When you are going camping, choosing the right clothes to bring is a must. You cannot pack your entire wardrobe, so you need to bring flexible clothes that can easily be layered. By doing so, you can make sure that you stay comfortable, no matter what sort of conditions you experience.
The key to comfortable camping is layering. By layering your clothes, you can quickly adjust to changing weather conditions. When the temperature warms up, you just remove an outer layer or two until you are comfortable. If things cool off, put a layer or two back on. Layering also helps you stay warm and dry should it start to rain or snow.
Proper layering involves three distinct layers. The base layer, worn against your skin, helps to manage moisture. The insulating layer helps you stay warm. Finally, the shell layer protects you from both the wind and the rain. These layers can be taken off or put back on as needed for comfort.
The base layer helps you stay comfortable by wicking moisture away from your skin. When you stay dry, it is easier to stay cool in the summer and avoid becoming chilled in the winter. Do not wear cotton garments as a base layer, since cotton tends to absorb moisture rather than carrying it away from your skin.
Instead, look for camping clothes made from synthetic fabrics or merino wool. Rather than absorbing moisture, these fabrics wick it away so that it can evaporate. This way, your skin stays dry and your body will more easily be able to maintain a comfortable temperature.
The next layer is the insulating layer, which helps you stay warm by trapping heat. If you prefer natural fibers, goose down and wool are both excellent insulators. For the very coldest conditions, down is the best choice. However, it must be kept dry to be effective. Wool, on the other hand, can continue to provide insulation even if it gets wet.
Synthetic fleece is also a good choice for the insulating layer. It is lightweight and compressible, and will continue to insulate even when wet. Fleece also dries more quickly than natural fibers. However, it does not provide as much protection from the wind.
Finally, your outer, or shell, layer is designed to protect you from the rain and the wind. This can be anything from a lightweight jacket to a heavy winter parka. A good shell should allow some perspiration to escape so that it does not condense inside the shell. Look for a coat that is properly ventilated. It should also be treated with a water repellent finish so that rain will simply form into droplets and roll off the shell.
By choosing the right camping clothes, you can stay comfortable under almost any conditions. Be sure to check the weather report before you head out into the great outdoors. This way, you will know which clothes to bring on your next camping adventure.