Clothing for Camping:
This list is designed around a typical weekend campout. Events like summer camp or High adventure will utilize the basic elements of this list but may require additional numbers of some of the items:
Some basic rules of thumb for selecting clothing. Clothing ideally should only be made from natural or synthetic fibers that dry quickly. This in general means no cotton. Cotton can take a significant amount of time to dry if it becomes wet.
When planning clothing for camping you can typically think about you clothing for the weekend like this.
- Wear camping clothes to event for Friday night.
- When you get up Saturday morning put on the clothes you wore Friday night.
- Bring one complete set of clothes for use later in weekend.
- If second set of clothes not needed on Saturday, wear them home on Sunday.
- Additional items may be taken if desired but will add weight to you gear.
When selecting clothing each Scout should evaluate the potential weather conditions and select the appropriate clothing for the conditions. When camping throughout the year the number one rule to remember is layer your clothing. This allows for you to adjust your body temperature based on the temperature, activity level and external conditions. Keep this in mind when selecting clothing to bring on a campout.
The following sections will give you some general guidance related to selection of different types of clothing
General Clothing Guide
Types of rain gear. Rain gear can be anything from and umbrella, poncho, rain jacket or rain suit with pants and jacket. Most Scouts will find that a rain jacket with pants will provide the best solution for keeping them dry. Often only the jacket will be needed, but as the weather gets colder the need to keep you legs dry will become more important. When utilizing a poncho or even a rain jacket alone the rain that runs off the jacket and will soak the clothes directly below the bottom of the waterproof material. It is for this reason that the combination of rain pants and jacket typically work the best for a single year round application. There are numerous versions of these rain suits. It is best to look for one that offers some breathability and appears to be reasonably durable. Additionally, many winter coats are paired with a waterproof outer shells and are typically much tougher than typical rain gear. Based on price the best rain gear that I have found has been produced by Frogg Toggs. This gear is reasonably breathable and has been very durable. We have jackets that have lasted for over five years with no leaks. The only disadvantage is that it can be a little bulkier and heavier. Both Walmart and Bass Pro carry different versions of the Frogg Toggs. Outside of Frogg Toggs there are numerous other brands that offer great solutions. As scouts get older the Marmot Precip jacket (complete review on Outdoor gear Lab) makes an excellent backpacking jacket and for the prices varying from $60 to $100 it is difficult to beat.
One of the most important pieces of clothing that you will need is a good pair of waterproof boots. Type of boot to start out in is really a person preference. Most Scouts like the lightweight type hiking boots that are mid cut to just above the ankle. The biggest problem with boots and Scouts becomes that their feet grow too fast. During the last several years my family and two boys have purchased six different pairs of boots in the 5 combined years of my two boys. I recommend sticking with a name brand boot from companies like Vasque, Merrill, Red Head, Columbia, North Face, or Salomon. Each of these companies offer decent lower priced boots that will make a great choice for a Scout. Look for economical choices as your Scout will most likely only wear them for about a year before needing another pair. If your Scout is in smaller boot sizes the RedHead Cub III listed below can’t be beat. We have personally owned about 6 pair of this boot at $49 and never had any issues with any of them.
The following boots have performed well:
- Vasque Breeze 2.0 UltraDry Waterproof Hiking Boots for Toddlers or Kids
- RedHead Cub III Insulated Waterproof Hunting Boots for Kids
- Merrell Men’s Moab Mid Waterproof Boots
- Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX GORE-TEX Hiking Boots for Men
Each of the boots above have performed adequately over there short life that each of my boys utilized them. In general between both boys about 1 1/2 years to 2 years of use.
There are numerous companies making good synthetic pants pants for use in outdoor activities. One of the best places we have found to find cheap pants that hold up well is Academy Sports. They cary a couple of different lines that work quite well and in general have been cheeper than blue jeans. The sell both a zip-off pant and a regular pant as well. Zip off pants work well as they will work for both shorts and pants as needed.
A couple of options are as follows.
- Magellan Outdoors™ Boys’ Back Country Zip Off Pant
- Magellan Outdoors™ Men’s Back Country Zipoff Nylon Pant
In the market place there are numerous suppliers producing great jackets for young adults. When selecting a jacket or combination of jackets keep in mind that layering provides the best solution for regulating your body temperature and will create the most versatile system for your outdoor activities. Columbia jackets with their varying combinations of waterproof materials, synthetic, down, and fleece options as well a the proprietary omni heat options that are combined into a multilayer system performs very well. Other companies like North Face offer similar options as well.
We recommend sythetic or wool base layers:
- Columbia Omni Heat
- Merino Wool from compainies like Smartwool
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