraviolet Protection Factor. UPF clothing is the rating system used to measure UV protection for clothes.  ASTM Standard for Sun Protective Clothing and Swimwear UPF.

UPF Rating 15-24: Good.
93.3-95.9% of UV radiation blocked

UPF Rating 25-39: Very good.
96.0-97.4% of UV radiation blocked

UPF Rating 40-50+: Excellent.
97.5-98+% of UV radiation blocked


Summer camping

What to Wear Camping in the Summer at Night

As night falls and temperatures drop, your camping attire should shift to focus on warmth and protection from the elements. Layering is key—start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a fleece or a soft, insulating mid-layer, and top it off with a lightweight but warm outer layer if needed. Consider a hat and gloves for extra warmth, especially if you're camping in higher altitudes or open areas prone to cooler night air. Your footwear should remain sturdy, and capable of handling a late-night stroll or a bathroom trip in the dark. Remember, the right clothes can make the difference between a restful night and a shivering one.

Insulating Layers for Cooler Temperatures

As temperatures drop at night, layer up with insulating pieces like flannels or the Axe Thermal base layer from Mountain Khakis. These garments will help trap heat close to your body and keep you warm during chilly evenings.

You might also consider fleece, like Mountain Khakis Summit Fleece which is a synthetic wool alternative that creates a comfortable layer of insulation by trapping air in the pockets between the fibers to keep your natural body heat close, ensuring maximum warmth.

Protective Gear Against Nighttime Pests

Don't forget to pack insect-repellent clothing or accessories to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other nighttime pests.

Comfortable Sleepwear for Camping

Choose lightweight, breathable sleepwear to ensure a comfortable night's rest under the stars. Consider bringing versatile options that you can be comfortable sleeping in or doing some light activity around the camp. 

Additional Considerations for Summer Camping Attire

Beyond choosing the right clothes for temperature and comfort, there are several other factors to consider when preparing for a summer camping trip. Fabric choice is crucial—select materials that are not only lightweight and breathable but also quick-drying and moisture-wicking to handle unexpected rain showers or intense activities. Sustainability should also be a priority; opt for garments made from eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester or organic cotton. Finally, always prepare for the unexpected by packing versatile pieces that can adapt to changing weather conditions, such as a waterproof rain jacket or an extra fleece layer. This attention to detail will ensure you are well-equipped for any summer camping adventure.

Material and Fabric Choices

Select clothing made from lightweight, breathable materials like nylon-spandex blends or organic cotton blends. The moisture-wicking fabric has two jobs: quickly drawing(or wicking) moisture to the fabric’s outer surface, and drying rapidly so that your sweat doesn’t saturate the fabric. The result is that you’re more comfortable because your body can regulate its temperature efficiently and the fabric touching your skin has a dry, non-sticky feel. 

Quick-dry fabrics absorb moisture away from your body keeping you dry and comfortable. These fabrics are great to have on a camping trip for obvious reasons. If you don’t manage to dodge a passing rain shower your clothes will dry quickly and help keep your body temperature regulated. 

Packing for Unexpected Weather

For any camper, inclement weather is something you will surely experience in the great outdoors. The saying goes there are no bad weather days, only bad gear. That saying is never more true when the forecast decides to head in a completely different direction. Be sure to pack rain gear even on blue-sky days. A jacket like the Mountain Khakis Mountain Rainier jacket is the perfect jacket to have in case of rain but also helps keep out the wind with its sealed seams and 3-panel hood. 

A vest is a great option to keep your core warm during unexpected bouts of colder weather without causing you to overheat. 


What to Wear Camping in the Summer1

Sustainability and Environmental Considerations

Opt for sustainable outdoor clothing options made from recycled materials to minimize your environmental impact while enjoying nature. Mountain Khakis x Recover tees use materials made from recycled plastic to create super soft and durable tee shirts. We also use responsibly sourced down fill in our jackets like the Rider Jacket and Vest. The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm.

Additionally, by using organic cotton sourced from Better Cotton Initiative, Mountain Khakis has also crafted lightweight and breathable shirts that are great for camping. Organic cotton is sustainable cotton grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and other toxic chemicals.

Tips for Packing and Preparing Your Summer Camping Wardrobe

Lay everything out before you start packing it away in your backpack or bag. This will help ensure you have everything on your list and you don’t miss any key pieces. Rolling your clothes and gear helps condense all of your necessities down and make packing easier and more organized. A messy pack usually leads to a messy camping trip. Your future self will thank you for being extra prepared. 

Discover Outdoor Clothing from Mountain Khakis Today

The next time you’re considering a camping adventure we hope you use this guide to help you pack and make the most of your outdoor adventure. Explore Mountain Khakis' range of premium outdoor apparel, including shorts, tops, and layering pieces designed to keep you comfortable and protected during your summer camping adventures.

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